Integrative Medicine Oncology (Cancer): Programs, Therapies, Treatment and Care | Narayana Health
Integrative Oncology

Integrative Oncology

Narayana Health provides High-Quality Cancer Care by incorporating Integrative Medical Approaches to the Inpatient and Outpatient facilities.

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Integrative Oncology

Integrative Oncology at Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Center is committed to delivering 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.

With Integrated Oncology, we try our level best to provide strength to the people fighting cancer. This approach is used to help patients manage the side effects that come along with surviving the cancer treatment and its recovery. There is no denying that conventional treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy and surgery can save a patient from this deadly disease. But, when integrative therapy plans are combined with such treatments you can expect better cancer care. We have an expert team of professionals that help look after patients, while effectively considering their support systems, spiritual beliefs, and goals. Narayana Health has, therefore, made its name among the best cancer hospitals in India.

Complementary and Alternative medicines and practices

It is very useful to all cancer patients who experience a difficult time recovering. Though you cannot think of it as a standard treatment for cancer disease. There is no school training to teach this art and the healthcare team is given special training by the cancer care centres. It is very beneficial and the benefits provided are beyond one’s imagination. There are two major categories of CAM therapies. They are:

  • Complementary Medicine - These are referred to as therapies used along with conventional medical treatments. Acupuncture is super effective in calming nausea that’s caused by chemotherapy.
  • Alternative Medicines - They’re referred to as therapies that are used instead of conventional medical therapies. For instance, your oncologist will suggest some natural products, or standard therapy, rather than taking vitamin infusions to treat cancer.

Conventional Care Therapies - This is widely used in cancer treatments and it’s proven beneficial and useful in all clinical researches that are done so far. They’re popularly referred to as the standard of care and include treatments used to fight cancer such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, hormonal therapy, etc.

Integrative Oncology - An approach used to care for cancer patients that effectively uses complementary therapy to support them entirely; that is, mind, body and spirit. Integrative medicine programs are provided by cancer care centres that offer complementary therapies, on-site.

Safety Considerations

The therapies are used to support the well being of a patient. A person is not certain about the risks that cancer treatments can impose. Though it is crucial that if the patients are on therapy, or thinking about getting it, they should discuss every detail with their oncologists. There are several oral integrative medicines offered in the market and they are not recommended as it can intensify the action of cancer treatment, thereby increasing several risks. They can also affect other health conditions of a patient apart from cancer, including high blood pressure.

Our oncologists are all aware of the latest therapies and we ensure to provide promising services to support the patients. Cancer patients can safely use our therapies and free themselves from several factors that build acute stress. Your symptoms and care needs are known first and then the team of certified professionals work together to provide you with the best treatment.

Using different treatment therapies

Cancer is a deadly disease that breaks a person, physically and mentally. Its treatment practices also have some side-effects that may trouble patients in the long run. Several therapies are combined efficiently, along with varied general lifestyle practices, that help the patients heal better and faster.

With the help of treatment therapies used in integrative oncology, the quality of life improves during and after cancer. The therapies that fall under the integrative oncology programme are from different categories including touch, mindfulness, and nutrition. Some great examples are:

  • Music and expressive therapy
  • Meditation
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Lifestyle Nutrition
  • Yoga and other similar forms of physical exercise

Benefits of Integrative Oncology

We are aware that cancer treatments have side effects too and we have come up with the best solutions that are most effective to help patients cope with the common side-effects. The oncology program is efficient in fighting the side-effects associated with cancer, and its treatment. We try our level best to handle all situations and make relative progress in the field.

Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre strives to make the patients feel better. The ill-effects or the side-effects felt by cancer patients include:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Mind-body restlessness
  • Pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety or Depression

Using Integrative Oncology

The integrative approach used will help improve the quality of life and decrease the symptoms of side-effects in cancer patients, to a great extent. Negative thoughts shouldn't creep in and the patient should not feel bad, while taking the treatment, because all such things only make your fight against cancer tedious. Patients should always stay positive so that they can continue taking the treatment. We have several options to help you cope up with certain side-effects.

We understand that every person is different and so are the functions of their bodies. Hence, different techniques and therapies are used to treat the varied nature of ill-effects experienced. For instance, if a patient has frequent pain felt in their body then he may want to opt for acupuncture to ease the body pain.

Fatigue is another most common side-effect that is felt either because of cancer itself or because of many treatments going on, constantly. After facing cancer and going through harsh treatments your body has a tough time recovering. Physical activities like yoga will help you stay calm and focused; you will be able to gain much strength and energy.

It’s important that you discuss everything with your oncologist regarding any supplements, if you are on them. We have a team of care experts and the best oncology doctors who help patients recover from a complicated disease. Our integrative oncology programme is dedicated to providing the best cancer care and after-treatment therapy plans. We ensure that every patient receives the best possible advice that will help them obtain premium care and guidance.

