Integrative oncology is an evidence-based medical sub-specialty that uses complementary therapies (CTs) in concert with conventional medical treatment to enhance efficacy, improve symptom control, alleviate patient distress, and reduce suffering. It stems from a philosophy of treating the whole person: body, mind and spirit. Integrative oncology uses many complementary therapy approaches such as natural health products (herbs, vitamins and minerals), nutrition, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, music therapy, touch therapies (such as massage) and physical activity, to name a few.
Integrative oncology is a system of interdisciplinary care blended throughout cancer care as necessary for each person, employing a collaborative team approach which is patient-centered, so that the patient’s needs and views dictate the course of care, not those of the practitioners. Treatments are devised through a partnership between patient and a range of practitioners, meant to promote health and wellness, prevention of disease and to bring out the innate healing capacity in each person.
A hallmark of integrative medicine is that interventions are evidence-based, and where evidence doesn’t exist research is conducted with promising treatments.
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