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supportive care
integrative oncology
symptom management
breast cancer

Acupuncture for the Management of Hot Flashes

The ASCO Post’s Integrative Oncology series is intended to facilitate the availability of evidence-based information on integrative and complementary therapies commonly used by patients with cancer. In this installment, authors Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE, and Jyothirmai Gubili, MS, present a case study...

integrative oncology

Vitamin D and Cancer: A Uniform Dose Is Unlikely to Fit All Patients

Technically, vitamin D is a secosteroid hormone, not a vitamin. Increasing evidence indicates that vitamin D exerts effects beyond calcium homeostasis. Importantly, for example, higher serum vitamin D levels are associated with better cancer outcomes, including survival.1-3 The protective effects...

integrative oncology

Sleep Disruption in Cancer Survivors: Yoga Offers a Low-Risk Intervention With High Potential for Benefit

Impaired sleep quality is a concerning problem for many patients with cancer, and pharmacologic treatments come with many negative effects. Several small studies indicate that yoga improves persistent fatigue, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and quality of life, in addition to reducing the need for ...

integrative oncology

The Role of Music Therapy in Cancer Care

Music therapy, an established adjuvant to standard cancer care, is offered in a growing number of cancer centers throughout the United States and internationally. Defined by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) as “the evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individual...

integrative oncology

Acupuncture: Does It Alleviate Symptoms Associated With Cancer Care?

A therapeutic modality of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture has been extensively investigated in Western medical settings. Its clinical use is increasingly common for the management of pain and other conditions. In the oncology setting, research demonstrates that acupuncture can...

In Memoriam

The ASCO Post remembers the following specialists in oncology who passed away in 2015–2016. Please write to editor@ASCOPost.com to recognize and pay tribute to others in a future issue. Mark R. Green, MD January 3, 1945–February 23, 2015 “Few people have impacted cancer clinical research in the...

integrative oncology

Fitness: Can Exercise Lengthen Survival in Patients With Cancer?

Integrative Oncology is guest edited by Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, of Memorial Sloan ­Kettering Cancer Center, New York. Regular physical activity has long been associated with decreased risk of disease, including many types of cancer. Such benefits may translate into increased life expectancy...

integrative oncology

Boswellia

The ASCO Post’s Integrative Oncology series is intended to facilitate the availability of evidence-based information on integrative and complementary therapies commonly used by patients with cancer. We chose Boswellia for this issue because of its increasing use by patients with cancer....

integrative oncology

Mistletoe

The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 20 years despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and...

integrative oncology
symptom management

Acupuncture for Cancer Symptom Clusters

Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years in Eastern Asian cultures as a component of traditional Chinese medicine.1 In the United States, acupuncture became known to the public as a complementary and alternative medicine technique in the 1970s, but it took many years before it was...

integrative oncology

A Conversation with Barrie R. Cassileth, PhD

Barrie R. Cassileth, PhD, Chief, Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York, recently spoke with The ASCO Post about her quest to stamp out the illegitimate use of alternative medicine in cancer care and the results from her latest research. A...

Reflections from The ASCO Post

The editors gratefully acknowledge all contributors to The ASCO Post and thank the columnists who contributed to Volume 2, January–December 2011: Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP Richard Boxer, MD, FACS Carlton G. Brown, RN, PhD, AOCN Barrie R. Cassileth, PhD E. David Crawford, MD Emil J. Freireich, MD, ...

integrative oncology

Integrative Oncology: Essential to Cancer Care

During the 1960s and 1970s, the concept of an expanded approach to oncologic treatment encompassing “body, mind, and spirit” grew in patient popularity and morphed into two basic categories: “alternative” and “complementary” therapies. Together, these later became known by the acronym CAM, for...

integrative oncology

‘New Science, New Solutions’ Explored at Society for Integrative Oncology Conference

“Innovating Integrative Oncology: New Science, New Solutions” was the title of the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) Eighth International Conference. Topics ranged from molecular biology to mitigation of treatment toxicity to mind-body medicine. A total of 505 people attended the conference,...

integrative oncology

Acai Berry

The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has risen significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and the...

breast cancer
integrative oncology

Soy Phytoestrogens and Breast Cancer: An Enduring Dilemma

The impact of soy consumption on breast cancer diagnosis and outcome has remained of concern to clinicians and researchers for the past 20 years. Although studied extensively in epidemiologic studies as well as lab and animal research, no medical consensus on soy’s effects has emerged. Many studies ...

integrative oncology

Astragalus

The use of dietary supplements by cancer patients has risen significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and the...

integrative oncology

Antioxidant Supplementation in Patients with Cancer: Is It Safe and Effective?

Antioxidant supplements are widely used by healthy individuals as a preventive measure against cancer and heart disease and by patients with cancer to promote healing and prevent recurrence. Studies suggest that dietary supplements are used by up to 81% of cancer survivors, and that 14% to 32%...

integrative oncology

Dong Quai

Scientific Name: Angelica sinensis Common Names: Chinese angelica, dang gui, tang kuei, tan kue Overview Dong quai is a perennial herb indigenous to China, Japan, and Korea. Its root has been used for centuries as a spice, tonic, and medicine. Dong quai is mentioned in Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, the...

integrative oncology

Acupuncture: Does It Alleviate Symptoms Associated with Cancer Care?

A therapeutic modality of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture has been extensively investigated in Western medical settings. Its clinical use is increasingly common for the management of pain and other conditions. In the oncology setting, research demonstrates that acupuncture can...

integrative oncology

Green Tea

The use of dietary supplements by cancer patients has risen significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and the...

integrative oncology

Turmeric 

The use of dietary supplements by cancer patients has risen significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and the...

integrative oncology

Fitness: Can Exercise Lengthen Survival in Patients with Cancer? 

