If you are reading this, it is likely you or a loved one has been given a diagnosis of cancer. Maybe you are new to cancer, or you just found out your cancer has come back, or maybe you have had cancer for a while and all the current conventional options have failed. Whatever the situation, the physicians at the Center for Integrative Medicine are committed to working with you and your oncologist to provide the most comprehensive treatment plan suited to treat your cancer.
At the Center for Integrative Medicine, we utilize treatments including oxidative therapies like intravenous high dose vitamin C, ozone therapy and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, as well as anti-cancer agents and nutraceuticals that aim to slow the cancer process. We work alongside your oncology team to provide you with the best possible outcome using researched based therapies.
What is integrative oncology?
Integrative oncology is the use of complementary, or integrative, therapies alongside conventional medicine. These therapies work together with standard treatment methods like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation—to suppress the cancer process.
In countries where modern medicine predominates, 40% to 50% of patients with cancer use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). It is not uncommon for patients to do their own online research around “alternative” treatment options and come in with many ideas on how to treat their cancer. Most conventional oncologists are not trained in integrative therapies and may be unable to answer your questions.
How do we monitor for treatment response
One of the most important parts of a physician’s job is to ensure that the therapies that they are recommending are working. Conventional and integrative practitioners use imaging—CT and PET scans—to look at the tumor and see if it is growing or shrinking or if satellite tumors have spread to other parts of the body. While this is helpful, it is also good to know what is going on between scans, on treatment holidays or when you are told you are in remission and there is no further follow up needed.
The doctors at CIM use a reputable data-driven test called Signatera by the lab Natera to monitor our patients. Signatera is a molecular residual disease (MRD) assay that looks for cancer cells circulating in your blood. This test can identify if cancer is present and if cancer is spreading before imaging tools show actual changes in the tumor itself. This test is run at a frequency that is determined by your type of cancer and what treatments you are undergoing and may be done every 4-8 weeks. This gives us a trend over time that helps determine if our treatment is working.
Why is cancer so difficult to treat and what can we do about it!
Cancer is a dysfunction of certain cells that have been “turned on” to proliferate. They avoid self-destruction and evade the immune system, thus allowing tumors to grow and produce circulating tumor cells that move throughout the bloodstream. One key goal of integrative oncology is to activate the immune system to recognize the abnormal cancer cells. One of the most effective ways to do this is via Mistletoe therapy.