After a year, the vast majority of the women had started chemotherapy when it had been considered essential—although 11 per cent never did. The take-up was much less—at just 36 per cent—in women whose chemotherapy treatment was discretionary.
They reviewed the way that 685 women—all under the age of 70 and with non-metastatic (not developing outside the breast) breast cancer—responded to their diagnosis.
The researchers say the use of alternative treatments for cancer has grown over the last 20 years. The most popular therapies are dietary supplements and vitamins and mind-body practices, and the vast majority of women use two therapies at the same time.