Why Integrative Care?
We are working to change the paradigm of treatment because we believe the odds for long-term survival can be greatly improved. The new paradigm is called integrative oncology. What is the difference? Whereas the mainstream approach tries to kill the cancer faster than the treatment kills the patient, integrative oncology looks to defeat the cancer, yet create a person who is stronger and healthier than before the cancer was diagnosed.
You could say the key difference between the two paradigms is the way they view the immune system. All doctors agree that fundamentally, cancer is a failure of the immune system. But not all give consideration to healing the immune system as a part of cancer therapy.
Conventional surgery/chemo/radiation leaves the immune system pretty battered. We know that surgeries can cause metastases down the road. Chemo and radiation kill good cells along with the bad, and they kill the P53 tumor-suppressor gene. This is why so many people experience a recurrence of cancer, often between years six and 11 years, and this is why, in part, the government statistics measure “survival rates” after just five years.
An integrative approach looks at more effective ways to kill the cancer while healing the immune system. A simple integrative approach takes the Whole Being Healing model and combines it with the right Complementary Cancer Therapies.
Ideally, integrative cancer care involves an agreement between the doctor and the patient as to how to address the cancer in all its facets – especially how to target the diseased tissue, how to heal an overwhelmed immune system, and how to make lifestyle changes to make a body less hospitable to cancer’s return.
Often patients have just a few days between confirmation of their diagnosis and the start of their therapy. In the Foundation’s experience, too often that fast track to treatment robs the patient of time to educate themselves and consider their options. A treatment decision need not be made in a hurry and need not be sold with fear.
The old paradigm was that we “fight” cancer and consider our bodies an enemy to be attacked and vanquished. The new paradigm respects our body’s innate healing powers and recognizes that, ultimately, our immune system is the protection we have against cancer. Let’s get rid of the cancer with the help of the immune system.