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A survey of traditional medical practices used for the treatment of malignant tumors in an East African population


  • Alexander, George A.


A group of 119 Tanzanians with cancer were interviewed regarding previous traditional medical experiences prior to evaluation for radiation treatment. Forty-nine (49.1%) percent of the females and 40.6% of the males had been treated with traditional medicines. Seventy-four percent of the traditionally- treated patients had consulted a traditional doctor prior to being seen by a Western-trained doctor. The most common given treatment was a combination of several traditional methods. More than half of all traditionally-treated patients reported progression of their diseases after treatment. Only one patient had any subjective improvement. These patients tended to have less formal education and a lower standard of living than untreated patients. Problems associated with the diagnosis of cancer are addressed.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander, George A., 1985. "A survey of traditional medical practices used for the treatment of malignant tumors in an East African population," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 53-59, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:20:y:1985:i:1:p:53-59

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