Dr. Lisa Corbin’s presentation on integrative medicine offered real solutions to patients looking to explore complementary treatments as part of their cancer treatment plans. Dr. Corbin shared which treatments are safe and can offer help with managing side effects and symptoms. She also shared about treatments that are harmful and/or aren’t shown to work.
See below for a few highlights of Dr. Corbin’s presentation on CAM:
Why do patients use complementary & alternative medicine (CAM)?
Some patients report using CAM to feel hopeful (73%), boost immune system (63%), want control (38 – 44%), prevent recurrence (43%) and aid conventional therapy / treat cancer (28 – 38%).
How to use CAM
Make sure to avoid harmful practices. Don’t overlook lifestyle / self-care changes and strategies. These include: sleep, exercise, mind/body techniques (think meditation and yoga) and nutrition. Consider safe, plausible CAM therapies like herbs and supplements, acupuncture and massage.
Therapies to Avoid
- Colonic hydrotherapy
- Chelation therapy
- Ionic foot baths
- Restrictive diets
- Some supplements
- Financial toxicity!(Expensive treatments with little to no benefit)
- Anything used IN PLACE OF a curative conventional treatment
Therapies to Try
- Mind / body techniques
- Certain Supplements
How to talk to your doctor about CAM
It is important to talk to your doctor about CAM. The National Cancer Institute has a guide for patients to use on how to talk with your doctor about using these approaches, click here to check it out.
- CU Integrative Medicine: www.uch.edu/integrativemed
- NCI (follow links for CAM): www.cancer.gov/cancer_information/ or http://occam.nci.nih.gov
- ACS: www.cancer.org
- ASCO patient information: www.PeopleLivingWithCancer.org
- Nutrition – AICR: www.aicr.org
- Supplements: http://ods.od.nih.gov/
- Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine: www.imconsortium.org
- NCCAM: http://nccam.nih.gov/
There were a couple of questions that were unable to be addressed due to time:
- Specific supplements and their use (example: Tumeric and FOLFOX) – we are unable to give specific guidance on the effects of a supplement on treatment therapies. This would be an example of when you need to speak with your health care provider and a registered dietician that specializes in oncology.
- Medical Marijuana, Cannabidiol, Cannabis…etc. – INFORMATION COMING SOON! Fight Colorectal Cancer will be addressing medical marijuana use in cancer patients in upcoming posts and webinars. Stay Tuned!
Did you miss the webinar?
Check out our webinar archives, you can watch the presentation with audio, just view the slides or listen to it as a podcast!