Navigating the Cancer Maze: The role of Complementary Therapies in Cancer Care -Grace Gawler in conversation with MSKCC’s Dr Barrie Cassileth
March 22, 2013
Hosted by Grace Gawler
This week on Navigating the Cancer Maze I am in conversation with Dr Barrie Cassileth founder the Integrative Medicine Service at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, (MSKCC) where she remains the chief, and holds the Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine. Dr Cassileth has been involved with the psychosocial aspects of cancer care for more than 25 years and also founded the Society for Integrative Oncology, which publishes a medical journal. She has just released a new book, The Complete Guide to Complementary Therapies in Cancer Care. MSKCC’s Integrative Medicine Service’s Web site, www.MSKCC.org offers evidence-based information about herbs, vitamins, and unproved cancer treatments at no charge to professionals and the public. The Service's research includes studies to evaluate the ability of specific complementary therapies to reduce important symptoms associated with cancer treatments and the investigation of botanicals for potential antitumor effects.
Navigating the Cancer Maze
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Navigating the Cancer Maze aims to share time-proven strategies in a “Let’s talk about it” atmosphere with the aim of making the journey through cancer more easeful through knowledge. The program is solutions focused for patients at all stages of cancer. Acknowledging and dealing with fear and trauma surrounding cancer is essential for any Health Restoration Plan as is pre-planning for any setbacks that are likely to be met along the way. Although we hear a lot about cancer in the news, for many patients cancer remains a personal, silent and deeply unexpressed grief. It is important to acknowledge the reality of a cancer diagnosis, while being authentic about process and keeping possibilities open. The best outcomes are experienced when the best of conventional medicine is paired with the best of complementary supported by an empowered patient.
For almost 4 decades Grace Gawler has been the “rock” for thousands of cancer patients who seek her guidance and strategies. Grace has also assisted those who struggle to manage adversity and uninvited changes that life challenging or life threatening illness can bring. At 21, Grace became a full-time care-giver to her boyfriend. She married him, a cancer amputee with a poor prognosis. He survived and they established a non-profit organization to support people going through the trauma of cancer and other life challenging illness. She created Australia’s first breast cancer support group and residential program which led to authoring Women of Silence: the emotional healing of breast cancer, a 1994 best seller which remains a bible for women with breast cancer. Grace has worked in Government creating a new Women’s Health Plan. She was awarded the prestigious inaugural Rotary International Jean Harris Award for Services to Women in Society. In 1997, Grace experienced not only the collapse of her marriage but was soon hospitalized. Complications from a routine surgery created a major health crisis. After 20 surgical procedures over 13 years, she faced death many times. A bionic surgical procedure in the Netherlands gave her back life and vitality. Grace has survived and thrived and is passionate about helping others to walk in the field of all possibilities and navigate the cancer maze. She has her own cancer charity and consults to Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic in Germany.