Impact 2022: CancerChoices Offers Choices and Research
January 16, 2023
We have a simple goal at CancerChoices—to make integrative cancer care available and affordable to everyone one who wants it. Integrative cancer care should be the standard of care for cancer. Why? Because integrating the best of conventional care, self care, and complementary therapies will help you live better and possibly longer than conventional care alone.
The big news for us in the past year is that—with 10,000 hours of dedicated work to build it—we launched the new CancerChoices.org website. The new platform is built on a tremendous amount of creative thinking, planning, outreach to people with cancer, and professional design. Coupled with rigorous research and engaging graphics, CancerChoices is the most comprehensive and accessible free resource on integrative cancer care online. We continue to add new content, publishing a new therapy review, handbook, or blog post every two weeks on average since the site launched.
CancerChoices remakes, expands, and deepens the information on our previous site, Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies (BCCT), which in turn was based originally on Choices in Healing, Michael Lerner’s ground-breaking 1994 book. The frame and tone of CancerChoices is that of a supportive guide. It offers expansive new sections on choices in integrative cancer care, new stories from people who have lived with cancer, user-oriented handbooks, and volunteers to help people navigate its almost encyclopedic breadth and depth of information. Starting in August, we launched a series of companion webinar conversations in partnership with The New School at Commonweal—including a website walkthrough with program staff as well as conversations with Callanish Society Founder Janie Brown, author and docuseries director Kelly Turner, and integrative oncologists Donald Abrams and Wayne Jonas.
A separate series of learning circles bring the qualities of conversations and group learning to CancerChoices, building community and deepening understanding of integrative cancer care. You can find the recordings from our conversations on our website.
We’ve also transformed our reviews of complementary therapies. The reviews present information in layers, starting with brief top-level summaries and a comprehensive rating system to give a snapshot view of each therapy’s effectiveness, safety, use by experts, and cost. Readers who want to see the basis of summaries and ratings can drill down to access details, all the way down to source research articles. We interpret findings from groups of similar studies to help readers understand the strength of evidence for using a therapy in various situations. We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both people with cancer and health professionals. Experts who have reviewed our therapy reviews have both contributed expertise and made extremely favorable comments about the quality of our research.
Most significant, the therapy reviews on BCCT rated 4.9/5 for quality and trustworthiness of information by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This was the top score among 11 sites providing similar information. We have since strengthened our research and reporting processes. In other words, researchers at NCI rated BCCT best in the field for quality and trustworthiness of information on complementary therapies, and CancerChoices is a quantum jump better.
We are grateful for the vision and contributions of Lucy Waletzky, MD, Roger Sant and the late Vicki Sant, the Scheidel Foundation, Miki Scheidel, and all the others who have contributed both time and financial support to CancerChoices. And we need your help and support to keep it by far the best resource on integrative cancer care on the web.