Integrative oncology involves the use of evidence-based, complementary practices in addition to conventional, standard cancer therapies. Integrative oncology takes a "whole body” approach to treatment with recommendations and therapies that address environment, diet, exercise, supplements, and non-traditional treatments. While many complementary therapies improve quality of life, there is ongoing research to evaluate whether any of these treatments, in conjunction with standard therapy, may also improve survival.
Good cancer care begins with good client communication. Communicating effectively with pet owners before and after a cancer diagnosis, however, can be challenging. Every owner handles a diagnosis in their own way, but there are common concerns that many clients have. Consider the following to help you prepare and review the messages you want to communicate when talking about cancer with your pet owners:
Pet owners are often hesitant to begin cancer treatment out of concern for their pet's quality of life. Your clients may have witnessed the effects of cancer on a relative or friend and may associate cancer treatment with pain and discomfort. In fact, clients can be reassured that extending quality of life is the fundamental reason for treating cancer in a beloved pet.
Many people associate chemotherapy with adverse side effects. This association can make owners hesitant to pursue chemotherapy for their pets. Fortunately, the risk of adverse effects is low and many adverse effects can be prevented with quality pre-emptive care. When side effects do occur, most are mild and self-limiting. Consider the following statistics:
Many clients struggle with the decision to treat their pets after a cancer diagnosis. Their decisions can be complicated by the need to travel to outside specialists. As a veterinarian, you may wish you could offer clients a solution that allows you to continue to take a lead role in their pets' treatments at your clinic. However, case management can be difficult in a regular clinic and you may have reservations about whether you can safely offer the best cancer care using chemotherapy drugs. Oncura Partners Online Cancer Management System offers solutions.