What Is Integrative Oncology?
Complementary medicine is used to describe therapeutic techniques that
are not part of conventional medicine (also called “standard”
or “western” medicine). Complementary therapies are used as
a “complement” or addition to conventional medicine. When
complementary medicine is integrated with conventional medical treatment
for cancer patients, it is also called “Integrative Oncology.”
How Does Integrative Oncology Work?
The goal of Integrative Oncology is to balance the whole person —
physically, mentally, and emotionally — while conventional medicine
does its work. Several studies in cancer patients suggest that complementary
medicine can improve mood and quality of life, and relieve symptoms. This
stress relief might help your immune system function better and allow
you to better cope with treatment-related side effects.
Integrative therapy can help you reduce the following symptoms:
- Complex cancer pain
- Nausea/vomiting or constipation
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Depression and anxiety
Although complementary medicine techniques have been used for centuries,
the availability of scientific data on many of these techniques has been
limited. But as complementary therapies become more popular and well known,
more research is being done. This research includes studies conducted
by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary
and Alternative Medicine.
What types of complementary treatments are there?
There is no scientific evidence that any complementary therapy can cure
cancer. Complementary therapies work best combined with conventional medical
treatments as part of your total treatment plan. Always talk to your doctor
about any complementary therapy you would like to try.
For more information on the Integrative Oncology Program and services offered
at the Huntington Cancer Center, contact us today.