Dealing with a cancer diagnosis can feel overwhelming and discouraging at any point in life. Many people struggle with anxiety as they face uncertainty regarding treatments, lifestyle changes, and relationships. The good news is you don’t have to walk through the journey alone.
Integrative cancer treatments offer patients focused support and help increase their quality of life. If you’ve received a cancer diagnosis or know someone who has, you may want to consider the benefits of integrative cancer treatments. In this article, we’ll look at this approach and the benefits it offers.
What Is Integrative Medicine?
Many people today are looking for fresh approaches to healthcare that focus on comprehensive treatments. Patients today struggle with chronic symptoms without knowing the root cause of their symptoms. Integrative medicine combines conventional medicine with complementary medicine.
In most cases, an integrative medicine doctor uses a combination of natural therapies, nutraceuticals and medications to give each patient a personalized treatment plan. Integrative medicine doctors usually come from a variety of backgrounds and share their knowledge and experience in their practices.
Why Use Integrative Treatments?
Integrative medicine treatments focus on helping the whole body recover from illness and disease. Fighting illness, including cancer, can take a toll on the body and the mind as patients find a new way of living. The combination of complementary therapies and traditional treatment methods can provide healing for the mind and body.
Conventional treatments work to stop cancer cells from attacking the body, while complementary therapies help the body recover from the harmful effects.
While integrative treatments may do both, each patient will have a unique experience with cancer and the treatments. That is why an integrative medicine approach focuses on the patient first rather than on disease.
Benefits of Integrative Cancer Treatment
When people are fighting cancer, they usually experience painful symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and dry mouth. The goal of integrative cancer treatment is to eliminate cancer in the patient and to provide treatment plans that help relieve pain and boost overall wellness. Here’s a deeper look at the benefits of this treatment approach.
Promotes Mental Health
If you’ve received a cancer diagnosis, you know it affects your mind and your body. You may struggle with mental and emotional health as you think about the uncertain future.
This diagnosis also affects friends, family, and other relationships. Most people are not aware that they may struggle with mental health after hearing they have cancer.
Integrative medicine treatments work to relieve emotional turmoil as well as physical pain. Many doctors who use this approach recommend mind-body therapies, including, but not limited to:
- Nutrition therapy
- Lifestyle support
- Chiropractic therapy
Depression is very common in cancer patients. Studies show that cancer patients who choose mental health therapies have a higher chance of survival than patients who do not seek help. These treatments offer support and a boost to emotional health as patients gain renewed strength to fight their illness.
Eases Uncomfortable Symptoms
After hearing a cancer diagnosis, patients primarily think about how they can feel better as they go through treatments. More patients are turning to integrative medicine to help ease symptoms naturally.
Doctors can offer herbal remedies and supplements that ease uncomfortable symptoms without harmful side effects. These solutions work to help patients recover from anxiety, nausea, headaches, and fatigue.
Chiropractic Care For Cancer Patients
Many integrative medicine doctors use chiropractic treatment to help ease muscle and joint pain in cancer patients. This form of treatment can often help ease headaches and tension in the body after cancer treatments. Chiropractic care is an alternative to medication for pain.
Improved Cognitive Function
When patients undergo treatment for cancer, they can experience what is referred to as “chemo brain. This simply means they have trouble thinking or concentrating.
As patients move forward in their chemotherapy treatments, their cognitive function can decline. According to the American Psychological Association, it can take several months for patients to recover from these effects.
Integrative treatments work to stimulate the brain’s nerves and improve mental awareness and brain function for patients. It helps alleviate the side effects of conventional treatments by using different mind-body therapies.
Boost Nutritional Health
Most people aren’t interested in eating when they’re undergoing cancer treatments. Medications and treatments can alter appetite and taste. Nutritional plans are perhaps the most important part of an integrative approach to cancer treatment.
Eating a healthy diet can help reduce some of the harmful effects of necessary conventional treatments. A customized nutrition plan can also:
- Boost energy
- Increase muscle strength and tone
- Lower inflammation
- Help ease side effects of treatments
- Support immune function
Integrative doctors create customized nutrition plans that focus on hearty fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other vitamin-rich foods. Doctors even help you understand which foods to stay away from during treatment.
Encourages Physical Health
Exercise is the last thing people want to think about when they’re dealing with cancer. However, research shows that exercise helps reduce fatigue, depression, and nausea. It can also help improve sleep quality and reduce depression.
If you’re dealing with cancer, talk with your doctor about the types of exercise that are best for your health. Many cancer patients enjoy moderate exercise, such as walking, swimming, pilates, or yoga. Choose light to moderate exercise that will strengthen your body and not strain your joints.
Offering Support and Counseling
Depending on your personal diagnosis, integrative medicine offers customized plans that support your emotional and mental health. Counseling services are available for nutrition, exercise, and mind-body therapies. These therapies can help strengthen and promote inner peace as you move forward in your health journey.
Is Integrative Cancer Treatment For Me?
Some people wonder if an integrative approach to cancer treatment is right for them. Not all of the therapies and treatments in this approach are right for everyone. However, this approach focuses on a customized plan for each patient. We can help you find what is right for you.
Contact Us Today For An Appointment
If you’re struggling with a cancer diagnosis, you are not alone. We would love to answer your questions about our integrative cancer treatment and how Dr. Leo can create a customized plan for you. Call us today for an appointment.