WEEI>On Demand>>MFB - Dr. Jennifer Ligibel, Director, Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies, Dana-Farber

MFB - Dr. Jennifer Ligibel, Director, Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies, Dana-Farber

Aug 20, 2014|

The Zakim Center provides complementary therapies and education to patients, families, and staff, and advances knowledge of the effectiveness and outcomes of integrative therapies through peer-reviewed, evidence-based clinical research. Research has shown that when used in conjunction with traditional cancer care, complementary therapies can help ease cancer-related symptoms and improve your quality of life. Dr. Ligibel is also a breast oncologist who sees patients in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Doctor Jennifer league of LC is the director of the letter -- Jacobs senator for integrative therapies at the Dana Farber. And I was told in advance this interview and I'm really gonna be intrigued by some things that. You're gonna tell us on the air today -- right now because there are very different techniques to fighting cancer. That don't necessarily have to do with needles and -- And drugs and radiation chemo things like that there are more holistic approaches that are working hand in glove with some of those more traditional approaches to fighting cancer. And you're at the forefront of that. Thank you very much. So we are very interested in looking at ways of helping people. Not only battle their cancer but also battle all the side effects and symptoms that they experience I've been a medical oncologist at Dana -- now for about fourteen years. And we do give a lot of drugs and things like that and I know that they absolutely help people. But sometimes they give them back lives that are so different in the lives they were living before they had cancer and so for so many years I have my patients say to me. You know thank you so much for all this treatment but I am so tired I can't take care of my kids I can't go to work I I can't feel my feet anymore what can I do about these things. And for a long time we didn't really have. A solution for them and so there has been over the last few years a lot of interest in trying to find ways to help people. Recover. Rejuvenate and redeem themselves after cancer diagnosis and it -- -- we've been very interested. As we try to support the poor person in not only looking at the cure for the cancer but also the cure for all these other problems that go along with being diagnosed with cancer. So -- consent are. Looks at things like acupuncture in re key and the size and healthy eating and exercise in how those things can help a person. Overcome the symptoms in the side effects of their therapy. And more recently there's been such exciting evidence that suggests that some of these things actually may also. Make a difference for the cancer because if you strengthen a person's body. You can potentially make it less hospitable to cancer and so there's a lot of evidence that shows that people of that exercise more. They keep their weight and stable range seemed to have a lower risk of cancer recurrence. And so a lot of the work that we're doing now focuses on why would this make sense that we're doing studies where we take people that aren't exercising and we put them on a program. And we look at how their body changes to learn more about why would that be cancer prevention strategy. And a recurrence prevention strategies show. We're so excited to be able to offer these therapies. It really helps support people in so many different ways and ultimately me. BI is important for some people as the medicines and the radiation and things like that. Public the frame of mind as well I mean you run at some patients more positive than others and you see. That people being more positive kind of getting through it better than others that know a thing of interest like the massages and he said the therapies and things like that. I think that there is -- in huge impact of somebody's spirit and there are outlook. Everybody has good days bad days are going to cans in there and I think that there's no doubt that this isn't easy these types of treatments can really have an impact on people. But by being able to support people in this way it absolutely helps people get through their their treatments. It is vacant senate was founded -- island easy come about fifteen years ago as he was going through very aggressive cancer therapy. And was finding that things like massage and acupuncture really helping him stick with his cancer program treatment. But he was driving all over Boston to get these types of treatments and he really had a vision of bridging eastern and western medicine. And bringing acupuncture and massage and yoga and Tai chi. Into the cancer center so that we could really help support all aspects of the person as they're going through treatment. Dana Farber was one of the first places in the country that really had the vision to bring these types of services we -- in the cancer center. And I think that it's been something that subsequently many other cancer centers have looked into doing this because it does provide such benefits for people on all the marbles in his. And other other then you know the yoga. You know -- the different things you can do the massage to acupuncture. We do you have any. Given skeptics. He knows when you when you when you that wall because it's -- talk about holistic medicine you talk about you know altered your. You know good ways of treating symptoms. American understudy to think that -- some viewer decide you know it's tough for me. I mean but once -- mean do you so how do you work with that and is that even the case. That absolutely is the case I think that there is it's a lot easier to give somebody a pill to treat a symptom or a side effect for things -- -- we find. Is it the more medicines you -- sometimes the -- side effects those types of treatments how well so somebody's not really. Ready to kind of sign up for acupuncture massage kind of coming in for an appointment is taken center has a lot of programs like offering -- key to people that are receiving infusion so if they say. You spend five minutes in trying out the sort of energy there or. Going into the Jimmy Fund to go out indeed these types of programs that people kind of try out these -- therapies they're finding how beneficial they are. And then they're much more interested in taking part in some of our other. Individual services we have a lot of group programs things like yoga and Tai chi -- coming just try it out and see if how it works for you now. With that you have you know obviously there are as there is the medication that you did you know you guys prescribe them and their prescriptions that you have. But Missouri hold another guess culture that. Really wants to be more holistic more natural remedies and it is indeed is there a problem with you haven't convinced them that. Yes there's a place for that but this is really where you need to be. I think it. -- we are not an alternative treatments on -- show I don't tell people don't take your cancer therapy were going to do. Massage instead he really worked hand in hand with the doctors Dana Farber. And a lot of -- a lot of our therapies really focus on. This is a person who has the side effect we tried a lot of things nothing that we're kind of doing in the standard medical commentary miserably getting this person to where they wanna be. That the very able to do the things they wanna do. And that is sort of how a lot of people start authenticity consent are. With well let's try to add this onto the therapies that there have -- in there. The medicines there are taking to alleviate their side effects what we find is that they get more involved. Able to get rid of a lot of those medicines because a lot of these therapies have fewer side effects and as people embrace them I'll find it. Massage may help with this Beltran acupuncture and that's also helpful for this other. Type -- problem. I think one of -- really unrecognized things about cancer cancer treatment is. How much of an effect this does have on people's lives not just during each period that they're getting the treatment but sometimes for years afterwards. People get tired of taking medicines over time to it these are there -- that people can do for themselves to help themselves. Feel better instate stronger in the time after they're diagnosed we'll Jennifer's or go to break here I'll point out again people often now. Ask where's my money deal and when it comes to use the money that were raised today put Jimmy fund for the Gator uniform cancer institute. He goes towards studies and it goes towards experiments and it goes towards. Following up signs that things that you were talking about right now so you're someone who does like the notion of more holistic approach to medicine is Jennifer went out before. Eastern science in western science coming together hand in glove. If you donate right now. That's what's gonna come from your money is finding out more answers about how these worlds can come together to help people at the Jimmy Fund to help people at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. So this is something you believe now is a great time to pick up the phone call. 877731234. Or text -- cancer. 22022. To thank you so much for stopping by. Here again you can go on line as well www. Jimmy Fund dot or or WEEI. Dot com slash Jimmy Fund this is -- WEI message on radio telethon live at what part. Presented by our ballot insurance foundation.

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