Here is an excerpt from an exceptional article about support for cancer survivors by Helena Oliviero I found on the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Website:
Cancer survivors are living longer and healthier lives. The chance of surviving most cancer has been steadily rising. For example, the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is now 90 percent, up from 75 percent in the mid-to-late 1970s, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Still, fighting a deadly disease can leave survivors feeling battered and confused, and struggling to find their way. From soreness and scars to being emotionally shaken, survivors often need help grappling with everything from depression and fatigue to body image concerns and relationship woes.
At the same time, Americans overall are increasingly looking outside traditional medicine for their health care needs. About a third of Americans are using at least one form of what’s referred to as “complementary or alternative medicine.” When megavitamins and prayer are included in this definition, the percentage rises to 62 percent, according to the National Institutes of Health. Americans spend $34 billion annually in out-of-pocket expenses on complementary and alternative approaches, according to a 2009 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Several smaller studies of cancer patients suggest many of them are seeking alternative care. A study published in the 2000 issue of the Journal of Oncology found 69 percent of 453 cancer patients turned to some aspect of alternative care as part of their cancer treatment. A more recent study published in a December 2004 issue of the Journal found 88 percent of 102 cancer patients enrolled in a research study turned to CAM therapy, which can include vitamins or minerals and acupuncture.
The article, Cancer Centers Revitalize Survivors, is extensive in it’s scope and provides great insight into how cancer survivors are using alternative post treatment therapies and coping strategies.
I thought about running this on our http://www.helpwithcancer.org/ site, but that sight is currently experiencing technical difficulties (frustrating–this type of thing always happens on the weekend!) and I felt this topic is especially relevant to multiple myeloma survivors. Feel good and keep smiling! Pat