Americans really want to believe in alternative therapies for cancer

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By Maggie Fox

Nearly 40 percent of Americans incorrectly believe that alternative medicine can cure cancer, a new study out Tuesday finds.

The survey finds that 38 percent of people who care for cancer patients believe in alternative therapies, and 22 percent of cancer patients or former cancer patients believe in such remedies.

That’s despite overwhelming evidence that such treatments not only do not work, but can shorten the lives of cancer patients.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology commissioned The Harris Poll to survey more than 4,800 people, including 1,000 cancer patients or cancer survivors. They found 39 percent of them believe alternative therapies alone — such as enzyme and oxygen therapy, diet, vitamins, and minerals — can cure cancer.