The use of dietary supplements in oncology topical collection on integrative care

Moshe Frenkel, Victor Sierpina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The use of dietary supplements among patients affected by cancer is extensive, with an estimated 20-90 % of patients using these products. Their use of these products is often not shared with the treating physician. This is because patients perceive or believe that their physicians are indifferent or negative toward the use of dietary supplements. As a result, patients may obtain information about dietary supplements from unreliable sources, exposing themselves to unnecessary risks. Since there are limited scientific data on the efficacy and safety of many dietary supplements, advising patients about when to use them during the course of illness is a clinical challenge. Improving the communication process between the health care team and their patients in this area is critical. We describe a practical patient-centered approach to managing dietary supplement use in cancer care. This approach makes use of all available scientific data relating to the safety and efficacy of these supplements combined with how to have an open, patient-centered discussion with patients about their needs and expectations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number411
JournalCurrent Oncology Reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Alternative medicine
  • Cancer care
  • Complementary medicine
  • Dietary supplements
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Patient-physician communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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