Health food store recommendations: implications for breast cancer patients
Breast Cancer Research
Copyright © 2003 Mills et al., licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article: verbatim copying and redistribution of this article are permitted in all media for any purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the article's original URL.
There remains limited scientific evidence on the efficacy and safety of 'natural' therapies such as herbal remedies and dietary supplements. Nevertheless, breast cancer patients are particularly prone to purchasing such products because of the perception that 'natural' products are less toxic than conventional prescribed medicines. However, the potential for interactions of supplements with current medications, the potential for adverse effects from consumption at high levels, and the lack of disclosure of such treatments by the patient to their doctor are serious public health issues. Robust clinical trials are required to prove the efficacy and lack of adverse effects of such preparations, and communication between patients and doctors must be improved and doctors made more aware that their patients may be seeking advice and treatment from sources outside conventional medicine.
Breast Cancer Research, 2003, 5(6):R170-R174