Alternative health care practices are a way in which cancer patients can be in control of their illness situation. This assumption is investigated through control theory. While the socio-cultural schemas of North American patients endorse control of illness, the stress of the cancer experience dismisses the advantage of control behaviours. Analysis also suggests that patients find ways to escape from the freedom of being in control of their health situation. This post-analysis of a recent study uncovers major ambiguities concerning the control behaviours of cancer patients.