Dr. Block discusses when cancer treatment is considered complete.
Cancer therapy isn’t only about getting some drugs and it’s not even only about getting surgery done and the drugs completed and going into remission. Obviously that’s a huge goal but that’s only part of the picture.
The potential for these cancers to recur and grow again is very real. The nature of these cells is to lye dormant sometimes for months, sometimes for many years and then to start to get the wrong growth stimulation and re-grow and and show up when you least expect them.
Sending patients home with, “I’ll see you in six months,” is only an idea of catching it again. It’s not an idea of sending people home with a full program of recurrence prevention to really maintain and sustain a remission. So I actually believe that the first part of the story is only getting to the summit.
If you talk about Everest as a metaphor, getting to the summit is great. But we know most of the patients and most of the individuals, the climbers actually will die on their way down when some big storm comes or some problem. Re-acclimating is a big issue for climbers.
For cancer patients the same can be said. One needs to be fit. One needs to be equipped. One needs to be trained. But not only to get up there, one has to know the right turnaround time so that if you are not quite there that you start turning around to do the right strategies and therapies so that when you have gotten the success of a remission, that you can do everything you can to maintain it.
And fully comprehensive integrative medicine is essential for buying a recurrence prevention. And there’s programs that we offer patients and place patients on routinely in order to reduce the chances of them getting their diseases back again.
About Dr. Block, M.D.:
Dr. Keith I. Block, M.D., along with his wife Penny Block, M.A., Ph.D., founded the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in 1980, with a focus on treating the patient as a whole person rather than simply treating the diagnosis. They developed a unique and truly integrative approach to cancer treatment which encompasses traditional and complementary medicine delivered in a caring environment.