On June 8, 2016, a conference on integrative oncology took place at the Salvator Mundi International Hospital in Rome. The conference was held by Dr. Lanie Francis, hematologist and medical oncologist at Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh, U.S.A., who illustrated the integrative oncology program she has designed. This integrative oncology program is intended for cancer patients and their families, to help them manage symptoms and side effects, improve quality of life, and be proactive and involved in their care. Hillman Cancer Center is part of UPMC CancerCenter, the oncology network of UPMC with over 42 centers around the world and 75,000 patients treated every year.
The UPMC Integrative Oncology program involves a customized care plan that, integrated with conventional therapy, helps patients cope with their treatment and potential side effects. This care plan has a proven scientific value and spans across four different modalities:
• Movement (yoga, Pilates, breathing exercises)
The approach to movement focuses on practices linking breathing and movement, improving basic strength and optimizing bone health.
• Touch (acupuncture, Shiatsu, Reiki massages)
It has been demonstrated that some therapies are able to alleviate symptoms such as pain and nausea.
• Nutrition (diet assessment, control and management of body weight)
A correct diet can help prevent certain forms of neoplasias, but can also be a key factor to better cope with cancer’s symptoms and treatments.
• Mindfulness (meditation, music therapy, aromatherapy)
Meditation and mindfulness are important tools to manage pain and various aspects related to cancer (discomfort, fatigue, nausea).
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