Early death for cancer patients who reject conventional medicine

Patients with cancer who choose to be treated with alternative medicine alone are more than twice as likely to die after five years as those undergoing conventional treatments, an observational study shows.

Rejecting mainstream treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and surgery appears particularly risky in breast cancer, with an almost sixfold chance of not surviving.

US researchers compared outcomes for 281 patients with non-metastatic breast, colorectal, prostate or lung cancer who chose alternative remedies against the outcomes for 560 matched