CAM and cancer - for health personnel | NAFKAM

CAM and cancer - for health personnel


Here you will find information about research projects associated with NAFKAM, as well as articles written by staff at NAFKAM, on the topic of CAM and cancer.

PATH: Patient Pathways in cancer care:
A comprehensive description of the choices and results of conventional medicine, and CAM measures in cancer patients.

Sensing illness in everyday life: Care-seeking and perception of symptoms among chronic cancer patients.

TCM – as adjunct treatment to standard cancer treatment:
Acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicinal advice and traditional Chinese herbs are used as palliative adjunctive therapy in patients with rectal / colon cancer.

Development of a web-tool for the bettering of communication between health personnel and cancer patients about the use of CAM:
A web tool (Shared Decision Making Tool) that may reduce the risk and enhance safety for patients who wants to combine conventional and complementary modalities in cancer are.

Scientific publications:


Stub T, Quandt SA, Arcury TA, Sandberg JC, Kristoffersen AE. Complementary and conventional providers in cancer care: experience of communication with patients and steps to improve communication with other providers. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Jun 8;17(1):301. doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1814-0. PubMed PMID: 28595577; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5465600.


Jill Hervik  and Trine Stub. Adverse effects of non-hormonal pharmacological interventions in breast cancer survivors, suffering from hot flashes. A systematic review and meta-analysis. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment (accepted for publication) DOI: 10.1007/s10549-016-4002-x

Stub T, Quandt SA, Arcury TA, Sandberg JC, Kristoffersen AEMusial F, et al. Perception of risk and communication among conventional and complementary health care providers involving cancer patients’ use of complementary therapies: a literature review. BMC Complementary Altern Med. 2016;16(1):1-14.

Anita Salamonsen; Mona A. Kiil; Agnete Kristoffersen;  Trine Stub; Gro Berntsen. "My cancer is not my deepest concern": Life course disruption influencing patient pathways and healthcare needs among persons living with colorectal cancer. Patient Preference and Adherence,2016;10:1591-1600.                                                                                                     


Stub T, Musial F, Quandt SA, Arcury TA, Salamonsen A, Kristoffersen A, Berntsen G. Mapping the risk perception and communication gap between different professions of healthcare providers in cancer care: a cross-sectional protocol. BMJ Open. 2015 Sep 3;5(9):e008236. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008236. PubMed PMID: 26338839; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4563259.

Fønnebø V. [Re: A woman in her forties with cancer, syncope and spasms]. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2015 Jan 27;135(2):104. doi: 10.4045/tidsskr.14.1600. eCollection 2015 Jan 27. Norwegian. PubMed PMID: 25625971.

Salamonsen AUse of complementary and alternative medicine in patients with cancer or multiple sclerosis: possible public health implications. Eur J Public Health. 2015 Oct 8. pii: ckv184.  PubMed PMID: 26450914.

Mulkins AL, McKenzie E, Balneaves LG, Salamonsen A, Verhoef MJ. From the conventional to the alternative: exploring patients' pathways of cancer treatment and care. J Complement Integr Med. 2015 Aug 8. pii: /j/jcim.ahead-of-print/jcim-2014-0070/jcim-2014-0070.xml. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2014-0070. PubMed PMID: 26259233.

Health professionals and cancer patients: how to communicate effectively about complementary, integrative and alternative medicineBy Anita Salamonsen, MSc, PhD and Moshe Frenkel, MD, 2015 , CAM-Cancer


Salamonsen A. 2013. Boundary walkers. The use of complementary and alternative medicine in a Scandinavian health care context. NAFKAM, UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

Kristoffersen A E. 2013. Use of complementary and alternative medicine among Norwegian cancer patients. NAFKAM, University of Tromsø

Kristoffersen, E A; Norheim, A J; Fønnebø VComplementary and Alternative Medicine Use among Norwegian Cancer Survivors: Gender-Specific Prevalence and Associations for Use. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:318781. doi: 10.1155/2013/318781. Epub 2013 Mar 28

Salamonsen, A. Doctor-patient communication and cancer patients' choice of alternative therapies as supplement or alternative to conventional care. Scand J Caring Sci. 2013 Mar;27(1):70-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2012.01002.x.

