Here are my top 5 tips for taking your next steps:
Step 1. Find the best oncologist for your disease.
Start by Googling the top 10 cancer hospitals in the U.S. You can also search through the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Centers. Certain non-profits offer specific help to different types of cancer. Learn how to locate these non-profits through the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cancer.net Cancer Specific Resources.
Step 2. Build an integrative/functional medicine team.
Check with friends and family for a referral but if that comes up short look through the directories below. Then interview your doctors to make sure they’re the right fit for your healing team.
- Find a Functional Medicine Practitioner, from the Institute of Functional Medicine
American College for Advancement in Medicine
American Association for Naturopathic Physicians
Here are just a few well-respected docs you might look into:
- Dr. Brian Bouch, MD
Center Treatment Centers of America (CTCA)
- CTCA is one of the few hospital locations that includes meaningful integrative components. I have also heard great things about doctors, Barry Boyd, MD Robert Zieve, MD, Keith Block, MD, and Sunil Pai, MD. Click their name to be taken to their website with more information.
- Also, Dr. Jeanne Wallace is a new resource on my radar and the testimonials about about her nutrition protocol for cancer patients are super positive.
Step 3. Think beyond the Docs.
As a part of your overall health plan, consider regular exercise, massages and acupuncture. I work with a therapist for stress reduction and I also love EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as tapping). Learn more about EFT in my interview with Nick Ortner, founder of The Tapping Solution, here.
Step 4. Emotional Support.
Don’t discount how important emotional support is during this time! There are many, many great resources available to you. Check out the American Psychological Oncology Society for referrals to local counseling services, CancerCare for free telephone conversations with oncology social workers about coping with emotional, practical challenges and other stress (plus in person support at offices in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut), and Cancer Support Community (some of their locations around the United States offer free in person support).
Additional assistance comes from the National Cancer Institute’s resource called Organizations That Offer Support Services with over 100 organizations nationwide that provide emotional, practical, and financial support services for people with cancer and even their families.
Step 5. Cancer Coach
Perhaps you’re interested in connecting with a cancer coach about Integrative cancer care for the whole person. I recommend Jeannine Walston. Since diagnosed with cancer in 1998, personally and professionally she focused on Integrative cancer care addressing the body, mind, and spirit, social and environmental health. You can visit her website JeannineWalston.com for lots of free integrative cancer care articles and info about working with her as a cancer coach.