The Center for Integrative and Natural Medicine welcomes the proactive patient! We have always believed in a true partnership between the patient and the doctor. For many doctors of yesteryear, and even for a few today, this partnership did not exist. The patient was given a diagnosis, and he or she simply took the prescribed therapy without pause or question. This was especially true in the case of a cancer diagnosis.
Before it was a hit television show, and before it was referenced in a Neil Simon hit Broadway play, the slang term “The Big “C” had a popular, dark and deadly usage. The very word “cancer” was taboo, and hardly meant to be spoken aloud. It became an instant shame, a death sentence, a misty social stigma.
Thankfully, times have changed. Public awareness has replaced silence and stigma. Many patients have become increasingly inquisitive about their condition, and about their treatments. Once diagnosed, many of today’s patients are quick not only to gain a second opinion, but to investigate their treatment regimes.
Understanding the symptoms of a patient’s cancer, as well as the side effects of their various therapies is no longer only the doctor’s priority. These are also the direct concerns of patients, their care-givers, and loved ones.
In an editorial published in “Current Treatment Options in Oncology,” Dr. Kathleen M. Wesa, MD and Dr. Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, stated, “Patients in increasing numbers turn to complementary therapies to help decrease and control such adverse events.” They added, “When questioned about their reasons for using complementary modalities, patients typically site a desire to improve quality of life and mood, to enhance their immune function and to decrease stress, pain , and anxiety.” These are indeed good reasons to seek Integrative Medicine.
In fact when the patient has been diagnosed with cancer, the special name for the integrative approach is “integrative oncology.”
So, if you or some one you love has been diagnosed, or needs to be diagnosed, the Center For Integrative And Natural Medicine wants to make you aware of the meaning of Integrative Oncology, or as in the above quote, “complementary modalities.”
Integrative Oncology utilizes the proven, traditional treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy in combination with such complementary therapies as acupuncture, massage, stress reduction, and herbal or botanical supplements. At the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine, the therapeutic regime is custom designed for each patient. When integrative oncology is practiced, the patient and the health care team share these goals:
1. First we must treat the cancer.
2. We must plan a program to prevent recurrence.
3. As treatments progress, we must take measures to reduce both the symptoms of the cancer, and any side effects of the prescribed therapies.
Dr. Brian Lawenda, MD states that “Integrative Oncology encourages living a healthy lifestyle to help the body in its innate abilities to fight and prevent cancer.” He explains this healthy life style can be fostered by:
Learning strategies to reduce stress…
Increasing physical activities…
The Center For Natural And Integrative Medicine has prepared a special section of this website for many options for cancer therapies. We personally invite you to review this information. Additionally, you will also find answers to such questions as “Why does chemo make a patient’s hair fall out?”
Thank you for reading our blog. Please come back next week, when we will give you the details of the four pillars of support, vital to Integrative Oncology:
One: Anti-Cancer Nutrition,
Three: Stress Reduction,
We must add that, here at the Center, we are patient-centric. You are not a “cancer patient.” you are “you,” an individual. We are only your “bridge to health, hope and healing.”