Integrative Oncology at Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Center is committed to deliver high quality cancer care. The department focuses on improving the patient's endurance to receive aggressive cancer treatment by enhancing his/her overall well being with good nutrition, reduce stress, boost immune system, lifestyle modifications according to disease specific needs, physical rehab, individual and family counseling among others to ensure that the cancer treatment can be more effective and delivered without treatment delays or interruption.
Our department focuses on all the dimensions of a patient's well being including physical, psychological, social, spiritual thereby giving a holistic care with patient and family centered approach. This personalized care can in turn enhance the treatment outcome.
Getting a diagnosis of cancer can be devastating. Mind has a very powerful impact on the body and the negative dysfunctional thoughts could have a detrimental impact on the way you feel and behave and in turn hinder the treatment process and outcome.
Mind-Body medicine helps the overall emotional well being during cancer treatment by focusing on screening patients and caregivers for dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs, depression, anxiety, anticipatory grief and help with individual and family counseling, stress reduction strategies, pharmacotherapy for depression and anxiety, offer support groups for patients and caregivers.
The team has highly qualified psychiatrist and clinical psychologists and use evidence based approach of cognitive behavioral therapy, guided imagery among others for overall well being.
All cancer patients have some amount of malnourishment either due to the cancer itself or due to the side effects of treatment. Nutrition therapy focuses on maintaining adequate calorie balanced diet to maintain the lean body mass which is key in fighting cancer.
We also focus on educating the positive and negative impact that nutrition supplements and alternative medicine can have on your health. The drug interaction with chemotherapy can make the toxicity worse or reduce the efficacy of the treatment. Our experts evaluate the medication interaction with any supplements the patient may be taking and advice him/her correctly. Only the evidence based options available with complementary and alternative medicine can be incorporated into mainstream medicine. Where data is lacking we focus on research and refrain from using unproven modalities in the best interest of cancer patients and treatment outcomes.
Pain and Symptom Management
Most cancer individuals will have some degree of physical pain or other symptoms related to cancer or treatment itself.
We focus on aggressive pain management with our team of interventional pain specialist and also palliative care specialists. This improves the quality of life and ability to focus on treatment and other daily activities.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese procedure with many medical benefits. Acupuncture will be offered for symptom management of chemotherapy induced refractory nausea, vomiting, symptom of dry mouth due to radiation, and also alleviate stress and hot flashes.
Cancer patients usually have some amount of fatigue either due to disease or treatment. Our experts in rehab focus on building your strength and endurance to help keep up with daily activities and tolerate treatment maintaining a good quality of life. This department will have Physical Therapy, Speech and Swallow Therapy, Lymphedema Therapy, Chiropractic Care among others.
Patients with cancer have spiritual and emotional challenges. This needs to be addressed for overall well being and improved treatment outcome. Our expert team also handles the spiritual needs of patients and their family.
Yoga and Relaxation Techniques
Yoga is a well known for many health benefits. Fatigue is a major problem in cancer patients and yoga has been proven to help with fatigue. Our department also focuses on simple stress free yoga techniques for revitalizing your energy through pranayama. Focus is also to reduce stress, anxiety and help with good sleep. Music and art therapy is also intended to achieve the same objective of relaxation.
Our team of experts includes several international and nationally trained consultants:
- Dr. Santosh Gowda, M.D., M.S., A.B. (U.S.A): Head of Integrative Oncology and also a Senior Consultant with Medical Oncology. Dr. Santosh Gowda is a U.S. trained Hematologist / Oncologist and brings expertise with 4 American Board Certifications in Medical Oncology, Hematology, Internal Medicine, Palliative Care and Hospice. He worked as a Consultant Medical Oncologist/Hematologist and Director of Hospice and Palliative Care for Duke University affiliated hospital in U.S.A until April 2014. He also holds a Masters in Medical Science, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology from University of Florida, U.S.A.
Dr.Santosh Gowda mainly focuses on Integrative Oncology delivering Holistic care and believes in patient and family empowered care with personalized medicine. Dr. Santosh Gowda strongly believes in preventive medicine and survivorship. He is committed to giving high quality evidence based cancer care for his patients.
