Northwestern Memorial Program is designed to facilitate integrative oncology, pain and help patients manage cancer

Unfortunately, the side effects associated with conventional therapies often cause patients to end their treatment prematurely, or request that we adopt a less aggressive approach, said Schink. We have seen this decline has occurred with the addition of integrative oncology services. You’re sick, your hair falls out and your family is stressed. When you are diagnosed, it is sometimes all you can think of. The massages offer me the chance to escape, said Kukovec.

Common side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer include muscle tension, pain, nausea, and vomiting. The main role of complementary medicine is to get supportive care and reduce adverse effects while helping the patient cope.

Although there is little research to explain exactly how integrative approaches like acupuncture work, researchers at the National Institute for the treatment of additional health conditions such as acupuncture can improve the body’s immune system. In oncology, integrative approaches provide an effective means to manage symptoms, relieve side effects and help patients regain their sense of control and vitality.

When a patient is diagnosed with cancer a lot of them want to participate fully in their recovery, but do not know where to start. This program gives them control over their treatment, said Julian Schink, MD, chief of gynecologic oncology at the Northwestern Memorial and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

The medication I was taking for my cancer caused damage to the nerves of the hands and feet. It ‘was very uncomfortable. Acupuncture helped relieve the pain, said Nancy Amicangelo, patient at Northwestern Memorial.

There is evidence that integrative approaches that may play a role in reducing the rate of cancer patients. Services like massage therapy is believed to have a short-term effect on reducing anxiety associated with depression in patients.

Nonsmokers who are married to someone who smokes has a greatly increased risk of a finding that further underscores the dangers of passive smoking.

Our goal is to treat the whole person, not just their disease, said Melinda Ring, MD, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness. The research suggests that the holistic approach may relieve stress ee physical pain, and patients often experience discomfort while undergoing cancer treatments by activating the body’s innate healing process.

All patients under the care of an oncologist, Memorial Northwest are entitled to free medical services, as part of integrative treatment of cancer. The assistance program 360 has been made possible by a generous gift from Abra Prentice Wilkin, board member of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and longtime supporter of the hospital.