Holistic Cancer Coaching: Choice, Comfort & ControlAugust 4, 2014 | Author: Susan Silberstein PhD
There are basketball coaches, football coaches, business coaches, career coaches, and life coaches. Of all the areas addressed by coaches, the cancer experience is probably the most challenging. People’s worlds are turned upside down when they discover they have cancer. They need physical, mental and spiritual support. They need help connecting to resources, making informed decisions, and finding ways to hope and cope.
One of the most pressing issues faced by cancer patients is quality of life, or lack thereof. Millions of U.S. cancer survivors have a lower-than-normal quality of life. Over 19 million Americans are living with cancer , but not all are living well.
Many struggle with fatigue, compromised immune function, low blood cell counts, lack of appetite, weight loss, digestive and eliminatory disturbances, pain, anxiety and depression, a sense of isolation, fears about the future, and even the challenges of daily living.
For these reasons, approximately 83% of persons with cancer use at least one complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approach. However, most patients, confused or overwhelmed by the nearly 13 million resources for alternative cancer therapy available on the internet, turn to cancer coaches to help them navigate their options.
Over the last 37 years, my colleagues and I at the Center for Advancement in Cancer Education (BeatCancer.org) have been privileged to coach nearly 30,000 cancer patients nationwide. Our individualized nutritional, immunological and psychological guidance has helped many patients to successfully minimize treatment side effects and has significantly impacted their quality of life, risk for recurrence, and survival. We have empowered patients to take charge of their health and their life and to avoid much of the emotional and physical trauma often experienced by cancer patients and their families.
Patients seeking to enhance their ability to heal are often hampered by physical, geographic, or financial limitations. Our unique model of no-fee telephone counseling makes our potentially life-saving assistance accessible to all. In our highly personalized approach, the information we provide is science-based but patient-driven. As clients explore holistic, complementary and alternative treatment options, we help filter the complexity of informational resources and guide patients to simple, practical and manageable solutions that pay special consideration to their particular limitations and belief systems.
From our experience with these clients, we have developed a special understanding of how coaches can be most effective in helping those with cancer. We ask dozens of questions about every aspect of the patient’s life, we listen intently to the answers, we never interfere in doctor-patient relationships, we give options not opinions, we focus on the person not the cancer, and we give patients permission to be who they really are.
This year we launched our holistic cancer support educator online certification training course. This program takes health and wellness coaching specifically into the cancer arena – a field to which I’ve devoted my entire life! Now online students can learn in a few short hours what it took me more than 35 years to master!
This training will help health professionals and patient advocates understand the complex world of CAM approaches for cancer; learn key ways to improve patients’ nutritional, immunological and psychological status; and guide patients to manage treatment side effects, improve quality of life, prevent recurrence, and extend survival.
One-on-one individualized Cancer Counseling is at the heart of what we do! We would be happy to provide you telephone counseling about your cancer concern. Please call us at 888-551-2223 to schedule an appointment with one of our highly skilled counselors.
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 Oct. 30, 2012, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_130814.html
 Richardson MA, Mâsse LC, et al. Discrepant views of oncologists and cancer patients on complementary/alternative medicine. Support Care Cancer. 2004 Nov12(11):797-804.PMID: 15378417