Kalager, M; Løberg, M; Fønnebø, V**; Bretthauer, M. Failure to account for selection-bias. International Journal of Cancer 2013. ISSN 0020-7136.s doi: 10.1002/ijc.28244.


Kristoffersen, A E; Norheim; A J, Fønnebø, V. Any difference? Use of a CAM provider among cancer patients, coronary heart disease (CHD) patients and individuals with no cancer/CHD. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012 ;Volum 12.(1) 10.1186/1472-6882-12-1

Salamonsen, A; Kruse, T; Eriksen, S H. Modes of Embodiment in Breast Cancer Patients Using Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Qual Health Res November 2012 vol. 22 no. 11 1497-1512.Published online August 21, 2012 DOI: 10.1177/1049732312457077

Yang, G; Li, X; Li, X; Wang, L; Li, J; Song, X; Chen, J; Guo, Y; Sun, X; Wang, S; Zhang, Z; Zhou, X; Liu, JTraditional Chinese Medicine in Cancer Care: A Review of Case Series Published in the Chinese Literature. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012 s. –


Liu, J; Li, X; Liu, J; Ma, L; Li, X; Fønnebø, V. 
Traditional Chinese Medicine in Cancer Care: A Review of Case Reports Published in Chinese Literature. Forschende Komplementärmedizin / Research in Complementary Medicine 2011; Volum 18. s. 257-263.

Use of placebo in cancer research: By Vinjar Fønnebø, NAFKAM, University of Tromsø, Norway and Edzard Ernst, Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter & Plymouth, UK, march 2011, published at

Musial, F; Büssing, A; Heusser, P; Choi, K-E; Osterman, T. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Integrative Cancer Care – a Summary of Evidence. Forschende Komplementärmedizin / Research in Complementary Medicine 2011; Volum 18.(4), doi: 10.1159/000330714.


Chen, S; Flower, A; Ritchie, A; Liu, J; Molassiotis, A; Yu, H; Lewith, G. Oral Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) as an adjuvant treatment during chemotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer: A systematic review. Lung Cancer. 2009 Dec 16. [Epub ahead of print].

Kristoffersen, AE; Fønnebø, V; Norheim, AJDo cancer patients with a poor prognosis use Complementary and Alternative Medicine more often than others? Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2009; Volum 15.(1) s. 35-40.


Kristoffersen, AE; Fønnebø, V; Norheim, AJUse of complementary and alternative medicine among cancer patients. Classification criteria determine level of use. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2008.

Liu, JP; Xing, JM; Fei, YT. Green tea (Camellia sinensis) and cancer prevention: a systematic review of randomized trials and epidemiological studies. Chinese Medicine 2008; 3:12, doi:10.1186/1749-8546-3-12, (


Lejeune S, Baum M, Heine N, Fønnebø V Controversies around Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in cancer. Nature Clinical Practice Oncology 2007 In press.

Fønnebø, V; Verhoef, M*; Paterson, C. Cancer and complementary medicine - an international perspective. Supportive Care in Cancer, 2007; Vol 15, No 8; pp 999-1002.


Verhoef M, Vanderheyden LC, Fønnebø VA whole systems research approach to cancer care: Why do we need it and how do we get started? Integr Cancer Ther 2006;5:287-92.

Lewith G, Thomas K, Fønnebø V. Whole systems research in cancer care - report of meeting in Tromsø(Sommarøy), 14-16 September, 2005. Complement Ther Med 2006;14:157-64


Steinsbekk, A; Launsø, LEmpowering the cancer patient or controlling the tumor? A qualitative study of how cancer patients experience consultations with complementary and alternative medicine practitioners and phycisians, respectively. Integrative Cancer Therapies 2005.


Kimby, C; Launsø, L*; Henningsen, I; Langgaard, H. Choice of Unconventional Treatment by patients with cancer. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2003 Aug;9(4):549-61.


Brendstrup E, Launsø L. A Description of a Holistic Treatment Model - Used by Cancer Patients and Research Evaluated. Townsend Letter for Doctors, december 1994 (pp. 1342-56) og ja­nu­ar, 1995 (pp.54-61), USA.

All scientific articles involving employees at NAFKAM.


Norway's National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine

We work to give you facts about complementary and alternative medicine, so that you can make safer choices for your health.

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