Integrative Medicine: For Older Patients

Pictured: Donna Wilson Our Integrative Medicine Service offers a wide range of specially designed therapies, including exercise programs, for people with cancer who are 65 and older.

Older people with cancer can face unique issues during their treatment, including decreased mobility, physical and emotional side effects, and stress and sleep problems. Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Integrative Medicine Service offers a wide range of non-pharmaceutical services that complement older patients' primary medical treatment by addressing common challenges encountered during their illness.

We are committed to providing older cancer patients with programs that strengthen physical and emotional health. We offer massage therapies, mind/body therapies, music therapy, acupuncture for pain and other symptoms, and a variety of fitness classes, such as yoga and exercise programs that are designed specifically for older patients. Our services are also available to family members, caregivers, and the public.

In addition, the Integrative Medicine Service participates in the 65+ Program, a multidisciplinary team at Memorial Sloan Kettering that focuses on the care and study of clinical, psychosocial, educational, and physical needs of older people with cancer. The 65+ team includes staff from the areas of geriatric medicine, rehabilitation, nutrition, social work, pain and palliative care, nursing, geriatric psychiatry, and telehealth services.

Patients who take advantage of the services offered by the Integrative Medicine Service report an improved quality of life. They find that they breathe more easily, are more flexible, and experience some relief from the anxiety and physical stress of cancer treatment.