Regular physical activity has long been associated with decreased risk of disease, including many types of cancer. Such benefits may translate into increased life expectancy of up to 4.5 years, with even the lowest levels of activity providing some survival advantage.1 Most strikingly, however,...

integrative oncology

Flaxseed

Dietary supplement use by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and the...

integrative oncology

Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, Champion of Integrative Oncology, Continues to Nurture Growth of the Field 

Over the past decade, integrative oncology has gained wide acceptance as an evidenced-based way to improve the lives of patients with cancer throughout the continuum of their care. The ASCO Post recently spoke with Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service and Laurance ...

integrative oncology

Vitamin D and Cancer: A Uniform Dose Is Unlikely to Fit All Patients 

Integrative Oncology is guest edited by Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service and Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. The Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center...

integrative oncology

Shiitake Mushroom 

The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and...

integrative oncology

Acupuncture May Reduce Arm Lymphedema in Patients with Breast Cancer 

Integrative Oncology is guest edited by Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service and Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. The Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center...

integrative oncology

Ginseng 

Guest Editor Integrative Oncology is guest edited by Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service and Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. The Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering...

integrative oncology

Herb-Drug Interactions in Oncology  

Guest Editor Integrative Oncology is guest edited by Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service and Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. The Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering...

integrative oncology

Omega-3

Common Name: Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) Brand Names:  Omegaven, Max-EPA The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about...

supportive care

Yoga to Manage Sleep Disruption in Cancer Survivors: A Low-Risk Intervention With High Potential for Benefit

Impaired sleep quality is a concerning problem for many patients with cancer, and pharmacologic treatments come with many negative effects. Several small studies indicate that yoga improves persistent fatigue, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and quality of life, in addition to reducing the need for...

integrative oncology

Ginkgo biloba

The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and...

solid tumors
integrative oncology

Stress and Tumor Biology: Insights Into Managing Stress to Help Improve Cancer Care

Stress is ubiquitous in our society, especially for people diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. There is a common misconception that stress is derived from a particular negative event. However, the event itself (the stressors, such as cancer diagnoses and treatment) does not causes stress....

integrative oncology

The Ketogenic Diet in Cancer Control

Ketogenic (or very-low-carbohydrate) diets have been employed since the 1920s as nonpharmacologic therapies for epilepsy and, in some instances, have obviated the need for medication for that disease. Since the 1960s, the ketogenic diet has become better known as a means of managing obesity. This...

integrative oncology

Reishi Mushroom

Scientific name: Ganoderma lucidum Common names: Ling zhi, lin zi, mushroom of immortality Overview A fungus, reishi mushroom is an important component of the traditional medical systems of China, Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries. It is used to increase energy, stimulate the immune system,...

integrative oncology

Thirty Years of Effort Has Led to the Mainstreaming of Integrative Medicine in Oncology Care

When Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, began researching complementary medicine and its potential for use in oncology care over 30 years ago, not much was known about the importance of complementary therapies for the well-being of patients with cancer. She chose to conduct her doctoral dissertation...

supportive care
survivorship

Maximizing the Benefits of Exercise in Patients With Cancer

Many nonpharmacologic therapies increase both physical and emotional strength during cancer treatment as well as throughout survivorship. These therapies include the mind-body practices of meditation, self-hypnosis, guided imagery, and breath awareness, touch therapies including massage and...

integrative oncology

St. John's Wort

The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and...

integrative oncology

Avoiding Antioxidant-Drug Interactions During Cancer Treatment

Many potential drug-nutrient interactions can affect cancer treatment. It is important to consider these interactions given the significant use of supplements and other self-treatment options during cancer care. Antioxidants account for a large portion of the $32 billion in supplement industry...

integrative oncology

Red Clover

The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and...

integrative oncology

The Role of Music Therapy in Cancer Care

Music therapy, an established adjuvant to standard cancer care, is offered in a growing number of cancer centers throughout the United States and internationally. Defined by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) as “the evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individual...

integrative oncology

Milk Thistle

The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and...

integrative oncology
pain management
symptom management

Acupuncture Treatment for Cancer Pain and Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting and manipulating filiform needles into specific points of the body to achieve a therapeutic effect. According to traditional Chinese medicine, disruptions in the flow of “vital energy” (qi) throughout the body are the...

integrative oncology

Aloe Vera

The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and...

integrative oncology

The Long and Winding Road to Modern Integrative Oncology

It has been a long road from the blind acceptance of unproven “alternative” remedies for the treatment of cancer to the development of rigorous guidelines for integrative care, which address symptom control. The recently released Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) guidelines applicable to...

integrative oncology

Capsaicin

Scientific name: 8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide Brand names: Zostrix cream 0.025% or 0.075%, Salonpas Gel-Patch Hot, Sinus Buster (homeopathic intranasal spray). The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 20 years despite insufficient...

integrative oncology

Herbal Supplements: Increasing Problems

In Don Quixote, the 1605 Spanish literary masterpiece by Miguel Cervantes, “Balsam of Fierabras” is mentioned often as a therapeutic panacea. It calls for mixing rosemary, wine, oil, and salt. As the story goes, the knight relied heavily on this herbal preparation to relieve him of pain from the...

issues in oncology
health-care policy

Ongoing Controversies in Allocating Our Health‑Care Resources

Disparities of care that result in poorer outcomes among certain populations have long been an issue addressed by the cancer community and its major organizations such as ASCO. While ethnicity and race play key roles in this ongoing debate over equitable allocation of our precious health-care...

issues in oncology

Staff Support Sessions in an Oncology Setting

Work-related issues such as coping skills, stress management, burnout, and compassion fatigue are among the challenges faced by clinical and other staff in cancer treatment centers. Given the emotional consequences of professional caregiving, staff support group meetings are valuable resources for...

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