It is amongst the most latest cancer treatments and is popular worldwide for being on the minds of all cancer patients. Integrative Oncology has the ability to empower people to take an active part in improving their own health conditions and quality of life.

Nutrition Management

Diet is the basis of good health for every human being. Hence, it is the cornerstone of integrative oncology. Managing nutrition is all about eating the right kind of food items that not only provide the required amount of nutrition, but also helps to manage the after-effects of cancer treatments. You will develop a great immune system and enhance the great amount of effectiveness to readily live a normal life as you used to before.

Firstly, the experts collect details of every patient regarding their beliefs, lifestyle habits, preferences, etc. It helps them understand your daily routine and also evaluate your personal needs. Then the dietician recommends some items that serve as anti-cancer alternatives and replaces other food items they are consuming, at present. Such patients need to be on a strict diet of natural and unprocessed food products that contain a whole lot of antioxidants and phytonutrients.

After being on a strict diet recommended by the oncologist, patients will experience rapid positive changes in their body. They will be able to align their diet and exercise regimen, efficiently. Oncologists are able to see rapid progress in their patient's health conditions and are asked to come for a series of follow-up appointments.

Anxiety and Stress Reduction

Patients often feel that they have lost control of their normal lives and the whole cancer journey is scary for them. We help the patients perform an active role in their personal health. With the help of integrative oncology, people are able to decide what they want to eat or what sort of exercises they want to do. We help our patients come out of anxiety and reduce stress levels greatly. We try to support patients, provide full care for them, and their family members. Meditation and yoga classes are highly recommended during this time.

Integrative Oncology Services

We are proud to offer the best oncology services, at the best cancer care centre, and are efficiently supplementing traditional ways of treating the ill-effects of cancer treatment. There are a lot of traditional ways like surgery, chemotherapy, etc. Our team of professionals, who are expert in their fields and are highly knowledgeable, offer the best cancer treatments. We work closely with you and your family members to ensure the holistic approaches used are successfully integrated with your care plan, while keeping in mind your health and safety too.


Mind-Body Medicine

Getting a diagnosis of cancer can be devastating. The 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 the evidence-based approach of cognitive behavioural therapy, guided imagery among others for overall well being.

Nutrition Therapy

All cancer patients have some amount of malnourishment either due to 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 interact 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, a symptom of dry mouth due to radiation, and also alleviate stress and hot flashes.

Oncology Rehabilitation

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.

Spiritual Support

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 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. The 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.

Integrative Oncology FAQs

What modalities are thought of as integrative oncology therapies?

Integrative oncology comprises a range of therapies and lifestyle practices to manage the side effects of cancer treatment and improve the overall quality of life. They are:

  • Mind-body methods that include meditation, relaxation, yoga, hypnosis, guided imagery, music therapy, mindfulness, cognitive-behavioural therapy and spirituality.
  • Biologically based practices of intaking special diets and foods with vitamins and herbs.
  • Body-based practices like massage, chiropractic interventions, reflexology
  • Energy medicine like Reiki, Tai Chi, Jin Shin Jyutsu, therapeutic touch
  • Medical delivery systems, such as homoeopathy, naturopathy and acupuncture

What can I expect from my first visit?

Generally, the healthcare professional may conduct a pertinent physical exam and ask you about your medical history in detail during the first visit. Once they are clear about your current cancer diagnosis, past and present treatments and current symptoms related to cancer and its causes, they will give you an in-depth briefing about nutrition, analysis of current medications and supplements. They will also give you a review of the recent laboratory and imaging studies if available.

Finally, you will leave with a printed summary of details mentioning nutrition, instructions for starting or stopping any dietary supplement and additional information about the treatment. In addition, diagnostic laboratory work may be requested to get a better understanding of any underlying physiological dysfunction.

Are integrative treatments covered by my insurance?

The therapies involved in integrative oncology treatments are usually not covered by insurance. However, there may be some plans that cover therapeutic massage, acupuncture, nutrition counselling and psychological treatment methods. You can talk to your insurance to find out about the benefits. Many cancer centres offer integrative medicine and therapy at no extra charge as a part of their overall oncology service offerings.

What are the benefits of Integrative Oncology?

The therapies included in an integrative oncology program have shown to be quite effective to help patients with the common side effects resulting from cancer and its treatment. Conventional treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can produce side effects that are tough to manage despite the best efforts and progress made in the field. With an integrative approach, it is easier to reduce the symptoms and enhance the quality of life for people with cancer.

Some treatments can also be replaced by integrative therapies. For example, if the patient is struggling with pain, they can consider acupuncture instead of taking pain medications.

Experiencing cancer fatigue can be debilitating because there’s a lot that your body needs to overcome. Physical activity and yoga can help to regain some strength and energy.

Moreover, it is always better to discuss everything with your oncologist first before going for any integrative therapy or supplements. Cancer is a complicated disease and it can be managed if you coordinate well with your oncology doctor and the care team. If you go for a cancer centre with a dedicated integrative oncology program, you can rest assured that you will get the best and safest advice and guidance.