What happens to cancer patients who choose “alternative” treatments?

Researchers identified roughly 280 people who chose “alternative”—that is, unproven—treatments for several non-metastatic cancers.

After five years, patients who chose alternative treatments were six times more likely to die of breast cancer, five times more likely to die of colorectal cancer, two times more likely to die of lung cancer, and no more likely to die of prostate cancer (which progresses slowly) than similar patients who chose conventional treatment.

(Note: This study didn’t look at people who use complementary and integrative medicine in addition to conventional treatment.)

Those who chose alternative treatments had higher socioeconomic status and education, were more likely to live in the western United States, and had fewer other illnesses than other patients.

What to do

Don’t bet your life on unproven cancer remedies.

Related posts

Photo: YakobchukOlena/stock.adobe.com.

The information in this post first appeared in the April 2018 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.


Find this article interesting and useful? 
Nutrition Action Healthletter subscribers regularly get sound, timely information about staying healthy with diet and exercise, delicious recipes, and detailed analyses of the healthy and unhealthy foods in supermarkets and restaurants. If you don’t already subscribe to the world’s most popular nutrition newsletter, click here to join hundreds of thousands of fellow health-minded consumers.

Have a comment, question, or idea?
Send us an email at comments@nutritionaction.com. While we can’t respond to every email, we’ll be sure to read your message.