Integrative Oncology in Young Women With Breast Cancer

Author: Yancey Warren, Anna Hecksher, Courtney Schepel, Sally Trufan, Rebecca Greiner, Susan Yaguda, Chasse Bailey-Dorton, Julie Fisher, Richard White, Lejla Hadzikadic-Gusic
Conference/Journal: Oncology (Williston Park)
Date published: 2022 Nov 8
Other: Volume ID: 36 , Issue ID: 11 , Pages: 658-663 , Special Notes: doi: 10.46883/2022.25920978. , Word Count: 202

Small studies have demonstrated the benefit of integrative oncology (IO) therapies in patients with breast cancer; however, referral patterns and timing of therapies are unknown. This study describes the referral pattern and utilization of IO services by young women with breast cancer. A retrospective review identified female patients, 40 years or younger, with a breast cancer diagnosis between 2014 and 2019, and a documented IO consultation. Patient demographics, cancer characteristics, treatments, reasons for seeking and timing of IO consultation, and IO treatment modalities were analyzed. The IO program treated 64 young women with a median age of 38.6 years. Clinical staging was primarily IA (27%), IIA (34%), or IIB (27%), and 64% of patients were clinically node negative with no evidence of metastasis. Women utilized the IO program for recurrence risk reduction and for treatment-related adverse effects (TRAEs), most commonly vasomotor complaints (44%). Therapies utilized were acupuncture (36%), healing touch (28%), oncology massage (30%), and other (75%; music therapy, therapeutic art, spiritual care, meditation, t'ai chi, yoga, and nutrition), which were commonly initiated during treatment (69%). Our data suggest that young women utilize IO services to reduce their future cancer risk and TRAEs, but they are often referred after standard cancer care treatments have begun. Future studies could examine the optimal timing for IO intervention.

PMID: 36445978 DOI: 10.46883/2022.25920978