The purpose of this study was to explore the use of herbs among women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Of 113 consecutive ovarian cancer patients identified in a gynecologic clinic in a major academic medical center in San Francisco, 41 patients were successfully contacted, were eligible, and participated in a telephone survey. We contacted women identified consecutively in the clinic database as having ovarian cancer and sent a letter introducing our research team and asking for help. Members of the research team then contacted the women to conduct the telephone interviews. Fifty-one percent (95% CI 35–67) of the women had taken herbs sometime since they were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Most herb uses occurred concurrently with chemotherapy. Only 12% (95% CI 4–26) used an herbalist or other health practitioner for guidance in herb use. Only one woman took herbs instead of chemotherapy. A large number of women attending our practice in the San Francisco Bay area use herbs as complementary medicine during their cancer treatment.
- complementary therapy
- ovarian cancer
- symptom management
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