This paper sought to review the literature on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). Methods: A systematic search of Pubmed and Embase was conducted to identify the relevant literature. Study investigators reviewed the titles of identified articles and one abstracted data from the eligible studies. Of the 39 English and French citations screened, 4 observational studies were included. Results: Up to 75% of CRC patients reported using at least one CAM. The bio-based and mind-body therapies were the most commonly used. Nearly half of the studies showed that patients used CAM to improve general health and well-being. Conclusions: Future research may focus on how CAM use affects quality of life over time and in relation to changing health states, cancer stage and treatment to enable health care professionals to better inform CRC patients of the CAMs that may be helpful at particular points during the disease and treatment trajectories. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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