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Tag Archives: complementary therapy

Cancer Related Fatigue: How Integrative Therapies Can Help

fatigueby Kira Taniguchi, MA, Coordinator, Department Publications and Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., Professor and Director, Integrative Medicine Program, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Did you know fatigue is the most common side effect of cancer treatment? Research suggests that most people receiving cancer treatment experience some type of fatigue.[i] In fact, between 60 and 90 percent of patients at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have fatigue.

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Cancer Narratives: Complementary Cancer Treatments – How a Holistic Approach Has Changed My Life


Using scientific research as a springboard for discussion, CKN is distilling this research into practical narratives that will improve the quality of life for patients and offer deeper understanding and connection for physicians.  Please join this Doctor-Patient conversation about Complementary Cancer Therapy.


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How to Build an Integrative Oncology Program

LindaCarlsonNewby Linda E. Carlson, Ph.D., R. Psych.


In the last column section editor Dr. Stephen Sagar provided an overview of some of the defining characteristics of Integrative Oncology (IO) programs. One statement that leapt out at me is that IO “is not alternative medicine, but evidence-based therapies that are complementary to the medical cancer treatments. It is part of a supportive care program that enhances coping and well-being.” With this definition in mind we’ve been working hard in Alberta, beginning at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre (TBCC), to create a truly integrated IO program. Dr. Sagar was kind to single out our work as an example of efforts in Canada to make IO part and parcel of comprehensive cancer care. I’d like to take this opportunity now to tell you more about our services, plans and overall vision.

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Author Commentary: The potential role for acupuncture for treating symptoms in patients with lung cancer: an observational longitudinal study

accupunctureby Dr. Goulnar Kasymjanova

We recently wrote a paper called: “The potential role for acupuncture for treating symptoms in patients with lung cancer: an observational longitudinal studyand discussed whether acupuncture is useful for symptom improvement in lung cancer patients.

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Talking to cancer patients about complementary therapies: An Update

by Marja J. Verhoef, PhD, Stacey A. Page, PhD

In 2008 we wrote a paper entitled “Talking to cancer patients about complementary therapies” and discussed whether these conversations are the physician’s responsibility.(1) Over the past years much has changed in regards to the use of complementary therapies or CAM – Complementary and Alternative Medicine  –  as it is often called. Complementary treatments are increasingly being integrated in conventional medicine, and the body of evidence for these treatments, continues to grow. New evidence has facilitated the development of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) and it is expected that such guidelines will facilitate treatment decision making and have the potential to improve the patient-provider relationship.  However, there are still many patients who do not disclose their CAM use to their doctors.

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Updated Commentary: Patient decision-making about complementary and alternative medicine in cancer management: context and process

by Lynda G. Balneaves, RN, PhD, Associate Professor and CIHR New Investigator, UBC School of Nursing

 Since 2008, when we first published our article, Patient decision-making about complementary and alternative medicine in cancer management: context and process, there has been a meaningful culture shift in cancer care in Canada with regards to complementary and alternative medicine, also known as “CAM”. Foremost, we have seen an increasing use of select CAM therapies within supportive care programs in Canadian cancer centres. Therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, and meditation have now become part of mainstream care and offer Canadians living with cancer alternatives in coping with their disease and the lingering effects of treatment. The inclusion of CAM therapies as part of standard care is a direct result of the increasing research evidence that has developed over the past 10 years regarding the efficacy and safety of CAM therapies in cancer care. More researchers and clinicians are acknowledging the potential value of CAM and are conducting the research needed to prove the value of these therapies. Organizations, such as the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) ( and the Canadian Interdisciplinary Network of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research (IN-CAM) (, are providing active forums for researchers and oncology health professionals to share ideas and conduct research.

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