Immunotherapies are a new type of cancer treatment that have been shown to be successful for a good proportion of patients with melanoma that has spread around their body. These patients are now living for years with their metastatic melanoma, but about 15 per cent have significant side effects from the autoimmune related side effects of immunotherapy. These could include fatigue, rashes, diarrhoea and joint pain.
A new study being conducted at Lifehouse looks at how these patients can continue to live well while on immunotherapy. Our doctor sees each patient and develop a tailored treatment programme for them, which can include nutritional advice, exercise or yoga, counselling or reflexology. For example, studies have shown acupuncture gives great joint pain relief.
Lifehouse Supportive Care and Integrative Oncology Specialist Dr Judith Lacey says: “One thing many mightn’t comprehend is the mental health effects of this new treatment for patients, who don’t know how long the treatment will continue to work on them as this is a very new type of treatment. Do they get a mortgage, do they keep their job, do they continue studying? Is it time to complete the bucket list of adventures? These patients may benefit from counselling.”
Read more about the complementary therapies offered at Lifehouse here.