Mainstream Cancer Center in Burbank Gets in Touch With Inner Hippie, Offers Patients Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs

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Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 3:05 PM

click to enlarge Eastern medicine: Now to be practiced at big scary cancer facilities with normal sign fonts
  • Eastern medicine: Now to be practiced at big scary cancer facilities with normal sign fonts
Looks like the big boys in cancer treatment are finally realizing patients would rather get an exotic massage from their hot young attendings than a scratchy blanket and a bedpan.

The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center at Providence Saint Joseph in Burbank, a top destination for malignant Angelenos (sorry, that sounded kind of awful), announced today that routine treatment will now be supplemented by an optional foray into Eastern medicine.

The brand-new menu, courtesy of Santa Monica's own Emporer's College, who'll be providing the interns:

• Acupuncture

• Herbal medicine

• Qi gong [Ed note: No idea. That's what Wikipedia's for, dummy. And YouTube.]

• Meditation

• Massage [Ed note: Don't even think about requesting that it... end happily.]

Sounds lovely, right? Turns out acupuncture, because it can alter immune-system response, is a proven reliever of chemotherapy pain. Still, due to the fact that it's not highly profitable and damaging to our livers, most of the nation's big-time cancer centers choose to exclude it from protocol. Not cool, says Emperor's College:

Continuous studies and clinical trials by the National Cancer Institute suggest that acupuncture helps relieve side effects caused by chemo and radiation," said Dean Jacques MoraMarco, OMD, LAc, at Emperor's College. "Through this externship, our students will gain valuable practical insight into comprehensive cancer treatment programs which will prepare them for clinical success and post-graduate specialization in oncology care."

And the Burbank cancer center wants to make sure we know the partnership will be mutually beneficial, via the joint press release:

"The externship for Emperor's College students is an opportunity for them to learn how to safely practice in a conventional medical environment and learn about some of the conventional treatments for cancer," adds Lisa M. Schwartz, MD, medical director of the integrative medicine program at the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center. "This partnership also provides another low cost option for our cancer patients to receive acupuncture treatments."

What does this mean for you? Well, if you ever get cancer -- and, considering your mattress is filled with anti-inflammatory chemicals and considering all those other carcinogenic things you love way too much to give up, you will probably get cancer -- there's now an L.A.-area center that can hit you with the hard stuff while making you feel like a bald Eastern princess.

Good deal.

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