Navigating Uncertainty: Patients and Alternative Cancer Treatments

Navigating Uncertainty: Patients and Alternative Cancer Treatments
Cancer patients may consider complementary and alternative medicine or CAM, alongside traditional treatments.

Mesothelioma introduces a whirlwind of uncertainties when it comes to treatment options. Many patients consider complementary and alternative medicine or CAM. A recent study looked at the relationship between patient uncertainties and their views on CAM. Results showed interesting insights into how individuals perceive these additional treatment options.

Alternative Medicine and Patient Perspectives

The study uncovered a mix of ideas among mesothelioma patients. Most knew about CAM, with many getting their information from friends or family. Surprisingly, while many believed CAM could work, most didn’t tell their doctors they were using it.

Researchers used two tests, the Holistic Complementary and Alternative Medicine Questionnaire (HCAMQ). The second test was the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale (IUS-12). They used these surveys to understand how patients felt and what they thought about CAM. The results showed something interesting. Even if patients felt unsure about things, it didn’t always mean they didn’t like alternative medicine.

This study reveals that cancer patients face lots of uncertainty but still see the good in alternative treatments. It also shows that many patients don’t share this information with their doctors.

Role of Nurses in Patient Support

Nurses can step in here and make a big difference. They understand how patients feel and can talk about different treatments. They can support patients not just physically but also emotionally. With their knowledge about CAM, they can help patients understand how it might work alongside regular treatments.

This study highlights the need to look at everything when treating cancer, including what patients feel and think about different treatments. It’s a reminder to doctors and nurses to create a safe space where mesothelioma patients can talk openly about all their choices for better health.


Akkuş, Yeliz, and Tuğba Menekli. “Determining the Relationship Between Intolerance of Uncertainty and Attitudes Toward Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Patients With Cancer.” Holistic Nursing Practice 37, no. 5 (October 1, 2023): 277–84. https://doi.org/10.1097/HNP.0000000000000600.


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