Integrative Oncology FAQs
What is integrative oncology?
Integrative oncology is a method of treating cancer that combines traditional medical approaches with complementary therapies.
Coping with losing your hair and bouts of nausea and vomiting in addition to the pain and other symptoms your cancer might be causing can leave you exhausted and feeling low. Integrative oncology is a way of addressing these problems and reducing the overload of mental distress when you have cancer.
For many years, the primary treatments for cancer have been surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. More recently, newer approaches like targeted therapy and immunotherapy are also helping fight cancer in innovative ways using the power of genetic targeting and immune system support.
Integrative oncology combines these treatments with therapies and services that aren’t seen as mainstream. The aim is to improve cancer care, minimize the side effects cancer treatment can cause, and optimize your overall well-being.
What kinds of treatments might integrative oncology include?
There are countless therapies that claim to support cancer treatment, but the Hunterdon Hematology Oncology team only recommends those for which there’s evidence to support their safety and usefulness.
Some of the most effective supplementary treatments for cancer patients are:
- Relaxation Techniques
- Yoga and Tai Chi
Support from friends and family, fellow patients and cancer survivors, and spiritual or religious beliefs can all play a critical role in helping you cope with having cancer.
Hunterdon Hematology Oncology supports the value of these additional resources for their cancer patients. They have a Master’s Prepared Social Worker (MSW) onsite who provides resources, counseling, and other important support services to patients, their families, and their caretakers.
They also offer behavioral therapy services for patients. Approaches like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you understand your feelings about having cancer and reframe them, so they have a less negative impact.
CBT can also help you manage the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of your cancer treatments. Using behavioral therapy techniques reduces anxiety and depression, conditions that can adversely affect your outcomes as a cancer patient.
How does integrative oncology work in practice?
When you become a patient at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, your oncology team prepares a detailed treatment plan personalized to your specific needs.
The benefits of mainstream treatments – surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy – are well-documented, so these form the basis of your treatment schedule.
Your treatment plan also contains other therapies that could be helpful for your type of cancer, which could include personalized targeted therapy, hormone therapy, or immunotherapy.
These are all vital treatments for destroying cancer cells. They can take a toll on your body and mind, though, from the pain of undergoing surgery to the potentially distressing side effects of having chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
To find out more about integrative oncology and why it’s so beneficial, call Hunterdon Hematology Oncology today or book an appointment online.