Speaker Biography

Tahani Al Dweikat

Fatima College of Health Sciences,UAE

Title: Complementary Therapies: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

Tahani Al Dweikat

Tahani Al Dweikat Chapter President at ONS: international Affiliate: UAE Chapter.Charge Nurse at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City - SKMC Abu Dhabi 




Complementary therapies are commonly defined as those used alongside conventional cancer treatments to enhance quality of life and to support the well-being of cancer patients, but are not considered treatments for cancer.

The use of herbal medicine by patients with cancer, especially those receiving chemotherapy, hormonal or biological treatments, may lead to negative effects due to potential interactions between herbal products and conventional anti-cancer drugs.  Patients using complementary and traditional medicine (CTM), including herbals, are often reluctant to disclose this practice to the conventional medical professionals responsible for their care. This can be problematic, especially for patients with cancer for whom CTM use is especially prevalent. More than 35% of cancer patients in the U.S. report using herbal medicine during chemotherapy, and this number exceeds 50% in developing countries. Davis et al (2012) conducted a systematic review exploring doctor-patient communication regarding CTM use in cancer care, and found a non-disclosure rate for this practice which ranged from 20% to 77%. They also found that non-disclosure was related to patients' perspectives on CTM, which many considered to be of no relevance to the conventional care they were receiving. Furthermore, many of the patients using CTM reported that they anticipated a negative response from their doctors, which included either disapproval or else a general lack of interest