Integrative Cancer Care
Integrative medicine approaches have been shown to be helpful in reducing cancer-related symptoms such as pain, anxiety, nausea, and fatigue.
Despite advances in treatment, cancer survivors continue to suffer physically and psychologically from conditions like chronic pain, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, and depression. These problems are compounded for low-income minority patients by lack of access to care and resources, language barriers and cultural differences. Cancer survivors with discretionary income are increasingly able to turn to complementary therapies such as yoga, massage, and acupuncture offered at many national cancer centers with success at providing physical relief and emotional/spiritual support. Although research increasingly validates their role in cancer symptom relief, such complementary approaches often prove unaffordable or are simply unavailable where low-income patients receive care.
The Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Care Disparities aims to offer cancer patients from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds a variety of integrative therapies. With support from the Massage Therapy Foundation, we created an internship program for new massage therapy graduates to gain additional experience in treating cancer patients in a hospital-based setting. Through this program we provide free therapeutic massage therapy to cancer patients and staff. Ellen Highfield, L.Ac. and Lisa Spellman, L.Ac. offer free acupuncture to treat cancer patients in the Moakley Building. Paula Gardiner, MD MPH, Assistant Director of Integrative Medicine, offers integrative medicine consultations to cancer patients focusing on stress management, nutrition, and coordination of complementary therapies. Multiple cancer support groups have also been developed which strongly incorporate mind-body techniques.
Click below to read more about our integrative cancer services: