Greenville Health System's Center for Integrative Oncology and Survivorship (CIOS) is a new patient-centered program that integrates evidenced-based complementary therapies with traditional cancer care to treat the “whole patient,” encompassing mind, body and spirit.
CIOS is one of the first of its kind in the nation; providing a holistic approach to increase quality of life and decrease potential cancer risks. The center houses a multidisciplinary team of professionals consisting of physicians, nurses and other health professionals that either provide direct services or referrals for patients throughout their cancer experience.
“Survivorship begins when a patient is diagnosed and continues throughout treatment and beyond. That is why it’s important to treat the whole patient – not just their physical needs,” says Dr. Mark O’Rourke, medical director of CIOS. “Cancer is not a simple disease. Survivorship care is about healing each person and helping improve their quality of life.” (Click here to watch a brief introduction video of Dr. O'Rourke.)
The healthcare team assists the patient with the many choices in complementary and supportive therapies available to each patient and their caregivers. Although we frequently receive questions about complementary and alternative medicines, or CAM therapies, we do not typically use alternative therapies to treat cancer at our facility. However, complementary therapies, such as nutrition counseling, yoga, oncology rehabilitation, massage and music therapies, are used primarily to treat the symptoms associated with cancer. Supportive therapies focus on emotional and physical health. At CIOS, we recognize that these supportive therapies are essential for each cancer survivor and their caregivers both during and after their cancer experience.
“Research shows that social and emotional support is as important as medical care in the face of a cancer diagnosis,” says Dr. Larry Gluck, medical director of GHS’ Cancer Institute.
If you are a patient or caregiver and would like to learn more about CIOS, please contact Survivorship Nurse Navigator, Trish Leighton, RN, MSN, at (864) 455-1346.
If you are a physician and would like to make a referral, please complete the CIOS patient referral form.
Visit our Survive and Thrive blog to learn how to survive and thrive during and after a cancer diagnosis.
Integrative Oncology Therapies
Complementary therapies, in concert with traditional therapies, provide holistic, patient-centered care encompassing mind, body and spirit. The Center for Integrative Oncology and Survivorship at GHS offers the following integrative oncology therapies.
Moving On - Oncology Rehabilitation is a 12-week exercise program and yoga class tailored to each patient's individual needs. This program is housed at the GHS Life Center and centers on aerobic conditioning and strength training. The program is supervised by our rehabilitation nurse, Noreen Denham R.N., and certified trainers for cancer survivors. Yoga is specifically geared to cancer survivors and is open to all Moving On participants and graduates. Click here to learn more about Moving On.
Acupuncture is a family of procedures involving the stimulation of specific points on the body using a variety of techniques, such as penetrating the skin with needles that are then manipulated by hand or by electrical stimulation. It is one of the key components of traditional Chinese medicine, and is among the oldest healing practices in the world. The Center for Integrative Oncology and Survivorship offers acupuncture in clinical research trials and by appointment Appointments with acupuncturist Hong Zang can be scheduled by calling (864) 979-7100.
Massage Therapy is a systematic manipulation of muscles and connective tissues that improves blood flow to the heart and lymph flow throughout the body. Massage therapy is provided by a certified oncology-trained massage therapist. To schedule an appointment or for additional information regarding cost, call 455-4231.
Music Therapy is clinically developed therapeutic music and relaxing sounds to create a calming environment. The Medcalm System has been shown to reduce patient stress, create a sense of well-being and promote the body's ability to heal. Results indicate that many patients consequently require fewer medications and experience less pain.
Nutrition Counseling Nutrition is important during and after treatment for cancer. For cancer survivors, diets low in fat and red meat, high in fiber and unprocessed foods, and high in fruits and vegetables are beneficial. Nutritional counseling can be scheduled with our Registered Dietitian, Franella Obi, R.D. by calling 455-1200. Nutrition counseling is useful to support optimal nutrition during and after cancer therapy and includes strategies for managing constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, and nausea and vomiting, as well as encouraging good nutrition during and after treatment by stressing the importance of following a plant-based diet.
Supportive Services Psychosocial care is an integral part of quality survivorship. CIOS is pleased to integrate the evidence-based programs and services of Cancer Support Community (CSC), a leader in psychosocial oncology, into our cancer care delivery model to ensure our patients get the best psychosocial care available. GHS is the first hospital in the nation to form this collaboration and one of the first to utilize Cancer Support Community's CancerSupportSource, a distress screening program that allows staff to better determine what programs and services will be most beneficial to each patient. Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Kerri Susko, MSW, LISW, facilitates counseling, educational programs, support and connections to appropriate community resources to increase the patient's support network and to address individual needs.
More information about complementary and alternative medicine for cancer is available on the Society for Integrative Oncology and the National Cancer Institute websites.
The Survivorship Clinic
This clinic provides individuals with a Survivorship Care Plan and copies of pathology reports. The clinic professionals evaluate and educate the patient about the long-term effects of treatment, recommended cancer screenings and resources available. The clinic is designed to empower the patient to navigate the cancer experience and have the best quality of life possible.
Philanthropy and Partnership
CIOS is advancing cancer care through donor gifts and partnerships. The Office of Philanthropy & Partnership, the philanthropic arm of Greenville Health System, seeks gifts of time, talent and treasure from the community. Click here to learn more.
The gift of your time is invaluable. To learn more about volunteering for CIOS, visit ghs.org/volunteering.
CIOS in the News
To Treat the Cancer, Treat the Distress (Wall Street Journal, August 28, 2012)
First-in-nation partnership paves way for major leap forward in total cancer care (GHS Newsroom, June 26, 2012)