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Black Family Cancer AWARENESS: Engaging the Generations to End Health Disparities

Black families in the US are among the most vulnerable and hardest hit for cancer risk, diagnoses, and poor outcomes and have the highest mortality rate of any racial and ethnic group for all cancers combined and for most major cancers. Death rates for all major causes of death are higher for Black populations than for non-Hispanic whites, contributing in part to a lower life expectancy. Given the staggering inequity, this presentation will discuss the importance of screening, early detection, and prevention/lifestyle modification for Black communities, as well as the important role played by social determinants of health.

The US Food and Drug Administration, Oncology Center of Excellence, Project Community has announced a new community-based initiative, National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week, scheduled for June 17 through June 23, 2021.

The purpose is to increase cancer awareness in one of the most vulnerable segments of the US population. National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week aims to marshal community-based stakeholders to build knowledge surrounding cancer clinical trial participation and minority population specimen donations to national genetic databases for cancer research. 

Register here!


Eleanor M. Walker, MD is a Senior Staff Physician at Henry Ford Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan and Division Director of the Breast Services in the Department of Radiation Oncology, and Medical Director of HFHS Center for Integrative Medicine . Her clinical interests include breast, prostate, radiosurgery and cancer incidence, and treatment in minority populations. Her special research interests include breast cancer and integrative therapies. Dr Walker serves on the Board of Trustees of the Society for Integrative Oncology and as Co-Chair of the Health Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Task Force. 

Santhosshi Narayanan, MD, FACP is Assistant Professor in the Department of Palliative, Rehabilitative and Integrative Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Dr Narayanan joined The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2015, after serving in both private practice and academic medicine. She practices Integrative medicine and her research interests include mind-body techniques and yoga in the care of cancer patients.

Melvin Mann, MBA, M.Ed. is a national health and wellness patient advocate. Mr Mann was diagnosed 26 years ago, in January 1995, with leukemia and given three years to live unless a bone marrow donor could be found. He was unable to find a lifesaving marrow donor despite conducting numerous marrow drives and adding thousands of people to the marrow registry. He entered phase 1 of the Gleevec clinical trial in August 1998 and is now the world’s longest living Gleevec survivor. He is a member of the SIO  Health Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Task Force.

Darlingtina K. Esiaka, PhD is a Visiting Professor in Psychology at Union College in Schenectady, NY. and the Lab Manager and Principal Investigator of HAMPLAB / Health and Aging from Minority Perspective Lab whose research revolves around social determinants of health and the lifecourse and the cultural groundings for the experience of relationality. Dr Esiaka is a member of the SIO Health Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Task Force and the Global Task Force.



 Transforming Lives with Comprehensive Lifestyle Change

Many factors in our environment, diet, and lifestyle may cause or prevent cancer. In this exciting presentation, we’ll get a first look at Dr Lorenzo Cohen’s latest research on the importance of adapting lifestyle behaviors to reduce or prevent the risk of cancer development and progression. We’ll learn how the six building blocks -  social and emotional support; managing stress; improving sleep; exercising; healthy eating; and minimizing exposure to environmental toxins - all work together to promote an optimal environment for health and well-being, reduce the negative aspects of cancer treatment, and improve quality of life and clinical outcomes.

Join Ms Marsha Banks-Harold, C-IAYT, BSEE as she leads a gentle 15 minute yoga session to nourish the mind, body, and soul, and shares the importance of including yoga as part of a holistic lifestyle to create balance physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

Description of her Yoga Video: “Balancing all aspects of our lives … the social and emotional pieces, as well as the intellect and how we join up in this world.”

Register here!


Lorenzo Cohen, PhD, 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 and Distinguished Clinical Professor, Fudan University Cancer Hospital, Shanghai, China. Dr. Cohen is a founding member and past president of the international Society for Integrative Oncology. 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.


Marsha D. Banks-Harold, C-IAYT, BSEE is a Certified Yoga Therapist, Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga Facilitator, and owner of PIES Fitness Yoga Studio in Alexandria, Virginia. She works with cancer clients impacted by complex and micro-aggressive trauma and is the creator of the flagship yoga class My Body Don’t Bend That Way. She is also an electrical engineer and an officer in her church. Ms Banks-Harold serves as the Chair of the SIO Yoga SIG’s Diversity in Yoga and Cancer Care Committee and a member of the SIO Health Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Task Force.

wellness wednesday logo 2020

SIO Wellness Wednesdays Series 2021

SIO is thrilled to announce our popular Wellness Wednesday series will return this summer with two webinars per month from June through August. Each Wellness Wednesday will include a free, live, one-hour informal lunch conversation with cancer subject matter experts who will illuminate the challenges faced by people touched by cancer, particularly those in underrepresented communities. Our goal is to highlight the benefits of integrative medicine in the context of equitable cancer care.

Click here for information on Episode One. 

Click here for information on Episode Two.

2021 schedule to be posted soon. 

SIO Wellness Wednesdays Series 2020

SIO Wellness Wednesdays Series Available on YouTube

In case you missed our 2020 summer series #WellnessWednesdays - or, if you want to watch an episode again, visit SIO's YouTube channel to access recordings and the meditations and yoga practices.

