Living with cancer can challenge your spiritual, mental and emotional well-being. Besides the obvious physical pain and other things, cancer has other consequences, and more than anything else, it can be a real test for those who want to enjoy their life. Integrative oncology is a new approach to cancer treatment, which is more holistic in nature. The treatment typically involves managing the side effects that are common with regular treatments, and at the same time, there is a consistent focus on recovery and better quality of life. Here are some of the things you need know.
Is integrative oncology different?
Integrative oncology is not different in the sense of treatment, but the approach to each case is personalized with adequate attention to better living. The treatment typically combines the regular forms of cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery along with integrative therapies. The team of integrative oncologists works beyond the diagnosis and symptoms of a patient, so as to offer a way of life that’s better than an average cancer patient
What kinds of treatments are used?
Integrative oncology characteristically includes a wide range of therapies, which are intended to manage the side effects of cancer and the regular treatments. This can involve different approaches, including lifestyle changes so that cancer patients live a better life. For example, in some cases, integrative oncologists use therapies for mind relaxation, such as meditation, yoga, expressive therapy, music therapy, acupressure, acupuncture, and massage. A considerable amount of focus is also on nutrition. To be more precise, it is about health restoration, even in cases where patients have little hope of getting better.
Benefits at a glance
Experts believe that some of the integrative oncology programs can help patients in managing the side effects that are typical with cancer patients. Since it’s not easy to go through chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy, and with integrative oncology, patients can do better, especially with side effects such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. In some cases, alternative forms of healing such as Reiki and Shiatsu are also used. Oncologists who believe in the power of integrative oncology often try hard to make their patients feel better. For example, most cancer patients often deal with fatigue, but by using yoga and other forms of physical activity, you can do better.
Finally, before you consider supplements and alternative therapies, talk to your doctor. Oncologists may have different opinions, but since we have limited ways of treating cancer, we have to do the best we can. There are a few integrative oncologists, who are running successful programs in different parts of the world, which are ideal for patients who have a hard time accepting their fate. While these therapies are not meant to cure cancer, patients can have a more content and happy life even when their cancer treatment is not going as expected. Of course, your case is different and only your oncologist can refer the case further if required. However, do consider seeing an integrative oncologist.