What is Cancer Coach?

What is a Cancer CoachA cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. There are a lot of uncertainties. The language that they use from the oncologist clinic is statistics, which we are not very familiar with. And even though it's just some ballpark idea, we are doubtful whether or not the statistics might apply to my situation. Plus, a lot of people might already have symptoms from cancer that are interfering with our ability to make the best decisions, alone the overwhelming anxiety that comes from the stress.What Patients WantAre you just not willing to accept the prognosis that was conferred to you? You wanted to see if there was anything you could do other than taking prescribed medication or surgery or radiation that was recommended to you.Or maybe you are concerned about the potential side effects of the treatment for the cancer. Maybe you're not sure if you are going to be able to make it to become one out of five who survive based on the statistics.You could not believe that the only thing you could do was get the treatment that was recommended and hope everything else would fall into the right place magically. Maybe you wanted to gain some control in this perceived turmoil.You also want to find someone who can stand by you, think in your best interest, and give you objective perspectives.Health Coaches - Cancer CoachesIn reality, human life is complex, and we tend to view things in life in a simplified manner so that we can gain a better understanding and behave and act efficiently. And this is a very natural human tendency, and it does benefit us in many different ways. It has been adapted throughout the evolutionary process to increase our chances of survival. But the issue is that cancer is a very complex phenomenon, and there are high degrees of individual variance as to the causes, types, baseline health conditions, personal values, social situation, and how we cope. Also, how patients respond to the same treatment is highly variable and sometimes quite unpredictable. Other than the default input, which is the conventional treatment, there could be many factors that are not readily measurable but hypothetically influence the response to the treatment. (eg. nutrition or support system, etcetera)In life, It is important to have someone whom you can guide you and whom you can resort to in the time of crisis. Especially with regard to our health, it is essential to establish a connection with whom you can resonate. Without such a bond, it is not hard to expect it to be an uphill battle. the importance of having confidence in one’s healthcare provider has been well demonstrated. To some degree, the placebo effect that is accounted for in all cancer research also might be responsible for the relationship between the patient and the doctor.Care Coordinator - Patient NavigatorCommonly, there is a role called patient navigator or patient advocate in oncology clinics, and these are the ones who take on a variety of different roles depending on the practice. They provide practical help, support, and sometimes advice on nutrition as well as emotional guidance to patients who are expected to have lots of questions and concerns that oncologists cannot address due to time constraints. Oncologists struggle to keep up with the daily influx of new drugs to the market.However, the amount of burden that navigators, whom respectable RNs or social workers usually take on, is quite significant, and there will always be a limitation in addressing the needs of the patient.The Oncologist Cancer CoachWhat if we imagine this role taken up by an oncologist? Wouldn’t it be nice to have such an option? If it was the ideal situation where money, regulation, customs, and things that keep us from pursuing the ideal didn’t matter, we could certainly fathom the possibility of having it as an option. But in reality, this role can be taken by any individual who has significant experience in dealing with cancer patients and is capable of supporting patients by employing their own methodology, regardless of background, education, or denomination.Ideally, the cancer coach can utilize any lifestyle intervention that may lead to potential improvement of cancer treatment outcomes with or without conventional treatment. He can motivate patients to develop productive life habits based on his or her individual characteristics and life philosophy so that the healing mechanism in our body can function at its maximum capacity.The question at this point that can arise is if it might be best for the treating oncologist to take this role if he/she is equipped with the knowledge and expertise required to perform the role. Certainly, it can be preferred if the treating oncologist has background knowledge that can be implemented in pursuing more holistic treatment, but in reality, it can be too taxing for the oncologist to take both of the positions and also, most of the conventional treatment is executed in the ‘hospital’ or ‘clinics’ that seems not to be the ideal place for the ‘healing’ to take place. (Most conventional facilities are ill-ness driven/focused and give patients little room for the healing to take place.)Certainly, a discussion between the oncologist and the cancer coach will take place if there are certain supplements that catch the attention of the oncologist if there are any interactions suspected.Nutrition GuidanceNutrition is certainly a big part and is an effective tool due to the fact that we have 100% control over it. There are always debates as to the optimal diet pattern for cancer or other health conditions, but in reality, it is a much more dynamic and complex topic that requires individual trials and errors that falls on the shoulder of the patient. But with the guidance of a coach, this process can certainly feel less daunting, and experiences with other patients and anecdotes from other cases can help.Mind-Body MedicineAnother area in which a cancer coach can unleash hidden potential from the patient is by implementing mind-body medicine to find a way to optimize the function of our immune system. This can be achieved by assessment of stressors in life, examination of belief system, finding meaning and purpose of life/death and journey through cancer treatment, prioritizing important values in life, and establishing a sustainable channel to express oneself emotionally and energetically.A constant source of motivation and provision of resources such as books, podcasts, or anecdotes of other successful stories can structure a patient’s life in a way that can induce the patient to develop new ways of making choices and distributing the time/resources/energy for the most healing possible.Cancer coaching can benefit patients who received a recent diagnosis of cancer or who are currently undergoing conventional treatment but also who have survived cancer and wish to maximize the chances of staying away from cancer recurrence or even who are at high risk for cancer from the family history.<Resources>1. Radical remission by Kelly turner2. Cured.3. Spontaneous healing by Andrew Weil4. Love medicine & miracles by Bernie Siegel5. Cancer as a turning point by Lawrence Shahan6. Cander code by Jason Fung7. Cancer is not a disease by Andrea...8.William Li - Eat to beat disease9.Michael Pollan - In defense of food10;. Valter Longo - Longevity Diet

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