Approach to communicating with patients about the use of nutritional supplements in cancer care

Moshe Frenkel, Eran Ben-Arye, Constance D. Baldwin, Victor Sierpina

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


In recent years, complementary and alternative medicine has become popular among the general population in the Western world. Cancer patients have joined this global trend, often seeking supplements to conventional oncologic care, usually without their physicians' knowledge. Among the most common forms of complementary and alternative medicine used by cancer patients are natural products such as herbs and megavitamins. The extensive use of nutritional supplements by cancer patients raises multiple questions and challenges for the physician. Since there are limited scientific data on the efficacy and safety of many nutritional supplements, advising patients about when to use them during the course of illness is difficult. This is true for each stage of cancer care: prevention, acute active care (radiation, chemotherapy, surgery), and post-acute care (follow-up visits and prevention of recurrence). The authors describe a patient-centered approach to the use of nutritional supplements in cancer care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-294
Number of pages6
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Alternative medicine
  • Antioxidants
  • Cancer care
  • Cancer prevention
  • Dietary supplements
  • Green tea
  • Integrative medicine
  • Lycopene
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Patient-centered care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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