It now seems that patients suffering from incurable brain tumors prefer alternative treatments. According to a recent study, most incurable brain tumor patients employ alternative therapies like taking vitamins and homeopathy along with conventional treatments to add in some benefits to their care. As many as 40 percent brain tumor patients apparently switch to alternative therapies such as homeopathic remedies, vitamin supplements and psychological therapy.

621 people diagnosed with incurable grade II to grade IV gliomas were made to fill in questionnaires about their usage of alternative therapies. It is known that alternative therapies are not used in routine clinical practice and aren’t scientifically evaluated. Alternative treatment employment appears high among young people, women, and those with more education, than older people, men and those having less education. Mostly alternative treatments were put to use as a support for conventional therapy so that the body may be able in building up resistance and in order to do something for the treatment by self.

Oliver Heese, MD, and neurosurgeon with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany, study author, alleged, “The use of these alternative treatments may be largely overlooked and underestimated. Doctors need to be aware of patients’ desire to seek alternative treatments and encourage an open discussion of options. Their guidance may be much appreciated, especially when some treatments are dubious, expensive or potentially harmful.”

The least common response received was because the patients’ fear of the conventional methods. Also some of them believed that the physicians don’t have enough time, hence turned to alternates. Scientists noted that among those utilizing alternative treatments, 39 percent stuck to homeopathy. And while 31 percent used vitamin supplements, 29 percent went for various psychological methods.

The study was published in the December 14, 2010, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.