Integrative Therapies


The Society for Integrative Oncology offers this definition:

“Integrative oncology is a patient-centred, evidence-informed field of cancer care that utilizes mind and body practices, natural products, and/or lifestyle modifications from different traditions alongside conventional cancer treatments. Integrative oncology aims to optimize health, quality of life, and clinical outcomes across the cancer care continuum and to empower people to prevent cancer and become active participants before, during, and beyond cancer treatment.”

Alternative vs. Integrative Therapies

Conventional therapies as you know employ a direct approach towards the given disease- Cancer in this case- and use brute force, for the lack of a better word, to eliminate the ailment from the designated organ system. Alternative Therapies, as you can find out from our dedicated section on the same, prefer a more wholesome solution for a disease so the source can be eradicated from all body systems for a long term.

However, these are not your only options. Let us introduce you to a hybrid approach better known as Integrative Therapy. Integrative treatment options basically combine the best from the aforementioned treatment options so as to integrate their strengths and leave behind the weaknesses. In short, they are the best of both worlds; best of what conventional and alternative treatment therapies have to offer us. It might sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. 

As is very aptly described by this definition, Integrative Therapies instead of making you choose between the two competing treatment options make sure that the two treatments work in synchronisation and at the same time not interfering with each other. 

One of the most intriguing changes in the past 30 years of integrative cancer care is the movement of clinicians and patients toward an authentic integration of standard or conventional care, complementary/CAM care, standard investigational therapies and investigational therapies outside mainstream practice.

LHC provides a tour of this field:

Just imagine. We all know that conventional therapy has a lot of side effects which leaves the patient weak and withering. But what works in favour of the conventional approach is its efficacy and speed. Alternative therapies, on the other hand, might be slow in their progress but what they do is make sure that the disease is eradicated from the body entirely and isn’t able to return. Integrative Therapies go one step further and make it possible for us to combine the benefits of these approaches and make sure that our Warriors of Cancer can be healed and taken care of both in the short term and the long run. 

Alongside the conventional chemotherapy and radiation therapy, Integrative therapies may include utilising in parallel herbal medicines, psychological treatments, meditation, lifestyle improvement, and many other natural approaches to improve the quality of life of a patient.

References and More Information

  1. Credit: Beyond Conventional Care Therapies
  2. Integrative Oncology Cancer Care
  3. Credit: Beyond Conventional Care Therapies
  4. Integrative Oncology Cancer Care
  5. Integrative Cancer Treatment, CTCA
  6. The Power of Integrative Cancer Care,
  7. Integrative Medicine,  
  8. 7 Healing Practices
  9. All Therapies
  10. Michael Lerner: Choices In Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches to Cancer
  11. SAGE Journals: Integrative Cancer Therapies Journal
  12. Hindawi Publishing Corporation : Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  13. Ralph Moss, PhD: The Moss Reports
  14. Donald Abrams, MD: Integrative Cancer Care
  15. Ting Bao, MD: The Role of Integrative Therapy in Cancer Care
  16. LHC: Healing Circles
  17. Anticancer Fund: Anticancer Fund
  18. Jun J. Mao: Advancing the Global Impact of Integrative Oncology
  19. Norman Cousins: Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient
  20. Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, and Karolyn Gazella: The Definitive Guide to Cancer, 3rd Edition: An Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment, and Healing
  21. Donald I. Abrams, MD, and Andrew T. Weil, MD: Integrative Oncology, 2nd Edition
  22. University of Arizona: Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine Online Courses
  23. Commonweal: The New School at Commonweal
  24. Witt CM, Balneaves LG et al. A comprehensive definition for integrative oncology. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Monographs. 2017 Nov 1;2017(52).


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