Ali welcomes Dr. Lorenzo Cohen director of the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center and his colleague Robin Haddad, doctoral candidate in health promotion and behavior science to discuss the direction of cancer treatment and research advances in the area of bio-behavioral oncology.
In this episode we will discuss integration of care and treating the whole person through the inclusion of lifestyle and behavior change to reduce cancer risk and improve control of disease. Dr. Cohen defines the AntiCancer lifestyle and both he and Robin discuss their ongoing research study “CompLife” being conducted in women with breast cancer that connected Ali with the MD Anderson team. Ali discusses her role in contributing to the development of the protocol and the food-as-medicine interventions while Robin and Dr. Cohen discuss barriers and successes.
Also in this episode:
  • Nature vs. Nurture the role of genetics vs. environment on cancer
  • Mindfulness and its importance in successful outcomes
  • Assessments of cancer risk and ways to monitor
Links discussed:
Guest Bios:
Dr. Lorenzo Cohen is the Richard E. Haynes Distinguished Professor in Clinical Cancer Prevention and Director of the Integrative Medicine Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Cohen is a founding member and past president of the international Society for Integrative Oncology and the vice-chair of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health. Dr. Cohen is passionate about educating others on how to prevent cancer and maintain optimal health across the lifespan.  As the majority of cancers are preventable, Dr. Cohen is conducting research to demonstrate that lifestyle factors can influence cancer outcomes. Dr. Cohen leads a team conducting NIH-funded research and delivering clinical care of integrative medicine practices such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, massage, diet, exercise, acupuncture and other strategies such as stress management, music therapy, emotional writing and more aimed at reducing the negative aspects of cancer treatment and improving quality of life and clinical outcomes.
Robin Haddad is a doctoral student and research study coordinator at MD Anderson. The Texas Medical Center brought Robin to Houston after a childhood illness kept her at Texas Children’s Hospital for many a night, from whose Windows she began to appreciate the city and dream of future studies in Houston.  Knowing from an early age she wanted to pursue a career in social epidemiology, she attended the University of Texas School of Public Health soon after graduating from Rice University. An internship at MD Anderson and masters thesis project on yoga and autonomic nervous system function brought her to Lorenzo’s team. After a year of employment with him, because Of her passion for health promotion she was tasked with working alongside him to make the protocol for the comprehensive lifestyle change study turn into a living, breathing , fully operational program. She managed the project and recruited its first participant on the same day as beginning her doctorate program in Behavioral science. She managed the program and its multidisciplinary staff until the birth of her child earlier this year. She continues to be close to the project today working alongside its current team.


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