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Linking Breast Cancer Patients with Alternative Therapies

Biological-based therapies such as diet supplements and vitamins are the most popular complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) for women recovering from breast cancer, according to a Michigan State University researcher working to create a support intervention for women in treatment for the disease.

Gwen Wyatt of MSU's College of Nursing, in research published in the journal Nursing Research, analyzed which CAM therapies - such as massage, supplements and reflexology - are used the most and why. She looked at the five major categories of therapies: biological, mind-body, manipulative and body, energy, and alternative medical systems.

"Quality of life is a research priority for the National Institutes of Health as it pertains to breast cancer," Wyatt said. "Patients link symptoms to quality of life; if you have to live with breast cancer, then let's have the highest quality of life we can during the process and make it as humane as possible."

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