Duluth Chiropractic Acupuncture Clinic, LLC

  Dr. Jooyoung Kim, DC 

Phone: (770) 476-7676  Email: dcacllc@hotmail.com

Cancer Supportive Care

The Cancer Recovery Program helps restore the body mind and spirit with acupuncture, herbs, nutrition and supplements. The focus of the program is to provide proactive tools to activate the body's own healing mechanisms and improve quality of life before, during and after conventional treatments. 

The program is personally tailored to the individual based upon the type of cancer and its staging, the kinds of biomedical treatments the person is receiving and their side effects.

Cancer supportive care can be very important to improving quality of life. It supports the patient physically, mentally and emotionally. The Cancer Recovery Program is empowering because it gives the patient a nurturing tool to feel more energetic, less depressed and more in control. 

Healing of a cancer requires internal emotional examination. From this perspective, personalized mind-body approaches can be taken along with dietary changes, and specific nutritional enhancement is designed to have a significant impact on vitality and wellness.

Benefits of Cancer Supportive Care

  • Relieving side effects of radiation and chemotherapy
  • Minimizing the use of medications
  • Improving energy
  • Improving pain control
  • Post-surgical swelling
  • Managing stress and post-traumatic stress
  • Getting a good night's sleep
  • Imparting a sense of well-being

Acupuncture works by re-establishing homeostasis and unblocking energy flow This systemic approach directs healing energy to specific organ pathology and is a routine modality in Chinese Medicine for treating diseased organs such as liver, pancreas, and kidney, including those effected by cancers or cancer treatment.
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"Can Acupuncture help me?"

The diversity of diseases and treatments for cancer are vast as can be the symptoms and side effects. While acupuncture is well known for pain control, we are continually learning more about its success in cancer-related pain and in reducing narcotic usage.

Nausea, vomiting and fatigue are common symptoms that can be treated well with acupuncture during active chemotherapy. Cancer treatment can be as hard on the body as the disease. This is a great time to include acupuncture treatment as part of therapy. Research shows acupuncture can be effective for chemotherapy symptom control especially when administered the day before treatment begins, and between treatments. 

What do researches say about the use of acupuncture for cancer patients?

The literature on the use of the Cancer Recovery Program is growing. It was not that long ago that the use of psychology for cancer patients was not valued. Now most cancer centers have staff therapists. In the same vein, the Cancer Recovery Program is on the forefront of the highest high quality empowered patient care with the use of acupuncture, massage, nutrition, herbs and mind-body therapies and exercises. 

As an example, in September 2007 the American College of Chest Physicians updated their guideline for the treatment of lung cancer to include, for the first time, mind-body modalities as part of a multi-modality approach to reduce the anxiety, mood disturbances, and chronic pain associated with lung cancer.

"Massage therapy is recommended for patients who are experiencing anxiety or pain, while acupuncture is recommended for patients experiencing fatigue, dyspnea, chemo-induced neuropathy, or in cases where pain or nausea/vomiting is poorly controlled.

Electrostimulation wristbands are not recommended for managing chemo-induced nausea/vomiting, as studies show that they do little to delay nausea/vomiting compared with placebo." Science Daily Sep. 16, 2007

In a recent study of patients undergoing head and neck cancer there was a significant improvement in quality of life in the acupuncture groups vs. the groups receiving conventional care only. 

"Seventy patients participated in the study and were randomized to receive either acupuncture or usual care, which includes recommendations of physical therapy exercises and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. For all of the patients, at least three months had elapsed since their surgery and radiation treatments. The treatment group received four sessions of acupuncture over the course of approximately four weeks. Both groups were evaluated using the Constant-Murley scale, a composite measure of pain, function, and activities of daily living. Pain and mobility improved in 39 percent of the patients receiving acupuncture, compared to a 7 percent improvement in the group that received usual care. An added benefit of acupuncture was significant reduction of reported xerostomia, or extreme dry mouth. This distressing problem, common among cancer patients following radiotherapy in the head and neck, is addressed with only limited success by mainstream means." Science Daily June 5, 2008 
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Clinical Nutrition for cancer patients

The health of the digestive tract, the ability to break down and absorb nutrients and maintain the detoxification pathways of the liver, colon and skin are important to maintain health. Due to the rigors of chemotherapy cancer patients have damage to the absorptive capacity of the small intestine and they often have problems in other areas of the digestive tract, including insulin sensitivity. 

Knowing when to detox depends on the type of cancer, the individual's constitution, the staging of the cancer and the stage of treatment. 

Testing for key nutrients which are often depleted in cancer patients is a way to accurately target ways to jump start self-healing mechanisms. 

In addition many common foods and spices have specific action on certain types of cancer both as a preventative and for treatment. We take all of this into account when recommending dietary choices as part of the Cancer Recovery Program. 

Targeted Nutrition and Herbs

Targeted nutrition aids in boosting the immune response as well as to help minimize myelosuppression (drug induced suppression of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets). There are many situations in which a cancer patient can benefit from targeted nutritional supplements and herbs:

  • Drug treatment side effects such as neuropathies, cardiotoxicity and constipation,
  • Energy improvement
  • Hormonal balancing strategies for hot flashes, anxiety and insomnia
  • Improving genetic expression with nutrition (nutrigenomics)
  • Improving cellular matrix to heal and detoxify
  • Improving mitochondrial function to improve cellular energy
  • Improving absorption of nutrients that produce energy and blood and regulate the organs

There are ways in which nutritional supplements and herbs act in similarly to the mechanism of drugs to fight and prevent cancer:

  • Selective estrogen modulation (SERM) and aromatase inhibition
  • Blocking new blood vessel growth (VEG-F)
  • Promoting natural killer cell activity
  • Anti-inflammation
  • Mild chemotherapeutic agents

Q. How Can You Help Me Recover From Surgery?

A. Our Surgery Recovery Protocol will help you recover quicker with less pain and side effects. We use a homeopathic, herbal and nutraceutical protocol to help patients going through the rigors of surgery.

It is important to see a practitioner that is experienced and knowledgeable in the integration of natural medicines with conventional oncology care. There are ways that the two can work together. For example, some herbs and nutrients may be contraindicated while undergoing chemotherapy while others may prevent side effects and enhance treatment outcomes. If you have questions about how the Cancer Recovery Program can help you or a loved one please call for more information.
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