Integrative cancer services in Australia

28 March 2016

NICM researchers and Oncology Massage Ltd have launched a collaborative research project that is set to examine the use and demand of integrative oncology services in Australia.

NICM Chief Investigator of the project, Professor Caroline Smith says the study will expand upon and update pre-existing research about integrative oncology services in Australia, by examining current complementary provision in national cancer serveries and exploring patient's preferences and experiences to the provision of complementary medicine in an integrated setting.

"Use of complementary medicine is increasing among individuals living with cancer – up to 63 percent of Australians diagnosed with cancer have used some form of complementary medicine – and there is a national interest in the development of integrated oncology services," said Professor Smith.

Cancer patients use complementary medicine for a variety of reasons including, the management of treatment related side effects and symptoms of cancers, to enhance the effectiveness of cancer treatment, to prolong life and to improve their quality of life and self-efficacy.

Professor Smith says research shows between 10-17 per cent of cancer patients in Australia use massage, acupuncture, and yoga as part of their treatment plans and this number is growing.