Experts suggest integrated treatment protocol for cancer patients

Alternative medicines like Ayurveda can help to improve the quality of life for cancer patients, says Dr Jun Mao of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Dr. Mao was speaking at the Global Ayurveda Festival being held in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. 

“I experienced the power of Ayurveda massage and shirodhara during my time here. I am sure that these would be beneficial to cancer patients who suffer from side effects of treatments like radiation and chemotherapy,” said Dr Mao. 

Stressing the need to develop an integrated treatment protocol for cancer patients, Dr Mao added: 

“Both traditional wisdom and modern medicine need to coexist. You need both to balance and create harmony for the field to evolve. Patients too desire this kind of approach as they want a healthier life.”

Mao said his research center has already incorporated elements of yoga into the integrated treatment of cancer. "In India, there is so much wisdom and empirical experience of Ayurveda that the world can learn a lot about what has been practiced for centuries,” Dr Mao said. 

Dr Santhosshi Narayan, from the MD Anderson Cancer Center and an associate professor at the University of Texas, said that both patients and oncologists share the same objective - diet, pain management, and a healthy lifestyle for cancer patients.

“Ayurveda practitioners and oncologists should communicate with each other and develop a platform to share their knowledge to complement their treatments,” she said, adding, “There is a lot to learn from each other”. 

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