On October 17, 2020, the Anticancer Lifestyle Program (ACLP) presented at the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) Conference, an annual international gathering (held virtually this year) that offers an exceptional opportunity to learn about new findings in integrative oncology from healthcare professionals and others who are engaged in cancer care and research. ACLP co-founder Meg Hirshberg and ACLP Executive Director Nancy Kane presented a workshop with colleagues from Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies and MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The group presented to over 85 attendees on the topic of “What Do I Do Now? Guiding Patients Toward Healthy Lifestyle Choices.” Oncology healthcare providers often lack the time, information and resources to address patients’ questions about lifestyle changes. Providers may be concerned that addressing lifestyle changes has the potential to create a sense of inadequacy, blame or overload for their patients. Meg and Nancy, along with Laura Pole, RN, from Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies and Dr. Wenli Liu, an integrative oncologist from MD Anderson, described the benefits of having these sensitive discussions, presented tools for guiding patients about lifestyle choices, and suggested resources for cancer patients interested in risk reduction.
“Nancy and I were honored to join our colleagues in addressing this critical topic before such an esteemed group of practitioners and advocates,” said Meg Hirshberg. “Studies show that a vanishingly small number of primary care doctors and oncologists address lifestyle topics with patients. Our goal was to offer some practical solutions to providers who would like to have these discussions, but often lack the time and resources to do so.”
ACLP Executive Director Nancy Kane added that “As an oncology nurse and former Cancer Center Director, I often saw patients who wanted to actively engage in improving their health after treatment ended. The motivation for creating and sharing ACLP’s program is to help patients understand the role played by environment, diet, mindset, and physical activity in their long term well- being.”
The conference is held annually and attracts an impressive roster of oncologists, nurses, complementary care practitioners and other healthcare professionals from around the world.