With Outpatient Oncology Dietitian Sharlene Bidini, RD, CSO, LD
At Sarasota Memorial’s Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute, you’ll find the latest in cancer-fighting medical technology and clinical approaches, from complex surgeries to advanced chemotherapy techniques, but that’s only half the battle. When treating something as serious as cancer, it’s important to care for the whole person—and their family—so they can truly thrive through the course of their treatment.
This is where the Sarasota Memorial Thrive Integrative Oncology Program comes in.
Integrative Oncology care utilizes mind and body practices, natural products, and/or lifestyle modifications from different traditions alongside conventional cancer treatments. The goal of integrative oncology is to empower people to become active participants in their own health journey. Nutrition, exercise, and stress management are three areas that may have been ignored in the past, but these lifestyle interventions can improve health, quality of life, and clinical outcomes.
Taking care of the whole person, versus focusing on just the tumor, is also referred to as terrain theory. It’s the idea of making the body less hospitable to cancerous cells. If cancer cells are like weeds in a garden, where the soil allows them to grow and spread, then simply pulling the weed from the garden would be an incomplete solution. In the same way, treating the cancer without addressing the whole person would be an incomplete response.
This is why the Sarasota Memorial Thrive Integrative Oncology Program emphasizes a holistic approach through the course of treatment and offers a variety of services to address the whole person, including:
Oncology Counseling: Licensed, certified oncology counselors provide emotional support and wellness connections for patients and loved ones coping with a cancer diagnosis and treatment. For information, call 941-262-7574 or click here.
Nutritional Counseling: For patients receiving care at the SMH Radiation Oncology Center, this complimentary service is designed to help those at greatest risk for malnutrition learn nutrition strategies to maintain weight, strength and quality of life during radiation treatments. For more information, call 941-917-7580 or click here.
Cancer Rehabilitation: Our multi-disciplinary specialists help patients manage conditions, symptoms and side effects related to cancer and cancer treatment, including pain or weakness, cognitive impairment, mobility issues and difficulty swallowing. For more information, click here.
Genetic Counseling: Our certified genetic counselors assess patients, coordinate testing for hereditary cancer risk and educate families about opportunities to mitigate risk and improve early detection. For more information, click here.
Oncology Massage: Oncology-certified massage therapists provide tailored massages for cancer patients. For more information, click here.
Group Wellness & Exercise Classes: These free, oncology-specific classes are led by certified exercise specialists and designed for cancer patients, loved ones and caregivers.
Creative Arts Program: This free weekly program explores the meditative benefits of artistic self-expression. For class details and to RSVP (required), call 941-262-7574.
Ready to Thrive?
To contact Thrive Program support services at the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute, call (941) 262-7827.
To visit the Thrive Integrative Oncology Program website, click here.