Complementary medicine use in US adults with a history of colorectal cancer: a nationally representative survey

Colorectal Cancer

Wong CH, et al. Support Care Cancer 2020.


BACKGROUND: In the USA, colorectal cancer is among the top diagnosed cancers. The current study specifically targets the US adult population that have a history of colorectal cancer.

METHODS: We used the 2017 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to investigate the prevalence and predictors of colorectal cancer survivors using complementary medicine in the past 12 months in a representative sample of the US population (N = 26,742). We descriptively analyzed the 12-month prevalence of any complementary medicine use separately for individuals with a prior diagnosis of colorectal cancer and those without. Using chi-squared tests and backward stepwise multiple logistic regression analyses, we identified predictors of complementary medicine use in the past 12 months.

RESULTS: A weighted total of 1,501,481 US adults (0.6%) had a history of colorectal cancer. More individuals without (weighted n = 76,550,503; 31.2%) than those with a history of colorectal cancer (weighted n = 410,086; 27.3%) had used complementary medicine. The most commonly used complementary medicine among colorectal cancer patients was mind-body medicine, followed by chiropractic. A higher prevalence of complementary medicine use was associated with being female, higher educated and/or living in the US Midwest or South.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, over one fourth of the US colorectal cancer survivors had used complementary medicine. Mind-body medicine was found to be the most commonly used. With evidence supporting the effectiveness and safety of mind-body medicine use among colorectal cancer patients, promoting the use of evidence-based mind-body medicine for colorectal cancer management could be considered.