Memorial’s Integrative Medicine for Cancer

May 13, 2024

Are you familiar with Memorial Cancer Institute’s Integrative Medicine program? Perhaps a friend or your oncologist has suggested it as part of your cancer care. Sometimes referred to as complementary medicine, it can seem mysterious, and patients and families may have concerns about its effectiveness. 

Applied to cancer care, Integrative Medicine can be an effective way to maintain your well-being and manage what your body is going through on the cancer journey. It does not replace modern expertise and standard treatments. It is used in addition to standard cancer care to help manage symptoms and side effects.

How Does Integrative Medicine Work?

Integrative Medicine for cancer is the combination of Memorial’s clinical expertise and advanced cancer treatments with lifestyle medicine that research has proven safe and effective.

Integrative Medicine

Our Integrative Medicine specialists do not treat cancer; your oncologist and cancer team do. These specialists can give you tools to live your best life during that treatment.

“My team and I apply the latest evidence when it comes to integrative health,” says Ashwin Mehta, MD, Medical Director for Integrative Medicine. “That draws upon the wisdom of ancient healing traditions from all over the world and uses these in a science-informed way to improve quality of life throughout the journey of cancer care.” 

  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Nutrition
  • Sleep
  • Stress reduction
  • Supplements
  • Yoga

Dr. Mehta and his team see patients who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment, recovering from surgery or undergoing radiation treatment, as well as survivors who are living beyond cancer.


How Does it Help Cancer Patients?

Integrative Medicine specialists at the Memorial Cancer Institute work with you to help you achieve your goals for feeling better during treatment.

This approach considers your total well-being, including:

  • Mental health
  • Emotional health
  • Physical wellness

Cancer treatment may come with some difficult side effects, but you don’t have to suffer through it in silence. Integrative care helps with management of:

  • Body aches and pain
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Nerve pain
  • Sleep
  • Stress
  • Weight gain or loss

And we recognize that cancer patients’ families are on this journey, too. “We tell them: We have our integrative team, you bring yours. Bring your inner circle of trust, bring your support network, engage your family members and friends, because they’re going to be partners with you in applying these positive health behaviors,” says Dr. Mehta.


Are Supplements Safe to Use?

They can be with proper guidance.

Vitamins and nutritional supplements can be helpful during cancer treatment if they are high quality and will not interact with your prescription medications or treatment.

We can help you safely navigate supplements and will recommend products that have been independently tested for potency and purity. We will track your intake and share that information with your cancer care team.

Memorial Integrative Medicine for Cancer Is a Wise Choice

Integrative Medicine is an important part of cancer care at Memorial Cancer Institute for its effectiveness with improved quality of life, feeling better during treatment and recovering faster.

And the renowned Memorial Experience means you’ll find support, a wholistic care plan and compassionate care that puts you and your family at the center of all we do.

You also can expect the benefit of:

  • An expert team with extensive training in standard and integrative care
  • A collaborative approach with your cancer care team
  • Science-supported, safe therapies that reduce side effects
  • Patient-centric care designed to help with your specific experience with cancer
  • Improved outcomes because lifestyle changes like eating healthier, exercising and managing stress can improve the results of cancer treatment and reduce the risk of cancer coming back

We are proud to be one of the only comprehensive integrative oncology programs at a comprehensive academic cancer center in the region,” says Dr. Mehta. “When it’s cancer, this is how we lead.”

Learn more at about Memorial Cancer Institute’s Integrative Medicine program or call 954-844-9080.