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Alternative and Integrative Treatments: They're Not The Same

By HERWriter
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Dr. Keith Block is a cancer specialist who has run an integrative cancer program in Illiniois for thirty years. He is very involved with integrative medicine. Speaking from his years of experience in both alternative medicine and integrative care, Dr. Block explains some of the differences between the two types of treatments.

Dr. Block's goal is to glean the best from both of these worlds, so that his patients can receive the best possible treatment.

Dr. Block:

Hi, I am Dr. Keith Block. I am a medical physician that’s been running an integrative cancer program in Evanston, Illinois for 30 years now. I am a cancer specialist with a strong interest in integrative medicine. I run the integrative medical education program for the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

And I am also Editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed medical journal, “Integrative Cancer Therapies.” And then I do other things. I sit on the National Cancer Institute’s editorial board for CAM, for Complimentary Alternative Medicine.

So alternative medicine and alternative treatment really should be defined as in lieu of or in place of conventional care. And I would argue that that’s kind of risky. You would want a patient monitored in clinical care and supervised by a comprehensive program.

The problem with conventional care is, is that it frequently negates or avoids a lot of the complementary and a lot of the really cutting edge practices that patients can do in terms of their own opportunity for getting better.

An integrative setting and approach is not a CAM approach however. A Complementary Alternative Medicine approach is usually looking at a single intervention combined with conventional tools. I am much more interested in a multidimensional, multi-targeting approach that is based on the individualized care of a patient.

So it’s bringing together the best of conventional medicine, the best of research proven alternative medicine, complementary therapies, all into an integrative orchestration to really get the best possible care that a patient can get.

About Dr. Block, M.D.:

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.