Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, researchers and physicians are hard at work on enhanced treatments for this rare cancer and improved quality of life for patients. One recent trend in cancer care is integrative oncology where conventional cancer treatments combine with alternative medicine and a whole-body approach to the disease.
Integrative oncology centers on the rise
Several cancer centers specializing in mesothelioma are exploring the integrative oncology trend, and more are embracing the movement all the time. Integrative oncology centers specialize in targeted traditional therapy developed for mesothelioma and also in complementary therapies to help with side effects, including those both physical and emotional.
The battle against mesothelioma involves more than just fighting cancer itself. The illness takes a toll on many aspects of your life, and you’ll face all sorts of challenges you might not have anticipated. For any cancer patient, overall wellness is critical. The goal of integrative oncology is to put all the tools at your disposal to achieve a better quality of life while dealing with your disease.
Dr. Ka-Kit Hui of one such center, the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, says, “It’s about treating not just the cancer or the symptoms, but treating the whole person.” Hui says their approach is to explore “different ways to stimulate the body to help heal itself.” At some integrative oncology centers, many of the programs are offered free of charge and are underwritten by donations.
What are the parts of integrative oncology?
The traditional aspects of treating mesothelioma are intact when you choose an integrative oncology center including chemotherapy, radiation, etc. Also, you may find alternative programs including:
- Nutrition counseling
- Acupuncture or acupressure
- Exercise programs
- Meditation and mindfulness programs
- Mental health programs
- Reiki therapy
- Social support groups
- Support groups
- Music therapy programs
- Art therapy programs
- Craniosacral therapy
- Yoga, pilates or tai chi
- Occupational therapy
- Oncology massage services
- Psychiatric support services
- Pain management
- Family and survivor support
- Spiritual support services
- Informational sessions on therapy options
Where can you find integrative oncology services?
There are several integrative oncology centers that specialize in mesothelioma. These include:
- Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, Los Angeles, CA
- MD Anderson Integrative Medicine Center, Houston, TX
- Osher Clinical Center for Integrative Medicine, Boston, MA
- Wellness and Integrative Oncology Program, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Pittsburg, PA
- Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
Beyond these five major centers, you may find an integrative oncology practice near you with experience with mesothelioma treatment or that can work with your existing practitioner or oncology team.
In Seattle, there are several integrative oncology practices, some of which that may accept mesothelioma patients, including:
- Seattle Integrative Oncology at Swedish Medical Center
- Seattle Integrative Cancer Center at Rainier Cancer Center
- Integrative Cancer Care at Bastyr Center for Natural Health
- Northwest Natural Health
- Naturopathic Oncology at Village Medicine
- Naturopathic Oncology at Providence Regional Cancer System (multiple locations)
Is integrative oncology a fit for you?
One of the underpinnings of integrative oncology is to raise awareness and teach people to take better care of themselves while undergoing treatment for mesothelioma. Improving nutrition, implementing exercise and stress reduction, sleep promotion, and reduction of risk of other health problems that might develop during your struggle with mesothelioma are all part of the program.
If you’re looking for more from your mesothelioma treatment protocol and would like to address your overall health and wellness to improve your quality of life, integrative oncology might be an approach to consider. This comprehensive care solution may be a good fit for your case, and every integrative oncology program is highly customized to the needs of the individual patient.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please contact Bergman Draper Oslund. We have a record of winning significant settlements and have obtained more than $700 million for victims of mesothelioma and asbestos exposure.
Let us fight for your rights no matter where you live or where you were exposed to asbestos. Call (888) 647-6007 for a free case evaluation.