Prostate Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Patients With Prostate Cancer

By: Hillary Ojeda
Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

According to results of a study published in The Journal of Urology, a significant number of patients with prostate cancer use alternative medicines such as multivitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Peter R. Carroll, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues, suggest their data can be helpful for patients seeking nutritional and clinical advice.

“Multivitamins and omega-3 fatty acids were commonly ingested, and vitamin D use increased dramatically from 2006 to 2010 compared to 2011 to 2016,” the authors commented.

Between 1996 and 2016, a total of 7,989 participants completed questionnaires regarding the use of about 70 complementary and alternative medicine types. This survey was part of the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor. Complementary and alternative medicines used within 24 months of diagnosis were considered. Additionally, the authors calculated the percent change in complementary and alternative medicine use by the year of diagnosis.

A total of 56% of the patients with prostate cancer indicated complementary and alternative medicine use on at least one questionnaire. Use of multivitamins was reported for 40% of the patients, whereas 24% reported use of omega-3 fatty acids. The use of complementary and alternative medicine increased by 128% for those diagnosed between 1996 and 2000 compared with those diagnosed between 2011 and 2016. For supplemental vitamin D use, a 108% increase was recorded between the group of patients diagnosed from 2006 to 2010 and those diagnosed from 2011 to 2016.

“These data can guide clinical discussions and decision-making such as nutritionist referral and help prioritize future research,” the investigators concluded.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information can be found at

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