PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 3, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Living Beyond Breast Cancer, the national information and support organization, will host and web stream a signature Breast Cancer 360 panel discussion November 15 to help patients understand how integrative therapies such as yoga and homeopathy can be safely incorporated into breast cancer treatment and self-care. The panel event, free and open to the public, takes place at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (Eastern) on November 15, and will be web streamed starting at 6 p.m. Eastern time.
To register for the in-person event or the live web stream, visit http://www.lbbc.org/programs-events/treating-whole-you-integrative-care-and-breast-cancer.
People with cancer often rely on complementary therapies to manage the toxic effects of cancer and its treatment. But only in the last few decades have these methods, now collectively termed integrative care, started to become accepted as part of mainstream Western medical care. Many are still controversial, which makes it difficult for patients in treatment to know what is helpful, what is safe, and what is not. This is partly because launching clinical trials that feature integrative treatments is difficult, said panelist Dwight L. McKee, MD, co author of After Cancer Care: The Definitive Self-Care Guide to Getting and Staying Well for Patients After Cancer.
"Clinical trials are very expensive, and the majority are funded by the pharmaceutical industry, which is not focused on integrative therapies," McKee said. "People are doing all sorts of integrative therapies on their own, often while they are receiving conventional therapy, and we don't know if they are helpful, harmful or neutral. We also don't know which, if any, of these therapies for symptom management contribute to prevention of relapse and long-term survival. It's very likely that therapies such as exercise, stress management and a whole foods diet are helpful, but we have little clinical trial evidence regarding many nutritional and botanical supplements."
Lorenita Lucas, a panelist from Washington, D.C., practices yoga and meditation and takes supplements including vitamin D and calcium, along with her other treatments for Stage IV breast cancer. "I feel like I'm taking a bit of control and making sure I have as many options as possible," she said.
Ms. Lucas, who is a wellness consultant, finds that practices like yoga make life with a chronic illness more manageable. "You have so many negative thoughts running in your head. You're living in a nightmare. [Yoga] can help you calm your mind—and we have to have clear heads because there are so many medical decisions to make."
The panel event will feature medical experts as well as women who have been impacted by breast cancer. They will explore the movement toward integrative cancer care and offer practical advice for making daily choices—in food, exercise, supplements, environmental exposures and more—that could help patients improve quality of life and increase their sense of control over their health.
The integrative medicine panel is one of a series of 360 events developed by LBBC to jump-start a dialogue between patients and doctors. "I think conversations like this are important so that patients can be more empowered to ask questions—what about yoga, what about changing my diet, what about this?" Ms. Lucas said. "In the future, I would hope that more doctors—and the cancer institutes, centers and programs that are built around cancer treatment—would be more integrative. For some people, having more options can help them and take away some of their fear."
About Living Beyond Breast Cancer
LBBC's mission is to connect people with trusted breast cancer information and a community of support. National conferences, Breast Cancer 360s, the Guides to Understanding Breast Cancer and a toll-free Breast Cancer Helpline are just a few examples of the services that are provided, always at little or no cost. For more information, visit LBBC.ORG or call (855) 807-6386.
Last updated on: 03/11/2016
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