Oncology Peer Review On-The-Go: Recommending Patient-Reported Outcomes of Pain for Cancer Care

In this episode of "Oncology Peer Review On-The-Go", CancerNetwork takes a look at an article publishing in early 2021 for the Journal ONCOLOGY, titled “Patient-Reported Outcomes of Pain and Related Symptoms in Integrative Oncology Practice and Clinical Research: Evidence and Recommendations.”

The piece summarizes current and validated patient-reported outcomes (PROs) specific to cancer-related pain. The piece also recommends commonly used PROs to be standardized to aid integrative oncology clinicians and researchers in both patient care and study design. For the first of 2 interviews regarding this piece, CancerNetwork spoke with 3 authors of the article, W. Iris Zhi, MD, PhD, and Ting Bao, MD, DABMA, MS, from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Xin Shelley Wang, MD, MPH, of the MD Anderson Cancer Center.

For the response perspective, CancerNetwork spoke with Linda Carlson, PhD, of the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Carlson expanded on the work done by Zhi and her colleagues, emphasizing the importance of understanding reliability and validity. Carlson focused on the importance of the research topic, and the impact properly validated PROs can have on patients for the cancer care team.

May 2021

Click hereto view this month's digest. 

Integrative Oncology Talk Recent Updates

Integrative Oncology Talk – a top rated podcast – featuring Dr. Santosh Rao, president-elect of SIO as he interviews various movers and shakers in the integrative oncology field is available here and the new Integrative Oncology Talk video series featuring the dynamic international duo of Dr. Rao and Dr. Judith Lacey is available here.

New from Integrative Oncology Talk are discussions with Dr. Claudia Witt about integrative oncology core competencies and Dr. Sheila Garland and Dr. Ashwin Mehta about sleep dysfunction. Click here for the video cast. Click here for the podcast. 

Stay tuned for new content on a regular basis.


The overall goal of the Transdisciplinary Research in Energetics and Cancer Research Education Program (TREC Training Workshop) is to provide an annual, in person 5-day transdisciplinary research in energy balance and cancer training course early career investigators (i.e., junior faculty and postdocs). Cohorts will span a diverse array of academic backgrounds (i.e., basic, clinical and population cancer research) and in collaboration with the wider community of TREC-inspired scientists will enhance the ability to produce innovative and impactful transdisciplinary research in energetics and cancer and clinical care.

The prevalence of obesity in the United States and globally has increased significantly over the last three decades, with more than one-third of US adults categorized as obese and one-third categorized as overweight.1 Obesity is quickly overtaking tobacco use as the leading preventable cause of developing and dying of cancer, and it is primarily caused by poor diet and physical inactivity which are also independent risk factors for cancer development and mortality.1-3 Given the rising prevalence of obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity, known in combination as “energy balance” or “energetics”, as well as their associations with factors of cancer, innovative research, clinical care and training of scientists are needed to lower the prevalence of these risk factors and in turn, lower cancer incidence and mortality rates.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Tamara Moore, 202-868-4008
October 27, 2020 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SIO to Work with Leading Oncology Society on Guidelines for Integrative Approaches for Cancer Care
Medical societies to develop three evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in 2021

WASHINGTON (October 27, 2020) – The Society for Integrative Oncology announced today that it is collaborating with the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®), the world’s leading professional organization of its kind representing oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer, to develop a series of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for integrative therapies in oncology care. The guidelines, planned for publication in 2021 and 2022, will provide clinicians and patients much-needed guidance on safely and effectively treating common cancer symptoms and side effects using integrative approaches.

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

After careful consideration and comprehensive evaluation of currently available information related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Board of Trustees of the Society of Integrative Oncology (SIO) has made the decision to postpone the 17th International Conference, co-hosted by Johns Hopkins University, originally scheduled for October 16-18, 2020.
The Conference will now be held September 24-26, 2021 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland. Although disappointing, after weighing the various factors at play, we feel this is the best decision for the health of the Society and of our members. 

We continue to closely monitor the developments surrounding COVID-19 and we wish to inform all our colleagues globally that we are committed to SIO’s mission as well as the health and safety of all members.

The postponement of the SIO 2020 Conference was based on multiple factors, including the current travel restrictions put in place by the U.S. and other countries and our inability to predict when these may be lifted, the need for conference participants to make decisions about submitting abstracts now amid this uncertainty, the current toll being placed on our health care community, and the financial impact on institutions that may also affect future conference travel and funding.

Additionally, with the postponement, we were able to negotiate an agreement with the hotel, which will not penalize the society financially. Most importantly, we carefully weighed the impact on members’ and patients’ immediate and long-term health, preferring to take a more cautious approach.

We look forward to hosting the in-person conference in 2021, which will give members of the Integrative Oncology community an opportunity to present and discuss their important work, make valued connections, and build collaborations with colleagues around the globe. Meanwhile, we understand the need to collaborate and share research, discuss relevant healthcare impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak and explore advances in integrative medicine before the rescheduled date.

Therefore, SIO is working with our conference planning committee, our other committees, special interest groups and task forces to cultivate digital learning and networking opportunities in 2020 to replace the originally scheduled conference. Details will follow as this work advances.

If you have further questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  As more information becomes available, it will be posted on the Conference website and on social media. 

Thank you for your patience, understanding, and unwavering commitment to SIO.

Ting Bao, MD, DABMA, MS
President, SIO