Cancer and The Lack Of Integrative Care - Why ?

When Celebrities like  Michael Douglas announce a cancer diagnosis , as he did last September, it catches people's attention. Thankfully Michael had a good reaction to treatment and his stage 4 throat cancer tumor was gone in January of 2011. Fortunately Mr. Douglas lives in an area that offers some of the best treatment options available. Not everyone is so lucky.

I successfully (knock on wood) navigated through cancer in the past few years (see my talk on cancer below) I know first hand that many in the traditional sick care system still do not offer integrative wellness services for cancer patients. Despite having the most advanced radiation and chemo therapies available, I was unable to receive alternative therapies that would have helped me to cope and recover from traditional treatment methods. An example is acupuncture therapy. It simply was not readily available where I live.

Working in fitness and wellness this really made me wonder, Why? When I mentioned to my surgeon and oncologist about my work out regimens and how I had lost all of my energy and was unable to be physically active, there was never a mention of alternative therapies I could have used. Essentially there was NO integrative care available to either myself or the many other souls suffering around me.

The good news is that many alternative therapies are becoming more available. Trouble is for the clear majority of patients, they are not available. Furthermore, because these therapies are largely private pay, for most people without financial means they simply could not benefit from them if they were available. It cost too much.

So please tell me, Bryan O'Rourke, why aren't alternative therapies more readily available ? Let me know your thoughts about creating a "Circle of Health" that encompasses traditional and preventative therapies.

Bryan K. O'Rourke On His Cancer Experience from Bryan ORourke on Vimeo.