Integrative oncology applies the fundamentals of integrative medicine for the treatment of cancer. For the uninitiated, integrative medicine mixes the best of traditional treatments with alternative therapies and medicine, so as to improve the quality of life of the patient. The concept grounds on the fact that no disease or health condition affects one part of the body – It impacts our health overall. Traditional medicine doesn’t really take the mental and emotional aspects into consideration, something that integrative medicine truly focuses on. In this post, we review integrative oncology and if this is the comprehensive healing program for patients in need.
How does integrative oncology work?
Traditionally, cancer treatment involves three critical options – surgery, chemotherapy, radiation. For starters, integrative oncology doesn’t do away with the benefits that these conventional treatment offers, but it will also focus on other alternative means, so that the patient can enjoy their life and heal from cancer at the same time. The idea is to treat the mind, body and spirit. For example, chemo may cause many side effects like loss of appetite and nausea. With integrative oncology, nutrition and other forms of treatments would be considered, so that the patient can eat again normally. With integrative medicine, it is easier to manage the side effects caused by the regular cancer treatments.
More on the alternative means
In case of alternative treatments used in integrative oncology, there are two broad categories – complementary and alternative. Complementary treatments, as the name indicates, focuses on complementing the traditional treatments. For example, the patient may need chemo, but the doctor may also recommend acupuncture, as well. Alternative treatment, on the other hand, tries to find alternative means to treat cancer. This may include things like physical therapy for improving range of motion or vitamin infusions. Typically, integrative medicine does include some form of activities for patients, so that they can have a regular life. This may mean yoga, meditation, diet changes and a mix of all of these.
Getting help of integrative medicine
There are selected integrative medicine centers where patients can seek the benefits of such treatments. Most of these are residential programs, where patients need to stay for about eight to twelve weeks, depending on the program they sign up for. It should be noted that integrative medicine is completely customized treatment, so there is no singular treatment that works for everyone. Instead, the healthcare provider will talk to the patient, find more about his mental, physical and emotional state, and based on the diagnosis, a treatment plan will be decided.
For many cancer patients, life comes to a standstill after diagnosis, even when they are spending thousands of dollars in treatments. That’s something integrative medicine can change. It offers a ray of hope and a clear distinction between conquering cancer and healing it. You can actually take an appointment at one of these centers and talk to the doctors to understand if integrative medicine is an option for your case. Change how you deal with cancer – consider integrative medicine!