The American Cancer Society estimates that the number of cancer survivors in the United States will grow to nearly 19 million by 2024. Survivors may experience the effects of cancer and its treatments for years afterwards. Integrative medicine promotes the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of cancer survivors.
The approach you choose to take after your diagnosis significantly impacts treatment, recovery and resistance to recurrence.
It is vital we look at treating the whole person, not just the disease or symptoms of the disease. Complimentary cancer survivorship care includes collaboration with your oncologist, medical team and your integrative health professional.
Vanessa Fitzgerald, NP, talks about what cancer patients can expect when seeking integrative cancer survivorship care, “Integrative care support complements and medical treatments a patient may be undergoing. We will discuss diagnosis to help patients better understand what to expect when preparing for procedures, lab, imaging and biopsy results. We will support the rebuilding of health during and after cancer treatment. Treatment plans encompass natural approaches including cancer survivorship diet and nutrition, complimentary herbs, supplements and mental health support.
Research has shown that a patient’s diet can help prevent the development or progression of cancer and is one of the essential factors in cancer management. Inflammation, as well as oxidative stress and free radical damage are the root causes contributing to cancer and many other chronic diseases we treat at Kaufman Health and Hormone Center. It affects cancerous tumor initiation, progression and growth.
When you think of cancer, as a chronic disease, you can start addressing the root causes that contributed to the development of cancer in the patient.
Foods that increase inflammation include sugar, refined oils, refined carbohydrates, conventional dairy products and conventional meats. If you consume animal protein, always choose the healthiest options including grass fed beef, pasture-raised eggs, hormone and antibiotic-free poultry and wild fish.
A European Journal of Cancer article demonstrated that consuming processed meats, alcohol and having an unhealthy BMI, especially an increased waist circumference, increased the risk of cancer. Data from the Nurses’ Health Study suggested that women consuming 3-6 alcoholic drinks weekly increased their breast cancer risk by 15% compared to non-drinkers. In breast cancer survivors, drinking 3-4 alcoholic beverages per week increased the risk of recurrence by 34%.
It is imperative to understand the proper use of supplements as some can enhance your conventional treatment, reduce side effects of chemo and radiation, while others may be contraindicated. We will address the physical, mental, and emotional roots of cancer while allowing you to maintain a high quality of life throughout your healing process.