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Knowledge and belief on antioxidant prescription by medical and radiation oncologists in cancer patients

Author: 
Dr. G. Komali, Dr. Nallan CSK Chaitanya, Dr. Harika Guduru, Dr. Pratima Soni and Dr. Ajaykartik
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy have been first-line therapy for many decades in the treatment of stage III head and neck cancer. Management of complications associated with these therapies and the disease itself is a major challenge for healthcare professionals. Literature survey revealed that there is controversy related to administration of antioxidants in chemoradiotherapy. Aims and Objectives: The present study was planned with the objective of knowing knowledge & beliefs of the medical and radiation oncologists towards prescribing antioxidants in head and neck cancer patients. Materials and Methods: A survey was conducted among 30 medical and radiation oncologists working in Oncology hospitals in Hyderabad utilizing an organized questionnaire embroiling the present utilization of antioxidants and palliative care in cancer therapy. The questions when answered were later retrieved and statistically analyzed. Statistical Analysis: Mann Whitney U test (Z test). Results: 75% of medical oncologists and 67% of radiation oncologists preferred naturally available form of antioxidants during cancer therapy. 60% of Radiation oncologists recommended antioxidants after radiotherapy. 83% of medical oncologists believe that antioxidants can reduce immunological complications associated with cancer chemotherapy while 66% of radiation oncologist opined that they can reduce mucositis. Conclusion: The present study highlighted that the naturally available antioxidants were preferred by medical & radiation oncologists, as the nutrition rich in antioxidants is trivial in cell protection and repair and would support the natural body’s defense mechanism. As the controversy over the concurrent use of antioxidants with chemotherapy or radiotherapy still exists, a demand for randomised controlled studies prevails.

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