Integrative Oncology combines the knowledge of official oncology with traditional and complementary medicines with proven scientific evidence. Treatment selection is done looking for satisfactory scientific foundations.
Scientific evidence shows the benefits of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine to alleviate side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The combination of both types of treatment allows chemotherapy cycles to be well tolerated, with no need to stop the treatment due to decreased immunity or serious side effects.
Scientific studies show the anticancer effect of certain Chinese herbs. In fact, Taxol (Paclitaxel), used in chemotherapy protocols for breast cancer, is a compound of the bark of the Taxus Brevifolia tree.
The anticancer effect of Chinese herbs combined by formulas enhance their action among them, allowing to obtain better results when used with chemotherapy. However, Integrative Oncology always recommend interrupting integrative treatments 48 hours before and after the administration of chemotherapy, not to interfere with the cytotoxic effect until it has been removed from the blood.
Integrative Oncology takes into consideration the relationship between the cancer cell and the extracellular space. It has been scientifically proven that when we modify the conditions of the extracellular space, the behaviour of the cancer cells is modified. It is not enough to attack the cancer cell, it is also necessary to nourish, detoxify, oxygenate and normalize pH of the extracellular space, so that once the chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment cycles are completed, the body is in the most optimal state to avoid cancer recurrences.
Integrative Oncology, is giving importance to strengthen the immune system, which controls cancer growth as it has also been scientifically proven. Immunity is greatly affected by chemotherapy treatments; therefore, it is essential to recover from it as quickly as possible.
Integrative Oncology uses Chinese Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture, Orthomolecular medicine (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, coenzymes and probiotics), and personalized diets, among others. It is also considered essential to normalize blood levels of stress-related hormones, since it has been proven that some cancers have receptors for adrenaline in their membranes and the interaction of adrenaline with these receptors increases the growth of cancer cells and their ability to produce metastasis. Therefore, in integrative oncology, great importance is given to mind-body techniques such as yoga or meditation and acupuncture to regulate stress.
In well known oncology hospitals in US have Integrative Oncology department, such as Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and MD Cancer Anderson Center, among others.