Building a Team to Improve Cancer Survivorship: Integrative Care’s Increasing Role
An estimated 14.5 million cancer survivors live in the United States today and that number is expected to increase to 19 million by 2024. Increasingly, cancer survivors are seeking guidance and support as they transition out of active treatment into ongoing surveillance and a return to “normal” life. These patients seek services and tools to help them adjust while maintaining wellness in the posttreatment phase of life.
Research suggests that as many as 90% of cancer patients use some form of integrative medicine compared to 40% of the general population. Integrative approaches include mind-body interventions such as meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and yoga. Touch therapies include massage or Reiki and massage. Creative therapies may include writing, art, and music. Still others choose to incorporate acupuncture, nutrition, fitness, and exercise. Support groups are another place where patients seek support.
Historically, cancer patients were challenged to find these services on their own. It has been important to build programs that are truly “integrative,” both for the health and well-being of patients, as well as for the providers, to be informed of the different practices being provided to the patients. This chapter describes some of these services.
KeywordsIntegrative medicine Mind-body therapies Touch therapies Creative arts Acupuncture Nutrition Support groups
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