Integrative Therapies: Introduction
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.
We invite you on a tour of various therapies through these pages in this section:
- Michael Lerner: Choices In Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches to Cancer
- Anticancer Fund: Anticancer Fund
- Hindawi Publishing Corporation : Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- Donald Abrams, MD: Integrative Cancer Care
- SAGE Journals: Integrative Cancer Therapies Journal
- Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP): KNOWOncology
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network
- American Society of Clinical Oncology: Cancer.Net
- Commonweal: The New School at Commonweal