A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Rajeev Kurapati: Integrative medicine approach to decrease the risk of breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. It is caused by an interplay of genetic and environmental factors including: genetic vulnerability, food choices, lifestyle, and estrogen exposures. This article focuses on the common factors that increase a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer and the role of Integrative Oncology in its prevention.

Breast cancer care conventionally involves surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy and/or hormonal therapy. But care for a cancer patient is lot more comprehensive than these. It involves alleviating their symptoms, managing treatment related side-effects, tending to their fears, and addressing their existential distress. It even extends to caring for their caregivers.

Dr. Rajeev Kurapati

Integrative oncology is a specialty which aims at providing this whole-person care for anyone going through their journey of cancer treatment. The goal is to improve the individual’s quality of life during and following treatment, sometimes long after they are cured of their cancer. With safety as the number one priority, all these interventions are recommended using evidence-based approaches.

Integrative oncology helps women make choices in their lives to help prevent breast cancer, slow its growth if it occurs, and prevent the disease from coming back after it has been treated. Integrative care addresses both the root cause of cancer and the symptoms of the disease or its treatment.

If an integrative approach might interfere with standard cancer treatment, it is avoided while a woman is receiving treatment. Integrative oncology uses evidence-based therapies when available. These therapies are based on the best available research and clinical experience. Integrative Medicine focuses on healing the body, mind, and spirit. Each person has a unique path to healing. The best approach is to decrease a person’s lifetime risk of developing cancer and focus on growth and greater health.

Most Common Factors that Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer

• Alcohol consumption of greater than 1 drink per day
• Obesity
• High fat, low fiber, processed food diet, low intake of fruits and vegetable
• Mutation in one of the breast cancer genes, BRCA1 or BRCA2

Most Common Factors That Decrease the Risk of Breast Cancer

• Regular exercise 30-60 minutes 3-5 times per week.
• Prolonged breastfeeding
• Fresh foods including 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily

Integrative Oncology at St. Elizabeth Cancer Center is whole person centered, evidence-informed cancer care that utilizes lifestyle modifications and practices from different traditions alongside conventional cancer treatments.

To assist the person touched by cancer, St. Elizabeth Cancer Center offer a variety of services such as healthy nutrition offered through their state-of-the-art demo kitchen, yoga, meditation, mindfulness practices, acupuncture, massage therapy, music therapy, aroma-therapy, healing-touch, psychological support groups, counseling, etc.

At the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center these modalities are offered to patients in-house, instead of them going out and seeking from individual providers. By brining different treatment modalities under one roof, compassionate staff provides care in a safe, supervised and supportive environment. To avail these offerings, you can visit Classes & Events calendar or call (859) 301-4157 for more information.

Dr. Rajeev Kurapati serves as Medical Director of Integrative Oncology at St. Elizabeth Cancer Center.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment