For many patients the diagnosis of cancer can be physically devastating with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. But for some, the disease takes even a larger toll. The psychological stress can put a strain on families and friends, even finances. But, one local cancer center is aggressively treating those other aspects of cancer care.
Nori Pomphrey is not taking her breast cancer lying down; she’s using acupuncture to beat the disease. “By receiving an acupuncture treatment,” Pomphrey says. “My energy level is back to normal.” The 37-year-old says the treatments lessened the stress, pain and nausea during chemotherapy.
“We see the patients on a regular basis, to address their psychosocial needs,” says Blanca Barcenes, a social worker at the Courtelis Center at the University of Miami’s Sylvester Cancer Center adding that cancer care is not only about chemo, radiation, and surgery. For many patients, the psychological toll is devastating. “Depression is very common, panic attacks, anxiety,” Barcenes says.
The diagnosis also puts a strain on families, friends and finances. That’s why the Courtelis Center uses psychologist and social workers, music therapy, massage, acupuncture, art therapy and nutritionists to maximize cancer care. Some cancer patients even lose their faith–for them there’s also pastoral counseling.
“We integrate the psychosocial well being, the emotional well being, the spiritual well being and also alternative medicine like acupuncture into the physical aspect of the treatment,” Barcenes said. By integrating all aspects of cancer care under one roof, the hope is, even the darkest days will seem be a bit brighter.
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