American Brain Tumor Association’s Annual Conference Puts a Spotlight on Integrated Care
Integrative medicine — a combination of both alternative medicine and conventional treatments — may improve quality of life for brain tumor patients. At the American Brain Tumor Association’s annual patient and family conference July 25-26 in Chicago, experts will discuss the use of integrative medicine and how patients and caregivers can talk with their doctors about integrating alternative treatment options.
In the US, recent studies show that 50 to 60 percent of cancer patients use some form of integrative medicine. According to Deneen Hesser, MSHSA, RN, OCN, chief mission officer for the ABTA,. “Some of these therapies may be helpful; others could be harmful or interfere with the effectiveness of other therapies. This conference session offers patients and caregivers access to experts who can give them the information they need make informed decisions.”
Rekha Chaudhary, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute, will be presenting the session “Integrative Medicine and Nutrition During Treatment.” The session will focus on the overall nutrition, special diets including the ketogenic diet, exercise and more.
“It’s important to understand that integrative medicine is in addition to, or in conjunction with, traditional medicine as opposed to alternative medicine which practices are used instead of traditional treatments,” explains Dr. Chaudhary. “Integrative medicine can be part of the healing process by aiding symptom management and promoting health and healing. It should be discussed with your doctor when planning your chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.”
The ABTA recommends that patients considering supplementing traditional treatments with alternative therapies do so under the supervision of their doctors/treatment teams to safely and effectively enhance health and healing. The ABTA encourages patients and caregivers to research the credentials of the person presenting alternative therapies to help determine whether it is a valid option. In addition to talking with their doctor, questions to consider include:
- Is he/she licensed? (Not all states require licensing or certification of alternative medicine practitioners.)
- What kind of organization does he/she represent? (A business? A college or university? A nonprofit organization?)
- What is his/her educational background?
- What are his/her professional society affiliations?
ABOUT THE ABTA PATIENT AND FAMILY CONFERENCE
The American Brain Tumor Association’s conference annually brings together brain tumor experts, researchers, patients, families and caregivers with the goal of improving the lives of people living with a brain tumor. This year’s theme, “Providing and Pursing Answers: Advances in Research, Treatment and Care” describes the ABTA’s position as a leader in providing and pursuing the answers that brain tumor patients and their families seek.
Throughout the conference, national brain tumor experts will cover a wide variety of topics not only on new research and treatments, but also on important quality of life issues, including integrative medicine – a topic the ABTA is often asked about.
The ABTA’s 2014 patient and family conference will take place on July 25-26 at the Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites Hotel, just minutes away from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. To learn more or register, visit www.braintumorconference.org.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN BRAIN TUMOR ASSOCIATION
Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was first and is now the only national organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing support and education programs for all tumor types and all age groups. For more information, visit www.abta.org or call 800-886-ABTA (2282).
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