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Cancer Patients: Analyzing the Influence of Ethnicity, Culture, Age and Gender, Access to and Use of CAM, and the Influence of Psychosocial Factors - Essay Example

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The use of conventional treatment such as biological therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, radiotherapy, surgery, palliative care, and symptom control or a combination of these treatments is usually given to patients who were diagnosed with cancer (Schwab, 2008, p. 654). …
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Cancer Patients: Analyzing the Influence of Ethnicity, Culture, Age and Gender, Access to and Use of CAM, and the Influence of Psychosocial Factors
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Download file to see previous pages 654). Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is not limited in the use of herbal remedies but also some form of lifestyle modification (i.e. counselling on diet, physical exercises, breathing relaxation techniques, and substance abuse), homeopathy (i.e. acupuncture, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, and massage therapy), and meditation (i.e. mindfulness, music therapy, tai chi, and yoga) (Sarris et al., 2012). Since the past 15 years, the number of cancer patients who prefer to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been gradually increasing (Molassiotis et al., 2005). Based on a survey that was conducted in Europe, 35.9% of cancer patients in this country are using at least one form of CAM therapies (Molassiotis et al., 2005). Considering the growing number of cancer patients who are attracted in the use of CAM intervention, this study will seek to explore why cancer patients prefer to use CAM therapies alongside with their typical conventional therapy. Aside from discussing the health-related benefits these patients are getting out of CAM therapies, this study will seek to identify and examine the demographic profile of cancer patient who are currently relying on the use of CAM therapies. For example, who are most or least likely to use CAM therapies alongside with their conventional cancer treatments? Are there any differences in the health care intervention and treatment preferences of male and female cancer patients? If yes, how do they differ from one another? Lastly, do age differences matter when it comes to the health care intervention and treatment preferences of cancer patients? When providing palliative care to cancer patients, the concept of “holistic care” is not limited to the need to improve the patients’ quality of living (i.e. by effectively reducing their overall physical and emotional pain and sufferings) but also the mental and psychological agony of the cancer patients’ family members and love ones (Gill and Duffy, 2010). In line with this, aspects of holistic care of patients who are undergoing treatment within the Oncology department will be tackled in details. As part of going through the main discussion about the relevance of holistic care, strategic ways on how to properly communicate and treat the cancer patients will be provided together with appropriate literature. Reasons Why Cancer Patients Use CAM Therapies Alongside with their Typical Conventional Therapy To examine the reasons why there are some breast cancer patients who prefer to use CAM options, Shen et al. (2002) conducted a face-to-face interview with a group of breast cancer patients in advanced-stage only to find out that the main reason why 37% of breast cancer patients who prefer the use of herbal medicine and relaxation or meditative therapy is to increase their immune system followed by treating cancer. Molassiotis et al. (2005, p. 659) also found out that obvious reasons why cancer patients are using CAM therapies alongside with their typical conventional therapy is to “increase their body’s ability to fight cancer (50.7%), improve their physical well-being (40.6%), and improve their emotional well-being (35.2%)”. Likewise, Helyer et al. (2006, p. 39) also found out that most female cancer patients are using CAM strategies “to assist their body to heal (75%), to boost their immune system (56%), and to give a feeling of control with respect to their treatment (56%)”. In Malaysia, Saibul et al. (2012, p. 4082) found out that most of the cancer pat ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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