Treating the whole patient can improve outcomes.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting U.S. women (aside from skin cancer) with about one in eight women being diagnosed at some point during their lifetime. The good news is that with advances in methods of detection and treatment, many women can, and do, beat breast cancer. Even better news? Using an integrated approach to treatment, combining evidence-based complementary therapies with conventional therapies, helps women not only survive cancer, but thrive. “Focusing on overall wellness improves quality of life by reducing common side effects of breast cancer therapy in the short term,” says Amber Orman, MD, a board-certified radiation oncologist in Orlando. “The long-term goal is to improve major outcomes, including risk of recurrence and overall survival.”
Body, Mind & Spirit
Dr. Orman emphasizes that holistic therapies like exercise, a plant-based diet, yoga, and meditation should be used alongside traditional medical interventions to complement and boost the effectiveness of treatment. “Most studies report that exercise, whether pre- or post-diagnosis, is associated with a decrease in recurrence rates and breast cancer-related deaths,”
she says. “Along with plant-based nutrition, and mindfulness-based interventions such as yoga, meditation, progressive relaxation, and guided imagery, improving a patient’s overall wellness can establish an essential foundation for successful medical treatment.”
THE BEST OFFENSE IS A STRONGER DEFENSE
- Exercise during breast cancer treatment improves physical fitness, reduces fatigue, reduces anxiety, and improves cognitive function.
- Limiting processed sugars and foods while eating a plant-based diet can lower systemic inflammation, achieve a healthy weight, and greatly improve overall health.
- Mindfulness-based interventions can significantly reduce fatigue and anxiety, thereby improving quality of life.
- Acupuncture can often help with cancer-related pain, nausea, neuropathy, hot flashes, anxiety, and fatigue.
About Dr. Orman
Dr. Amber Orman is board certified in radiation oncology, and a member of the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute team. Her clinical focus is on breast cancer, with an emphasis on holistic care that encompasses the mind and body. To get out more information and to make an appointment with Dr. Orman, call (407) 988-2226.