Integrative oncology uses lifestyle medicine approach

Feb 7, 2022 | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara | Comments (7)

Integrative medicine uses an approach to health care that includes practices not traditionally part of conventional medicine, such as herbs, acupuncture, massage, yoga and meditation. Integrative oncology incorporates these therapies into conventional cancer care.

Integrative oncology helps people with cancer feel better by reducing the fatigue, nausea, pain and anxiety and other symptoms that come with cancer and cancer treatment.

"Integrative oncology is a practice where we are using lifestyle medicine," explains Dr. Stacy D'Andre, a Mayo Clinic medical and integrative oncologist. "We combine all of these modalities to help our cancer patients, not only with the quality of life, but also to hopefully improve outcomes as well."

Focus on diet, exercise and sleep are important parts of integrative medicine, and can help patients during each stage of their journey. This includes managing symptoms and treatment side effects.

"The great thing about this type of practice is that it really empowers the patient, and patients become very active in their care," says Dr. D'Andre. "And because they're the ones doing the work — they're working on their die and they're doing the exercise — we're just guiding them. These are things that they can do and they can control to improve their health and outcomes."

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. D'Andre explains how integrative oncology helps people with cancer and discusses integrative medicine research underway at Mayo Clinic.

To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Read the full transcript.

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

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Give much more info on CLL treatments, etc.

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@eam32

Give much more info on CLL treatments, etc.

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YES, much more info on CLL treatment is needed; this area has been overlooked.

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This could be extremely helpful for cancer patients. What are the trials available?

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@eam32 and @ejrquast, Great questions. Here are several resources on Mayo Clinic Connect and from Mayo Clinic that may be of interest to you.

The Hematology expert blog (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/hematology/) has a list of resources relevant to your areas of interest:
CLL: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/hematology/tab/cll/
Myeloma: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/hematology/tab/myeloma/

To find active clinical trials in integrative oncology, you can search Mayo Clinic's trial database:
Search Clinical Trials https://www.mayo.edu/research/clinical-trials
At this website, you'll also find a phone number and contact form if you would like to talk to someone about available clinical trials.

You can connect with other members with Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia, leukemia, including CLL, and other blood cancers in the Blood Cancers group: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/blood-cancers-disorders/

You'll also find members living with cancer, managing side effects of treatment and long term side effects talking about integrative oncology approaches in the group called:
– Cancer: Managing Symptoms https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/cancer-managing-symptoms/

Have either of you used integrative approaches for managing symptoms of cancer or its treatment for CLL

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Thank you for your prompt reply, Colleen. The Rochester trials for integrative oncology are greatly limited in scope. Since I do not qualify, I will keep checking for future trials. I am a WM patient and attend the cancer support group monthly meetings at the Mayo Cancer Center in La Crosse, WI. I greatly appreciate the group support.

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@ejrquast

Thank you for your prompt reply, Colleen. The Rochester trials for integrative oncology are greatly limited in scope. Since I do not qualify, I will keep checking for future trials. I am a WM patient and attend the cancer support group monthly meetings at the Mayo Cancer Center in La Crosse, WI. I greatly appreciate the group support.

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Ejrquast, I might also suggest that you let your oncologist know that you are interested in integrative oncology and quality of life research and clinical trials. Your team may know of research that is being considered.

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I have an appointment in April with my Rochester WM specialist and I just added my interest in integrative oncology and possible trials to my appointment list. Thank you, Colleen.

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