- Dr. Praveena Gayathri, DPPM, DIPPALMED (UK): Associate Consultant, Pain and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Gayathri will focus on pain management related to cancer and other chronic conditions. Pharmacological, Interventional Methods and Acupuncture will be offered by Dr. Gayathri.
Other cancer or treatment related symptoms of refractory vomiting, nausea, fatigue, dry mouth, hot flashes, and mucositis will be treated. Other than symptom relief, respite care and end of life care is also delivered by Dr. Gayathri. Lymphedema care, stoma care are among others. Additionally individual and family counseling provided when required.
- Dr. Nagaraju Morubagal, MBBS, DA, FCARCSI is a Consultant Interventional Pain Specialist trained in U.K. and Ireland. Dr. Nagaraj specializes in Nerve Blocks, Neuromodultion, Intrathecal Pump, Musculoskeletal Ultrasound, Radiofrequency Ablation (RF) of Nerves, Sympathetic Chain Ablation, And Vertebroplasty among others. With his vast experience in interventional techniques, Dr. Nagaraju with help manage cancer pain more effectively.
- Social Welfare Department: Department of Social Services will offer Deaddiction Counseling, Family Counseling, Supportive Groups, Financial Counseling, Life Skills Training, Building Social Support and Stress Management. The social workers will act as liaison for this holistic cancer care.
- Susan Itty is chief dietician and her main focus is on delivering a personalized nutrition plan for individual cancer patients. Goal is to prevent or reverse nutrient deficiencies, preserve lean body mass, maintain strength and energy, protect and boost immune function, decrease the risk of infection, aid in recovery and healing there by maximizing the quality of life and help patients better tolerate treatment.
- Smita Caren Mathias is a Speech Swallow Pathologist. She completed her Bachelors and Masters in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology in India after which she was awarded the prestigious European Union Scholarship to pursue her Research Masters in Clinical Linguistics - Neuroscience in the Netherlands and Germany. She is Certified in (TEP) Tracheo-oesophageal Puncture Management. Her areas of interest include Speech and Swallow Rehabilitation after Total Laryngectomy and Total Glossectomy, Voice and Swallowing Rehabilitation after "Organ preservation" Post Chemo-Radiotherapy, Professional Voice Care, Acute and Chronic Neuro Rehabilitation after Stroke, Trauma, Tumors and Progressive Disorders, Paediatric Voice, Swallow and Language Disorders in Congenital Anomalies, Syndromes, Developmental and Progressive Disorders.
- Dr. Ravikesh Tripathi: Dr. Ravikesh Tripathi is a Senior Consultant in Clinical Psychology. His clinical and research interests include Cognition, Anxiety Disorders and Psychological / Behavioral Interventions. He specializes in Clinical Neuropsychology and Behavioral Interventions for Anxiety Disorders, Depression and Life Style Disorders.
- Dr. Diwakar Goutham: Dr. Diwakar is a U.K. trained Consultant Neuropsychiatrist. He along with his team of experts will focus on the mind body medicine and therapeutic interventions needed in cancer patients. Areas of interest include Neuropsychiatry, Liaison Psychiatry, Substance Abuse, Psychotherapy among others.
- Krishnan Vasudevan: Mr. Vasudevan is a motivational speaker and counselor. He will focus on overall well being of cancer patients. Mr. Vasudevan will emphasize on the importance of hope, therapeutic value of forgiveness, humor induced immune benefits, and healing property of intimacy among others. He will address the holistic needs of patients and the caregivers.
- Dr. Ramakrishna Rao, MPT, IAP, ISCP: Consultant Physiotherapist and Head of Physiotherapy services will focus on rehabilitation of cancer patients and survivors. Dr. Rao specializes in Kinesiotaping, Spinal Mobilization, Neurorehabilitation, Propioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, Myofascial Release, Myotherapy and Pain Management among others.
- Yoga Guru Rajkumar Dham B.E.,D.I.I.Sc, MD(AM) is a Yoga Guru at Atamabodh which is a center for learning and healing. His expertise is not just in basic yoga, but also in acupressure, heart-mind yoga and body-mind programming. These approaches are intended to improve the overall well-being of cancer patients.