MartÃnez-RodrÃguez, Tania Yadira1; GonzÃ¡lez Montoya, William2; Atencio Altamiranda, Jean Carlos3; Padilla Grau, Ilka Lucia1; Machacon Pizarro, Stewart1
Introduction. Cancer patients frequently consume complementary and alternative therapies, especially those of biological origin or related to food, attributing to them health benefits.
Objective. To characterize the use of complementary and alternative food-related therapies in patients with cancer in a hospital in Cartagena city in 2019.
Materials and methods. The research was conducted in hospitalized patients with a confirmed cancer diagnosis in a hospital in Cartagena. Data were collected between July and November 2019, through a survey conducted by a Nutrition and Dietetics professional. The sample consisted of 50 patients of both sexes who agreed to participate voluntarily.
Results. We found the use of herbal/vegetable products to be more common than those from animal origin and processed foods. The preparations for consumption were mostly their natural form, in infusions or mixtures with other foods, the frequency of consumption was mostly daily and of recent start, within 3 to 6 months prior to the survey application. The main source of knowledge about these products was family and friends, and reporting the use of this type of therapy to health professionals was uncommon.
Conclusion. In Cartagena city, the use of these types of therapies is related to cultural aspects and vulnerability status; while more information is needed to establish the effectiveness of these therapies in cancer patients.