Review ArticlesManaging Patient Expectations Integrative, Not AlternativeLatte-Naor, Shelly MDAuthor Information From the Integrative Medicine Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. The author has disclosed she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article. This work was supported by funding from the NIH/NCI Cancer Center Support Grant P30 CA008748 and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Fund at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Reprints: Shelly Latte-Naor, MD, Bendheim Center for Integrative Medicine, 1429 First Ave, New York, NY 10021. E-mail: [email protected]. The Cancer Journal: 9/10 2019 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 307-310 doi: 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000400 Buy Metrics Abstract Expectations and beliefs about complementary and integrative medicine are the main predictors of its use in cancer patients. These expectations are rarely informed by consultation with a health care provider but are, rather, a result of family endorsement and information from nonmedical sources. As a rising number of cancer patients pursue integrative medicine, it is of increasing importance that health care providers understand their patients' expectations and motivations. These can range from symptom management to unrealistic hopes for cure. Complementary and integrative medicine can be used to complement criterion-standard cancer care, but is sometimes dangerously touted as an alternative for it. Awareness of these nuances enables providers to initiate effective communication about complementary and integrative medicine and to intervene when unrealistic expectations stand in the way of lifesaving care. Refining patient-centered communication around integrative medicine is essential to avoid unsupervised, potentially harmful use, delays, or interruptions in cancer care and, ultimately, to maximize the benefits of integrative therapies during cancer treatment. Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.