Here is an Alternative Medicine Quiz recently featured on EverydayHEALTH.com:

Should I Try Complementary and Alternative Medicine?
1. Do you have a chronic condition that is difficult to manage with conventional medicine (for example, back pain)? Yes — I’ve tried everything, but my problem is still bothering me.
No, therapies that my doctor prescribes for me usually help my problem.

2. How do you feel about using medications? I’ll take medication if that’s the best way to get help.
I don’t mind taking drugs if necessary, but if possible, I’d like to avoid them.
I want to avoid taking drugs unless absolutely necessary.

3. Are you willing to do some background research — for example, looking things up on reputable Web sites, talking to health care specialists, going to the library — before choosing a CAM therapy? Yes, I would do research to find out more.
No, that’s too much work.
I’m not sure if I would do research or not.

4. What do you expect CAM therapy will provide? I’m expecting my problem to be cured, or as close to cured as possible.
I’m hoping for some improvement.
I don’t know what to expect.

Should I Try Complementary and Alternative Medicine?
5. What do you think is meant when a supplement or other product says it is “natural?” It means that the product is safe to use by anyone under any circumstances.
It means that the product does not contain any artificial ingredients.
It means that the product is less harmful than a man-made drug.
It means whatever the manufacturer wants it to mean.

6. If you are already seeing or plan to see a health care provider, will you talk about your CAM use with him or her? Yes, I want to know how it might affect my conventional care, so I’m going to discuss it.
No, I think my doctor won’t approve so I don’t plan on bringing it up.
I’m not sure.

7. Do you plan to look into whether your insurance will cover CAM therapies? No, I don’t think it will cover it, so why bother?
Yes, I hear many therapies are now covered, so I’ll want to find out.
I’m not sure.

8. How will you choose a CAM practitioner? I’ll ask my conventional health care provider or a local medical school or hospital for recommendations.
I’ll look them up in the phone book and pick the closest one.
I’ll contact a professional organization for the type of practitioner I’m looking for.
I’ll ask a friend or family member.

There are no right or wrong answers. I took the quiz on everydayhealth.com and it just finished by saying “You are ready to pursue alternative medical options.” But the questions are an important reminder to communicate about your supplement use with your oncologist. If he or she isn’t open to at least some types of common sense supplementation, FIND ANOTHER DOCTOR!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat & Pattie

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