The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is wide-spread among cancer patients. Few studies have investigated the use of CAM by patients with haematological cancer patients in Europe.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the distribution and patterns of CAM use by patients with myeloma or lymphoma.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: 103 patients with lymphoma and 23 with myeloma (72 male and 54 female) they have responded a questionnaire on diverse aspects of the use of CAM.

RESULTS: Ninety-six patients (76.1%) recognize to have used or to use some type or product CAM: Matricaria chamomilla L. (75,3%), Tilia vulgaris (57.4%), green tea (19.8%), Valeriana officinalis L (17.4%), Royal Jelly (17.4%), soya (16.6%), Brewer’s Yeast (7.9%), wheat germ (6.3%), ginseng (6.3%) and aloe vera (6.3%); Cat’s Claw, Hypericum Perforatum (St. John’s Wort), echinacea, grape seed, milk thistle (Carduus marianum), graviola and marijuana (less of 5%). Forty-nine patients (38.8%) recognize to have practiced or to practice oration (23.8%), relaxation (11.9%), oils massages (9.5%), meditation (6.3%), imposition of hands (3.9%) and yoga (3.9%); music therapy, homeopathy, Shiatsu, acupuncture, therapies through of the movement and the dance, guided imagination, psychotherapy, chiropractic and consult with healer (less of 3%). Visualization, hypnosis, biofeedback, chromotherapy, reflexology, or therapies through humour have not talked about or through Internet. They recognize to look for a complement for the traditional medicine (29.6%), to fight the indirect effect (17.4%) or to have control on the own disease (16.6%) not being felt impassive (23.8%); to content the family (3.1%) or to think that its treatment will be faster (21.4%) is other reasons. In 3.9% they tried to replace the traditional medicine. Only the 30.1% “complementary and alternative medicines” knew the meaning the terms. The 62.6% did not know the qualification of the personnel who sells products or applies treatments to him MAC and 36.6% not informs its doctor that take CAM. Sixty-one percent consider that the public system would have to finance this type of practices.

COMMENTARIES: This study contributes data on the use of therapies MAC by patients with myeloma or lymphoma in Spain. The professionals we must make the effort necessary to improve our knowledge of the MAC and the formation of the patients; the MAC that demonstrate to their effectiveness and security would have to be able to integrate themselves to the care of the patients.

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