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What Is a Multidisciplinary Approach to Cancer and Why Does It Matter?

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If you or someone you love is diagnosed with cancer, you’ll want to make sure you have the best team on your side. Cancer treatment often involves surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy, and it can take a toll on your overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being. That said, new studies have shown that using a holistic, multidisciplinary approach makes cancer patients more comfortable and might even provide better outcomes.

Quality of Life

The term multidisciplinary means that you’ll not only have an oncologist on your side but also a team of other doctors, internists, surgeons, and even alternative medicine practitioners—all there to ensure that everything possible related to your health is addressed. Communication among them is a key factor to success. Comorbidities such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, pulmonary issues, and more can continue to develop alongside cancer. Therefore, addressing these concerns is a must, because healthy bodies with healthy immune systems will continue to fight.

Diet is an important aspect of the overall health and well-being of everyone, whether we’re healthy or fighting disease. A nutritionist can help make the most of treatments by explaining the various vitamin and nutrient needs unique to cancer patients. Some patients prefer to pair traditional methods of medicine, such as chemotherapy and radiation, with alternative therapies, like massage or acupuncture. Depending on the patient, these methodologies usually increase quality of life, including a decrease in pain and fatigue.

How does Hancock Health handle cancer care?

A multidisciplinary approach allows our patients to maintain their lifestyles while addressing their needs on a holistic level. At Hancock Health’s Sue Ann Wortman Cancer Center, patients undergoing cancer treatment are met with a holistic mindset awash with kindness and compassion at every turn. Nurse navigators become an easy point of contact so that patients don’t have to chase down multiple doctors. Patients receive treatments while overlooking a garden or sitting on the patio, because relaxation and comfort matter in the healing process. Patients get the best care from top specialists, with our health system’s personalized touch.

We offer support groups, yoga, and art-therapy classes to help patients address the emotional side of cancer. Our Accreditation Commission for Health Care–certified boutique is well-stocked with mastectomy bras and other prosthetics as well as scarves, wigs, hats, jewelry, and other items to brighten someone’s day.

Hancock Health’s Sue Ann Wortman Cancer Center has received a national accreditation from the Commission on Cancer, a quality-focused program guided by the American College of Surgeons. In order to qualify, cancer programs must meet 34 quality standards and maintain excellent, comprehensive, patient-centered care. Cancer outcomes are just one of the standards, while others include quality of care and patient satisfaction and well-being.

We are always dedicated to ensuring our patients come first, especially when it comes to a life-threatening illness like cancer. A multidisciplinary approach continues to be the best way to maintain patient quality of life and guarantee better outcomes. We don’t stop there: High-quality communication among a team of professionals, the personal touch of nurse navigators, and patient-focused programming are essential to our approach for supporting patients in the fight against any type of cancer.

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