Approximately 40 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime.
The answer is integrative cancer care.
Attention to the whole person has been returning into health care. We, as human beings, are dynamic living systems integrating many parts that create the whole of who we are. The experience and practice of cancer care now further addresses and advances this knowledge.
People with cancer are optimally treated with integrative cancer care for the whole person. This includes the body, mind, and spirit, including social and environmental health. All of these components of health and life interacting together, influencing one another, and interdependently shape each individual. There is no separation, and only networked parts comprising the whole of each human being. Quality cancer care must address the whole person.
The U.S. medical model during the majority of the 20th century featured external authority to the physician instead of patient-provider collaborations. Conventional practitioners generally have not encouraged and even allowed patients to play a role in their health care.
Cancer care in the 21st century has improvements into healing partnerships and incorporation of new practices for more aspects of the whole person. Some providers better treat their patients with whole person health care, education and support for each individual’s healing potential, compassion, cultivation of a healing environment, and other holistic healing strategies. People with cancer are becoming more proactive in educating themselves about their health and healing. That includes focusing on the whole person versus the diagnosis and disease in isolation, and featuring the entire physical body, mind-body wellness, spiritual vitality, social connections, and a cleaner environment.
Self-responsibility and self-care are essential in people affected by cancer. What does that mean to you? How do you proactively take responsibility for your well-being? How do you empower yourself? What actions enable you to utilize your own innate power? How do you strengthen your body, mind, and spirit? How do you care for yourself daily with self-care strategies? You can be your own best advocate.
Integrative cancer care makes use of appropriate therapeutic approaches, doctors, providers, and self-care to support optimal health and healing. Through compassionate, comprehensive person-centered care for the whole person, integrative cancer care addresses the totality for each individual of body, mind, and spirit, including social and environmental health.
Integrative cancer care is about
placing the person with cancer in the center of their community,
the center of the room,
the center of the conversation,
the center of themselves.
Recognizing that each person is not defined by their diagnosis.
Focusing on personalized, integrative strategies for each individual.
Helping each person embrace themselves as intact and complete—whole today and for the balance of life.
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Integrative cancer care addresses five major components of health and life impacting one another to improve quality of life, cancer survival, and cancer prevention.
Research shows that the internal physical terrain turns cancer cells on and off. A healthy internal environment in the body kills cancer and cultivates wellness. Cancer care must expand beyond the cancer diagnosis to the whole body. Integrative cancer care addresses the cancer diagnosis, the entire physical body, and the whole person. Learn about how to address the physical disease and all components impacting the entire physical body in people with cancer.
The state of the mind and emotions impact health through the mind-body connection. “Mind does not dominate body, it becomes body— body and mind are one,” according to scientist Candace Pert, PhD. Since feelings, thoughts, beliefs, actions, behaviors, and ego impact and literally shape aspects of biological functioning, studies indicate that mind-body vitality strengthens the mental and emotional inner life supporting optimal health and healing. Empower yourself with information and practices about mind body healing.
Most people understand that they are connected to something larger than themselves and engage some form of contact with spirit. We are whole when our spirit is fully united with our body. Studies indicate that spiritual well-being improves quality of life in people with cancer. Spirituality healing also further treats the entire physical body and whole person. Explore perspectives, questions, strategies, and resources related to spirituality.
When cancer is in the picture, new perceptions and social experiences emerge. People dealing with cancer—patients, family members, friends—endure many social challenges and opportunities. Learn about social issues people affected by cancer encounter with themselves, other people, and society as a whole. Explore social strategies toward better support through one’s self, others, and community when dealing with cancer.
Today’s world contains high levels of environmental carcinogens. The National Cancer Institute even mentions studies from over fifty decades concluding that the majority of cancers could be prevented by acting on what was known about the environmental causes of cancer. Each person must take steps to safeguard against toxic chemicals and treat them. Addressing the link between cancer and the environment is central for cancer risk reductions and those already with cancer. Learn the facts and specifics about supporting health through environmental strategies.