Although it is presumed that cancer patients take various alternative therapies, the present status is not well recognized. The purpose of this study is to survey alternative therapies used by cancer patients receiving radiation therapy and then, find associated factors of taking alternative therapies. The study subjects were composed of those who receiving radiation therapy in the department of radiation oncology in 5 hospitals located at Extended Busan city and who were on follow-up after medical cure. They were 394 male and female patients over 20 years old. The mean age of the subjects was 53.2 years old and the age ranged from 23 to 83 years old. 188 patients($47.7\%$) used alternative therapies. Total 68 different kinds of alterative therapies were used, average 7.3 kinds per patient were experienced, and average total cost expenditure was 2,830,000 won. Among the alternative therapies, black bean($38.8\%$) was the most commonly used and brown rice($38.3\%$), ganoderm lucidum($37.8\%$), elm tree($33.5\%$), and phellinus linteus($30.8\%$) were followed in order of frequency. However in considering the time, cost and effort spent, phellinus linteus was the first. In terms of cost, phellinus linteus was the highest with average expenditure of 2,740,000 won. Among the motivation of using alternative therapies, expecting auxiliary help for the hospital therapy was the highest ($31.4\%$). About half of users($56.9\%$) of alternative therapies were recommended by their relatives to use alternative therapies. In comparing the characteristics of experienced and unexperienced groups, alternative therapy was experienced significantly more in patients of younger age(p=0.001), in patient of higher educational level(p=0.001), and in patients of higher income(p=0.030) The proportion of using alternative therapies was significantly higher in the group treated with chemotherapy(p=0.005), and in the patients who did not satisfy with radiation therapy(p=0.001). The frequency of drinking was significantly higher tendency in the inexperienced group(p=0.046), There was no significant difference in marital status, job, religion, other disease, surgical operation of the cancer and smoking staus between the two groups. Among the unexperienced group, $34.0\%$ of the patients did not take the alternative therapies because they did not have know]edge for the alternatives, and $22.3\%$ worried about negative effects on hospital-based therapy $58.7\%$ of them were willing to take the alternative therapies if the effects and safety were proven by the government or research institutes. $21.9\%$ of the patients wanted to take the alternatives if they were affordable. $72.3\%$ of the patients was willing to take them if their families recommend, but $27.2\%$ responded they would not take them in any situation. Conclusively, various kinds of alternative therapies which were not proved medically were exposed to patients, In these circumstances, it is required to investigate, study and evaluate the medical effects and safety of the alternative therapies.
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