Effects of Complementary and Integrative Medicine on Cancer Survivorship

Moshe Frenkel, Victor Sierpina, Kenneth Sapire

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Cancer survivorship has become a topic of great interest in the past few years. Unfortunately, even with successful treatment as well as good follow-up care, many patients continue to experience unmet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs as well as having an unsettling fear, fear of recurrence, a fear which most survivors share, even many years after their treatment ended. As a result, patients are continually looking for additional ways to address these needs and fears. Among the most popular approach is the use of complementary and integrative medicine (CIM). Most studies on CIM use among cancer patients and survivors concentrate on symptom improvement and improvement of quality of life and do not touch a crucial question if these therapies can affect patients’ survival in terms of prolongation of life. Interestingly, in recent years, there are a growing number of studies that suggest that approaches such as mind-body interventions, enhanced general nutrition, nutritional supplements, physical activity, and other CIM approaches may have a positive effect on survival of cancer patients. Although additional studies are needed to confirm these findings, given the low cost of these CIM interventions, their minimal risk, and the potential magnitude of their effects, these approaches might be considered as additional important tools to integrate into cancer survivorship care plans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Oncology Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2015


  • Cancer care
  • Cancer prognosis
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Complementary medicine
  • Exercise
  • Integrative medicine
  • Mind body medicine
  • Nutrition
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Unmet needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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