CHICAGO- The very instant Penny Kukovec was diagnosed with breast cancer her world permanently changed. Suddenly, it felt as if her life was out of her control. She felt powerless and overwhelmed. There were so many unanswered questions. Why me? What's next? What about my family? The feelings Kukovec experienced are felt by many cancer patients following their initial diagnosis and as they pursue treatment. In an effort to effectively and compassionately respond to these worries, as well as address common side effects associated with cancer treatment, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University now offer integrative oncology services.
"When a patient is diagnosed with cancer many of them want to fully participate in their recovery, but don't know where to begin. This program gives them control over their treatment," said Julian Schink, MD, chief of Gynecologic Oncology at Northwestern Memorial and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.
The integrative oncology services are part of a larger 360 Care Program that recently launched aimed to address cancer patients' needs from every angle through treatment that extends beyond medical therapies, to include counseling, stress management and integrative medicine. Integrative oncology services include acupuncture, massage, energy healing and naturopathic medicine offered by Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group's Center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness.
"Our goal is to treat the whole person, not just their illness," said Melinda Ring, MD, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness. "Research suggests that a holistic approach can alleviate stress and anxiety, as well as the physical pain and discomfort patients often experience while undergoing cancer treatments by activating the body's innate healing process."
While there is little research
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Northwestern Memorial Hospital