Complementary/alternative medicine use in a pediatric oncology unit in Turkey

Karadeniz C., PINARLI F. G., Oguz A., Gursel T., Canter B.

PEDIATRIC BLOOD & CANCER, vol.48, no.5, pp.540-543, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/pbc.21012
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.540-543
  • Keywords: alternative medicine, complementary medicine, cancer, children, CANCER-PATIENTS, ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE, CHILDHOOD-CANCER, THERAPIES, CHILDREN, PREVALENCE
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Background. Important in the cancer therapy is the increasingly use of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM). The current study aims to establish the extent of use, the types of therapies employed, factors influencing, the reasons for choosing and the cost of CAM used in pediatric cancer patients in our clinic in Ankara, Turkey. Procedure. A detailed questionnaire regarding demographic data and information about the use of CAM was completed by 95 patients who have attended the clinic between 1999 and 2000. Results. Forty-nine patients (51.6%) had used one or more than one type of CAM. The most frequent (71.4%) was herbal medicine and biologic intake (stinging nettle, plant essence, honey of Anzer). The second one was religious therapy (40.8%). No correlation could be found between the use of CAM and parents education status, the level of income, number of siblings, the prognosis of the disease, the rate of satisfaction with the level of information given by the doctor at the time of diagnosis or the belief in the information given by the doctor about the prognosis (P > 0.05). All patients used CAM in addition to conventional therapy. Conclusions. More than half of the patients used CAM, with stinging nettle being the most common agent. Our patients place a high level of trust in their physicians and the conventional therapies offered by them; however, they also believe that the complementary therapies are harmless and, therefore, worth trying.