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Herbal Medicine Use among Puerto Rican Cancer Patients



The use of herbal medicine has broadly spread worldwide and its use has been highly reported in the oncology population. Based on this, it is imperative the study of these products as possible agents that interacts with pharmacologically active agents in allopathic medicine. Although it has been previously reported, the use and reason for seeking herbs as a complement and alternative medicine for cancer treatment is barely documented in Latino cancer patients. In view of this, the purpose of this study is to report factors correlated to the use of supplemental vitamins and herbal medicine among Latino cancer patients. As reported, 81% of patients were diagnosed by first time and 40% of them were diagnosed principally with prostate cancer, breast cancer or colorectal cancer. 61% of them reported the use herbal medicine as an alternative or complement to their cancer treatments. The main reason to use these products was to enhance their immune system and improve their health status. From the products reported, the patients used from 3 to 46 products especially soursop, ginger, carrots, and Omega 3 (µ=10). A logistic regression demonstrated that those who were once married, married, and those who consume alcohol were 2 – 5 times more likely in the use of these products. In conclusion, marital status and alcohol use influence whether or not cancer patients use herbal medicine as an alternative or complement to their cancer treatments.

30 Jun, 2016
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e-Published: 18 Jul, 2016


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