Focusing on the Kind of Integrated Gynecologic Cancer Care that Heals

Organization: Author:
Mary Welch, RN, MS, FNP-C, AOCN, Oncology Nurse Practitioner/Nurse Navigator
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Gynecologic cancer care for women beginning treatment is unique to each person. Treatment can vary and can include radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other necessary options to fight the disease effectively. When we hear the phrase “cancer care,” it may be assumed that care is, most importantly, given to the body but there are additional ways to ensure that women fight back against cancer and beat the disease.

An example of how women can receive complete cancer care is by taking part in activities that are uplifting and encourage positive thinking, which can be deemed as integrated medicine.

Making sure that the body heals in its entirety is integrated medicine. Integrated medicine is different from standard care because it promotes physical and emotional health for the best quality of life. Gynecologic cancer patients should feel assured that the care they receive is focused on healing, building strength, endurance, and peace of mind while battling their illness.

Integrated cancer care is very important and consists of many components that aid in proper treatment and healing. Gynecologic cancer patients should know exactly what they are diagnosed with, the treatment, as well as the side effects. Having the education and the information about a specific disease can lessen stress and promote healthiness. Also, when women are given access to resources that support their mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health, their entire healing process improves.

There are several ways to take part in integrated cancer medicine at Long Beach Memorial. Here are some available options:

  • MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute’s Ambulatory Infusion Center is designed with a soothing and relaxing atmosphere for patients to feel comfortable within the hospital (i.e., patients can listen to music or receive massages while having treatment)
  • Consultation rooms are outside of the exam rooms for patients to meet with doctors privately or with family/loved ones
  • Patients can visit and speak with not only their primary care physicians, but with hospital pre-op surgeons, clinicians, nurses, fellows, residents and medical students under one roof for treatment and therapy
  • Cancer patients and survivors are encouraged to get involved in support groups and mentorships that foster strong relationships with hospital care teams and other patients (i.e., Women Guiding Women: Cancer Support and Education)
  • Free yoga classes open to cancer patients in the community 
  • Psychosocial support from the Beat the Odds and Boost the Odds Programs teaches patients how to handle stress appropriately and improve sleeping habits
  • Mind-Body Oncology Coach provides guidance and tools to build patient confidence throughout their cancer journey 
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker support is available to assist with practical issues, such as time off from work or additional individual psychosocial support
  • Informational resource center about diseases and how they effect the overall body are available

Each patient is different and integrated medicine ensures that every individual’s needs are met with keen attention to who they are and how they feel. Cancer treatment can be optimized when patients are offered comprehensive care that focuses on the body, mind and spirit and promotes wellness.