KENNEWICK, Wash -- It's a first for our region. A cancer specialist who treats the disease not only with traditional cancer therapies like chemotherapy and radiation, but also with alternative medicine.
Acupuncture and aromatherapy may not be what comes to mind when you think of treating cancer. But, if you're a patient of Dr. Brian Lawenda at Northwest Cancer Clinic in Kennewick, they are crucial elements of healing.
"Whenever there's an option for something that's less toxic, inexpensive and effective based on studies that's something that I often recommend," says Dr. Lawenda.
Dr. Lawenda is a board certified radiation oncologist. He just moved to the Tri-Cities from Las Vegas where he treated cancer patients for 10 years. He is the only doctor in our region using state of the art cancer treatment, combined with alternative therapies like mediation, supplements, and acupuncture.
He addresses issues such as stress and nutrition , even the movement of chi, which he explains is the energy in our body.
"What we're trying to do is move that energy, to balance it. And the theory of that is it makes you feel more relaxed and helps with disease," said Dr. Lawenda.
It's not proven that alternative therapies help cure a patient of cancer, but Dr. Lawenda says they promote a better quality of life during chemo and radiation and that could affect the outcome of treatment. "It is about the fact that the body is a whole complex system and we need to address the entire body as opposed to just only the cancer."
The ultimate goal for Dr. Lawenda is to minimize treatment side effects, keeping the patients as healthy as possible, and, empowering those with cancer to take an active role in their health care. "Often I hear from the patients, 'my other doctors don't know anything about this, so I'm really excited I found you."
If you are interested in Integrative Oncology, you can visit Dr. Lawenda's website at http://www.doctorlawenda.com/