In contrast to traditional medicine, integrative oncology works to treat the patient as a whole, targeting both acute cancer development as well as any predisposing conditions. As Dr. Virginia Von Schaefer states, the integrative approach provides a number of unique benefits lacking in conventional medicine.
First, integrative treatments draw from a wide variety of sources to produce efficacious results without the detrimental side effects of traditional methods. From natural agents such as olive leaf extract to light therapies and ultraviolet blood irradiation, integrative oncology takes advantage of intrinsic cellular mechanisms in the human body to decrease cancer burden and promote cellular health.
Second, integrative medicine utilizes treatments developed all around the world, such as Supportive Oligonucleotide Therapies (SOT), to address cancer at the microscopic level with methods that are not used in conventional American medicine. Due to her years of research and connections overseas, Dr. Von Schaefer has become one of the foremost experts in administering SOT treatments and other integrative methods to place cancer in remission and keep it there.
The Drawbacks of Conventional Medicine
For over 20 years, conventional medicine’s treatment of cancer has remained the same, relying heavily on the three-pronged approach of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Although these modalities are essential in certain circumstances, traditional practitioners often depend completely on these limited methods regardless of cancer type, current condition, or environmental factors. As a result, conventional medicine follows a “cookie cutter” approach that ignores patient individuality and discourages personalized care.
The drawbacks of this are clear to see. For one, extensive surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy without proper testing and treatment first can cause more harm to the patient than necessary. Not only is surgery immunosuppressive and can severely impair the body’s natural repair mechanisms, but radiation and full-dose chemotherapy may cause significant damage to healthy tissue.
In addition to this, because conventional medicine remains focused on surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, it often disregards the microscopic and environmental components which contributed to cancer development in the first place. There are a number of underlying factors, such as surreptitious viruses, which increase the chances of cancer growth.
Without targeting and treating these conditions, the risk of recurrence or the development of new tumors multiplies greatly. While surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are all effective treatments when used correctly, due to the non-specific approach of traditional oncology, a significant need arises for treatment that utilizes methods beyond the conventional and focuses on treating patients holistically.
Integrative Oncology and the Future
Looking into the future, integrative oncology holds great promise in regard to novel therapeutics which can more effectively and safely treat cancer development. With the number of cancer cases growing worldwide, it is paramount to develop new ideas and approaches to oncology.
In this regard, integrative treatment holds an advantage over conventional medicine, which has for too long remained focused on its sole three-pronged approach. As a result, as more patients begin searching for ways to address their condition holistically, integrative medicine will continue to grow and develop to fill that need.