Prevalence and predictors of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by men in Australian cancer outpatient services

N. Klafke, J. A. Eliott, G. A. Wittert, I. N. Olver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although studies have shown that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is common in cancer patients, no survey has assessed CAM use in men with a variety of cancers. In Australia, no data exist about male cancer patients' use of CAM. Patients and methods: A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 403 men attending four cancer outpatient services in Metropolitan Adelaide. Data were analyzed using Pearson's χ. 2 tests and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results: CAMs were currently used by 52.9%, or used at some point by 61.5%, of respondents. The most popular CAM treatments were dietary supplements (36.1%), prayer (25.9%), herbs and botanicals (21.4%), and relaxation techniques/meditation (15.2%). CAM use was directed by a cancer specialist in 9.9% of respondents. Independent predictors of CAM use were metastatic cancer (P = 0.022), actively practicing religion (P = 0.008), and tertiary education (P = 0.007). Conclusions: CAM use in males is equally common across all cancer diagnoses, namely prostate, hematological malignancies, colorectal, lung, and other cancers. Oncologists should be aware that one-third of male patients modify their diet and/or search for spiritual guidance, particularly when diagnosed with metastatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1571-1578
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jun 2012


  • Alternative medicine
  • Australia
  • Complementary medicine
  • Male cancer patients
  • Outpatients
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology

Cite this