Integrative and Alternative Therapies and Approaches

Key Points

  • In integrative cancer care, patients and their cancer treatment teams work together to find appropriate conventional and complementary therapies that have been shown to be effective and safe.
  • BCCT provides a tour of various types of therapies, beginning with this page.

What is integrative cancer care? The Society for Integrative Oncology offers this definition:

“Integrative oncology is a patient-centered, evidence-informed field of cancer care that utilizes mind and body practices, natural products, and/or lifestyle modifications from different traditions alongside conventional cancer treatments. Integrative oncology aims to optimize health, quality of life, and clinical outcomes across the cancer care continuum and to empower people to prevent cancer and become active participants before,during, and beyond cancer treatment.”1

Alternative vs. Integrative Therapies

Alternative therapies are those that are used in place of conventional therapies, such as using only herbs to treat cancer. Some patients may choose an alternative medical system, such as traditional Chinese medicine, instead of conventional medicine to treat cancer. Using alternative therapies is becoming less common as integrative oncology care becomes more available to patients.

Integrative cancer care is not simply adding complementary therapies to a cancer treatment plan.

Integrative cancer care is not simply adding complementary therapies to a cancer treatment plan. For cancer care to be considered truly integrative, patients and their cancer treatment teams work together to find the best blend of conventional and complementary therapies that have been shown to be effective and safe.

Read more

We invite you on a tour of various therapies through these pages in this section:

 

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