Harbin Clinic’s Complete Cancer Care reaches beyond traditional anti-cancer treatment, incorporating complementary therapies addressing the physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, and social needs of our patients. These therapies are provided alongside traditional treatments to relieve certain symptoms of cancer, decrease the side effects of treatment, and improve a patient’s general well-being, making treatment as effective as possible.
Whether you need help with nutrition, movement & exercise, side effect & stress reduction, finances & transportation, or searching for additional resources, we’ve got you covered. It truly is Complete Cancer Care.
NUTRITION COUNSELING AND CLASSES
Balanced nutrition is a very important part of cancer treatment, and can help prevent the recurrence of disease after treatment. Despite the changes that can occur during cancer treatment that affect appetite and taste buds, our goal is for patients to maintain a diet with a wide variety of whole foods. Additional supplements may be necessary for your specific situation. Our nutrition classes and consultations can assist in meeting that goal.
Movement & Exercise
Physical activity decreases the risk of cancer occurrence and recurrence. Studies also show that regular exercise helps patients tolerate their treatments better, improves quality of life and emotional well-being, and lessens the severity of fatigue. Physical activity may include activities such as walking, biking, or swimming, and should be based on ability and level of endurance. A good way to start is with 20 minutes of brisk walking daily – walk at a pace like you are late for an appointment.
Side Effect & Stress Reduction
In addition to improving overall mood, massage has been shown to be effective in managing side effects of cancer treatment, including anxiety, depression, fatigue, and muscle/bone pain. For a list of licensed massage therapists contact your physician.
Acupuncture is a supplemental therapy that has strong evidence-based recommendations and can be beneficial to any patient with uncontrolled nausea, vomiting, or pain. It can also help relieve or reduce the intensity of many side effects of treatment, including constipation, decreased appetite, dry mouth, hot flashes, neuropathy, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, and depression. Acupuncture involves the stimulation of specific anatomical points using a variety of methods, most often with the use of hair-thin needles gently inserted into the skin. Acupressure can also be used—this is an approach without needles and applies pressure to certain points. Acupuncture is safe and has a very low risk of side effects when treated by a licensed practitioner, such as Harbin Clinic Acupuncture Cartersville or other local certified groups.
STRESS AND FATIGUE MANAGEMENT
Patients undergoing cancer treatment may experience increased stress and fatigue which can be caused by the cancer itself, cancer treatments, or other factors. We provide Stress Management classes each month to help manage stress and lessen the impact of physical symptoms of cancer. We also provide Fatigue Management classes each month to provide strategies for overcoming and dealing with the effects of increased mental, emotional, and physical fatigue. There are also support groups and retreats offered through cancer navigators that include a broad exposure to stress management practices and other complementary tools. Harbin Clinic Psychology offers consultations, as well as Cancer Navigators.
DROP-IN SUPPORT GROUPS
We offer drop-in support groups which focus on individuals sharing their stories. Participants also go through a number of contemplative practices, which can include mediation, deep listening, and relaxation therapy.
Cancer Navigators offers residential retreats that are held from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon several times yearly for cancer patients to have a broad exposure to a variety of complementary healing modalities. The retreats are available to any individual with a cancer diagnosis and are held at a beautiful retreat center in the foothills of Northwest Georgia. Retreaters will be guided through a firsthand experience of optimal anti-cancer nutrition, massage, meditation, gentle yoga, creative arts therapy, writing, energy medicine, and group support. Retreats are facilitated by licensed and highly trained providers with over a dozen years of experience.
FINANCIAL AND TRANSPORTATION SUPPORT
Transportation to and from treatment may be difficult for some patients. Cancer Navigators works to help with transportation and other financial issues through their network of partners and resources.
It’s hard enough to fight cancer without having to worry about expenses and fighting your insurance company, too. For the uninsured or under-insured, our financial counselors at the Cancer Center can help tap into resources that offer low-cost or no-cost medications. Financial counselors and Cancer Navigators can also provide information about Medicaid and other state aid programs, or visit Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition for more resources.
Studies have shown that spirituality can lead us to feel connected and supported in ways that are health-enhancing. Feeling a part of something larger than oneself can also offer life perspective. Some advocates of spirituality in relation to health believe prayer can decrease the negative effects of a disease, speed recovery, and increase the effectiveness of medical treatments. Faith and religious beliefs are also thought to improve coping and provide comfort during illness. Follow these links for more information on the benefits of spiritual health from The American Cancer Society and The National Cancer Institute
Patients may use meditation to help reduce anxiety, pain, stress, sleep problems, and depression. Meditation can help patients and caregivers let go of negative thoughts and reach a more peaceful state of mind, as well as feeling more physically relaxed. It is also useful for maintaining general wellness. Speak with your physician for a list of local instructors and classes. Cancer Navigators also offers a support group that meets on Fridays from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Harbin Clinic Cancer Center. The group not only offers support but also focuses on meditation, stress management, and relaxation.
SUPPORT FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Cancer affects not only the patient, but their family and friends — their entire support system. In order to fight cancer effectively, the patient and their caregivers must work together to create a positive atmosphere and support one another. One local organization, Summit Quest, helps children deal with their parent’s diagnoses. It can be helpful to assign specific tasks to family members or friends. Another local organization, Cancer Navigators, offers a caregiver support group that focuses on the needs of adult caregivers of cancer patients.
Cancer Navigators is a local nonprofit company that provides knowledge, resources, and renewal for those whose lives are touched by cancer. It does this through nurse navigators, social workers, counseling services, weekly support group classes, and residential retreat offerings.