Most Cancer Survivors Use Complementary Medicine

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Oct 24, 2008

Mind-Body-Spirit News

To tap into additional clients, mind-body fitness and wellness professionals may want to offer services to organizations that support cancer survivors. More than 60% of cancer survivors use complementary medicine, including mind-body practices, according to a recent study by the American Cancer Society. The most widely used form of complementary medicine is prayer/spiritual practice.

Other popular practices are relaxation (44.3%), faith/spiritual healing (42.4 %), use of nutritional supplements/vitamins (40.1%), nonreligious meditation (15%), religious counseling (11.3%), massage (11.2%) and support groups (9.7%). All methods were more popular among women than men. For example, 10.1% of women used tai chi/yoga or therapeutic touch, compared with only 1.9% of men.

These results are based on a study of 4,139 cancer survivors surveyed 10–24 months after diagnosis. The findings were published in Cancer (2008; 113, 1048–57).

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at