Breast and gynecological cancer patients undergoing systemic therapy frequently request integrative therapy concepts. The potential of integrative therapy (IM) lies in minimizing side effects of conventional cancer treatments and therefore decreasing treatment delays. IM can help to improve patients’ physical and emotional well-being, optimizing health and quality of life as IM involves patients in their own treatment. A counseling service for integrative medicine concepts as an outpatient program was implemented in our cancer center in 2013.
In 2016 and 2017 144 breast and gynecological cancer patients were included into our specific IM program. The program comprises biological based complementary and alternative medicines (BB-CAM), a structured exercise therapy, manipulative and body-based practices, nutritional counseling, psycho-oncological and relaxing therapies. Therapists with additional specialization for IM, guide the treatment units. The program was evaluated via self-administered questionnaire.
78% of the participating patients noticed an improvement by using BB-CAMs. 86% stated to feel better through participation in the structured exercise program. 74% profited from nutritional counseling and 91% from manual therapy. 93% of the patients treated with body compresses considered the application as soothing. The Bio-Frequency Sound Color Bed led to a relaxation in 96%. Psychological therapy improved coping with the disease in 70% of the patients.
Integrative oncology combines the best practices of conventional and complementary therapy, uniting them in a holistic concept. Data show that our integrative therapy concept is well accepted by the patients and that therapy- and disease-related side effects can be reduced.