At Vermont Wellness Medicine, we believe that while alternative medicine is not a substitute for conventional standard of care, its complementary effectiveness should not be overlooked, either. An evidence-based understanding of integrative medicine’s role in oncology care is fundamental to our practice.
What is the Difference Between Alternative and Integrative Medicine?
Since integrative medicine may incorporate therapies that are considered alternative, differentiating between the two might seem insignificant. Yet we believe there is a very important distinction to make. “Alternative” can be taken to mean equivalent, but when it comes to oncology care, there is no equivalent to standard-of-care conventional treatment.
Integrative oncology is the combination of conventional medicine with evidence-informed, safe, and supportive complementary therapies. It requires a deep understanding of how complementary and conventional applications of medicine will interact, and what the results will be for your body. The safe and effective combination of the two is what defines integrative medicine.
Interview with The University of Vermont's Across the Fence TV Broadcast
Dr. Littlefield on the difference between alternative and integrative medicine:
"Sometimes people think of Alternative Medicine as something they might choose instead of the standard of care for conventional oncology. That's a really important distinction that I like to make because an alternative suggests that there is an equivalent option and in oncology care there really isn't another option that will give you the same benefits that you could get from standard of care conventional oncology...So, what I advocate for in my practice is to combine the best of both worlds....Take what we know that is very useful in the complementary therapies and combine it with conventional standard of care in a way to improve outcomes and quality of life."
Watch the full interview to learn more.