What is integrative medicine?
Integrative medicine is a fancy name for something very simple: combining a number of different treatments and medical philosophies together to help fight your health change and heal your body. It suggests that, for example, keeping your body strong through exercise, or maintaining a positive attitude, or taking certain herbs, all can have a contributory effect on beating cancer.
I highly encourage you to take a look at the various sections of the FoundHealth melanoma treatment section (Medicine, Herbs, Diet, Body, Mind, Spirit) and read about many of the ways you can use an integrative approach. You’ll also find there, the references and scientific studies that suggest these things really can work.
How to use integrative medicine:
Integrative medicine can be used in a number of ways in fighting cancer:
To prevent cancer from occurring: Integrative medicine suggests that there are certain foods you can eat, techniques you can use, and more to help prevent melanoma from occurring in the first place. If you have a history of melanoma in your family and are concerned about it for yourself, there are a number of ways you can change your diet, take supplements and herbs, and more, to give yourself a better chance of preventing melanoma from occurring.
To fight once you have cancer: The biggest question that most people ask about using an integrative approach to beating melanoma is: how do I know what works, and how do I know whether I can do those things at the same time I am getting medical treatment?
It is my belief that integrative approaches to fighting melanoma work. I saw it work with my wife, and I have seen enough evidence in my own research to believe the data supports this. In the end, you will have to decide for yourself, but I encourage you to read the various sections of the melanoma treatment section, look at the evidence, and decide for yourself.
In terms of whether to combine treatments, my belief is that some can be combined, and some should be kept separate. For example, most doctors will tell you that mind and body techniques are perfectly fine to do concurrently with medical treatment. Most diet changes are also probably ok as well. Particular care should be taken with herbs and supplements. You can do your own research, but I also suggest talking with an integrative doctor about what they recommend for concurrent use.
To mange side effects:
Managing side effects is an area where integrative medicine can be very helpful. For example, it can be used to boost blood counts and help your body recover more quickly between treatments.
To prevent a recurrence:
After treatments is done, I highly recommend you put together a program of herbs, vitamins, supplements and dietary changes to help ensure that melanoma stays away.