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This paper is a literature review about health literacy of cancer patients who use complementary and alternative medicine. Although there are advances in cancer treatment nowadays, some cancer patients decide to use complementary and alternative medicine for their self-care for many reasons, such as to reduce suffering caused by side effects of current medical treatment or to help provide mental support. The important point is that there are some complementary and alternative medicines, such as herbal remedies, that may interact with conventional medicine. In addition, nowadays, there are various sources of information about complementary and alternative medicines for cancer patients. Therefore, it is imperative that these patients must have health literacy or competency to screen information and consider the reliability of those data before choosing to use them for self-management treatment. The health literacy promoting approaches can be implemented by effective communication between nurses and patients, developing knowledge about complementary and alternative medicine for health care providers, and developing reliable complementary and alternative medicine sources.
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