What is Integrative Cancer Treatment?

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What is Integrative Cancer Treatment?

There’s nothing easy about cancer treatment. The process can be challenging both physically and emotionally. Integrative cancer treatment can help provide alternative treatment options. This article will go over what goes into integrative cancer treatment and how Dr. Leo and the team here at Today’s Integrative Health in Rockville, Maryland, can help. 

What is Integrative Cancer Treatment?

Integrative cancer treatment combines traditional approaches and supportive therapies to help decrease discomfort, improve strength, and increase the quality of life during treatment. The idea is that conventional treatments will attack the disease itself. Then, evidence-informed therapies will help fight the cancer-related side effects. 

A team of highly trained and qualified clinicians will deliver these treatment options. The entire goal of these treatment options is to make treatment as easy as possible for cancer patients. Studies have found that those who receive supportive or palliative care as part of an integrative-treatment approach experience fewer side effects than those who don’t. 

What Goes Into Integrative Cancer Treatment?

There are different types of integrative treatment options. A patient’s diagnosis, overall health, and lifestyle will determine which treatment option better suits their situation. Here are some supportive therapies that Dr. Leo at today’s Integrative Health in Rockville, Maryland, can provide:

Behavioral Health

We know how cancer treatment can impact our physical health. However, many people are unaware of the impact cancer treatment can have on our mental well-being. Because of this, integrative cancer treatment usually offers some type of mental health service. Here are a few examples of some of the behavioral health options:

  • Animal-assisted therapy
  • Intimacy and cancer counseling
  • Music therapy

These behavioral health treatment options are designed to help manage side effects caused by cancer treatment like anxiety and stress, hot flashes, depression, insomnia, fatigue, and pain. 

Pain Management

Our clinicians will use a combination of pain-control methods, including pharmacological approaches. This includes prescription medications and non-pharmacological techniques. Our pharmacological approaches use analgesics and other drugs, while the non-pharmacological approaches involve therapies, including behavioral (mentioned above), neurological, or physiological interventions. By focusing on treating cancer-related pain, you can shift your attention to healing and completing everyday tasks. These pain management therapies are tailored to the specific patient since each patient may experience pain differently. Some of the side effects treated by pain management include:

  • Digestive issues
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Headaches
  • Immobility
  • Eating difficulties
  • Radiation burns

Oncology Rehabilitation

The goal of our oncology rehabilitation is to create a rehabilitation model tailored around the specific patient. Oncology therapies are designed to help patients build strength, reduce stress, boost endurance, and maintain the energy needed to continue treatment and rehabilitation. We can help you decide which oncology rehabilitation therapy option best suits you. Some of the side effects treated by oncology rehabilitation include:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Balance
  • Malnutrition
  • Body image
  • Eating difficulties
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Weight loss
  • Immobility

Nutritional Support

When going through cancer treatment, it’s not uncommon for a patient to develop nutritional issues. Gastrointestinal problems, nausea, and other symptoms can all affect a patient’s ability or desire to eat. This obviously causes issues down the line as patients need all the energy to continue treatment. Dietitians will monitor your nutrition status from the beginning to the end of your cancer treatment. Tweaks will be made to your diet to help reduce side effects and the risk of treatment interruptions. Some of the side effects managed by nutritional support include:

  • Digestive issues
  • Dry mouth
  • Eating difficulties
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss
  • Taste and smell changes

Naturopathic Support

Naturopathic support focuses on using natural, non-toxic techniques to help support the body’s healing process. We will review your medical history, listen to your wants and needs, and recommend a number of natural therapeutic options from there. These natural therapies include herbal and botanical preparations, dietary supplements, and homeopathic remedies. The goal of these therapies is to manage cancer-related side effects while reducing the risk of treatment delays. Here are some of the side effects naturopathic support can treat:

  • Digestive issues
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain
  • Radiation burns
  • Weight loss

What Conventional Treatments Are Available?

As we mentioned earlier, integrative cancer treatment options combine supportive therapies and conventional cancer treatments. While supportive therapies are designed to help battle the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment, conventional treatments are designed to stop the spread of cancer and eliminate it altogether. Just like with supportive therapies, conventional treatments are built to fit your specific needs. Here are some of the conventional cancer care treatment options Dr. Leo has advanced training in:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Genomic testing
  • Hormone therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgical therapy

By attacking cancer directly to prevent the spread, you can increase your chances of recovery. 

Other Functional Medicine Services

Functional medicine services can help cancer patients. They can also help patients dealing with other chronic diseases. Functional medicine is a personalized approach designed to get to the underlying causes of chronic disease. By doing so, we can help prevent the spread of these diseases. Here are some of the functional medicine services Dr. Leo offers at Today’s Integrative Health in Rockville, Maryland:

  • Active release technique
  • Chiropractic care
  • Functional medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Herbal medicine
  • Botanical medicine
  • IV therapy
  • Weight loss
  • Personalized medicine

Regardless of what you’re going through, Dr. Leo can help design a functional medicine plan tailored to you and your specific needs. These treatment options are designed with you in mind. We want to treat your disease while making your life easier in the process. 

Schedule an Appointment Today

Dr. Leo at Today’s Integrative Health is ready to help if you’re looking into integrative cancer treatment. We can do a complete health assessment to see if integrative cancer treatment is right for you. Call our office today to schedule your first appointment. We can’t wait to work with you! 

Dr. L. J. Leo

Dr. L. J. Leo

Dr. Leo began his education at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he earned his doctorate in osteopathy. He completed his internal medicine residency through the U.S. Army and had the honor of serving multiple overseas tours before retirement.

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