Integrative Medicine and Cancer Care
"Healing goes beyond cure of disease. Healing is the path of physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness. Integrative medicine strives to empower patients to take action toward healing and well being, and to become more aware of their inner wisdom and live in the present moment. "
- Lucille Marchand, MD, BSN for Health Professionals
For First-Time Patients
Prior to your first appointment with our Integrative Medicine physicians, please fill out the Client Information Form (PDF) and mail it to:
UW Integrative Medicine
621 Science Dr
Madison, WI 53711
In the News
UW Health Integrative Medicine in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center offers integrative medicine services specifically designed for cancer patients, including acupuncture, Healing Touch, Feldenkrais, naturopathic consults and massage therapy and bodywork.
Integrative medicine is a healing-oriented medicine that considers the whole person—body, mind, spirit and lifestyle. It uses all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative, and focuses on the needs, values and well-being of the person, rather than the disease.
Conventional medical care gives us options in treating a disease and its symptoms. Integrative medicine emphasizes the healing which can occur whether or not the disease is cured, giving people an ability to achieve high levels of health and healing. It expands the options for care and hope.
Our integrative medicine specialists focus on how patients with cancer can become more empowered in making decisions about their health care, and take action to bring optimal healing and well-being to their life journey. Integrative medicine combines the best of conventional and alternative therapies.
Arranging an Appointment
UW Health cancer patients may call:
- Integrative Medicine at the Cancer Clinics: (608) 265-1700 (select option 1 from the automated menu)
- Integrative Medicine at Research Park: (608) 262-WELL
Non-UW Health cancer patients may call (608) 262-WELL
Integrative Medicine and Cancer Care
It is important for cancer patients to receive care from a team of high quality health professionals that they trust. This improves the outcome of care, decreases complications and symptoms, and lowers anxiety. Integrative medicine can help enhance immune function which helps control tumor growth.
Integrative medicine gives patients resources for:
- Choosing therapies that help prevent cancer or prevent a recurrence
- Making lifestyle changes to promote optimal health
- Finding evidence-based information on nutritional supplements and herbs, and background on how to avoid harmful interaction with conventional therapies or make conventional therapies less effective
- Decreasing the side effects of conventional therapy such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- Preparing for surgery
- Surviving cancer in potentially a better state of health than before cancer occurred
- Working through the challenges of living with cancer
- Making decisions with greater confidence, using inner wisdom as well as scientific information
Integrative medicine consultants help patients choose the most effective therapies and assist them in using the cancer diagnosis as an opportunity for greater health, healing and growth, rather than one of hopelessness and overwhelming anxiety.
The Importance of Nutrition
Nutritionists recommend five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily, along with fiber, filtered water, soy foods, multivitamin, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil and flax seed oil for an optimal diet.
Obesity increases cancer risks, as do tobacco, saturated and trans fats, processed foods, and too much alcohol. Herbs and supplements must be carefully selected for maximum benefit and to avoid harm. They are not a substitute for nutritious food.
Movement Can Help Prevent Cancer
Even moderate amounts of exercise such as walking one hour three to five times a week can prevent cancer and decrease recurrence.
Movement therapies such as yoga, qigong, tai-chi, and Feldenkrais, benefit the body and can help emotional and spiritual healing.
Social Support, Connection, Living in the Present
Love, gratitude and forgiveness in life help patients find meaning, purpose and well-being.
The UW Mindfulness Meditation and Stress Relaxation Program teaches methods to decrease stress and anxiety, savor life, and make the immune system more effective in suppressing cancer.
Psychotherapy can help patients feel more empowered in coping with cancer, often leading to better decision making. Spiritual counseling also can be significant.
Caring for the Spirit and Energy System
Mihal Davis, CA, ND, is an acupuncturist who cares for cancer patients. Meet Mihal in words and pictures and learn why she cares for cancer patients. View Mihal's Audio Slideshow
Guided imagery, breath work, hypnosis, and biofeedback also control physical and emotional symptoms, while the creativity found in writing, journaling, and artwork, helps patients access inner wisdom and facilitate healing.
These services are offered at the Research Park Clinic. UW Health cancer patients may receive acupuncture and Healing Touch services at the cancer clinics.
Each person has a unique healing path, and not all therapies will be right for all people. The oncology staff and the integrative medicine practitioners work together to address each person's unique cancer journey and strive to provide the finest comprehensive cancer care.
Learn more about integrative medicine and cancer care in Integrative Medicine: Health and Healing in the Cancer Journey.