Supportive cancer medicine

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The diagnosis of cancer and the subsequent treatments often take patients to the limits of their physical and emotional resilience. Studies in recent years have shown that, if supportive measures are integrated into the treatment at the beginning or early stage of the disease, the patients' quality of life can be significantly improved and their lifespan extended (e.g. Temel 2010 (JCO), Bakitas 2015 (JCO), Zimmermann 2014 (Lancet)).

The integrative approach at the Havelhöhe Oncology Centre therefore not only includes modern diagnostics as well as conventional and complementary acute therapies, but also gives special importance to the supportive treatment of diseases and symptoms that often accompany cancer and its treatment. These symptoms can be physical, psychological, social or spiritual in origin and are taken care of by an interdisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, therapists and social services on our supportive medicine ward. The spectrum ranges from the treatment of anxiety or depression to the alleviation of physical symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, exhaustion and fatigue (cancer-related fatigue), pain or loss of appetite to help with difficulties in social environments. In these cases, we start building outpatient care networks early.

Our aim is to alleviate often severe symptoms by combining conventional and integrative procedures from anthroposophic medicine, to activate the patient's self-healing powers and thus to improve their quality of life and the further chances of healing in the long term. A special focus is on mistletoe therapy, which is used individually, and intensified if necessary. Current studies indicate positive effects of mistletoe therapy in tumour patients. A stay in the supportive care unit can help to strengthen the patient overall and, if necessary, prepare the way for or accompany further anti-tumour therapies.


  • Improving the conditions for the implementation of oncological therapies
  • Reduction of undesirable side effects of potentially toxic therapies
  • Alleviating cancer-related symptoms
  • Nutritional and digestive problems, severe nausea, vomiting
  • Cachexia (emaciation)
  • Exhaustion, cancer-related fatigue (CRF)
  • Therapy-resistant pain
  • Breathing problems
  • Anxiety, depression, dealing with illness-related psychological stress


Combination of modern conventional medicine and integrative medicine/ anthroposophic medicine:  

  • implementation of cancer-specific therapies in close cooperation with the oncological therapy centre in the hospital (chemotherapy, antibody therapy, etc.), as well as cooperation with radiotherapy, surgery, gynaecology, urology and other specialist disciplines as required
  • Modern diagnostic and therapeutic methods for pain and discomfort relief
  • Multi-disciplinary tumour meeting
  • Symptom- and resources-orientated approach with the help of standardised nursing and medical admission consultations (assessments)
  • Promotion of healthy resources (salutogenesis) and the potential for rehabilitation
  • Mistletoe therapy
  • Hyperthermia
  • Integrative approaches, such as music therapy, therapeutic painting and modelling / sculpting, eurythmy therapy
  • Rhythmic massage and lymphatic drainage
  • Nursing applications: rhythmic therapeutic rubs and wraps/applications
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychotherapeutic talks / psycho-oncology
  • Nutritional counselling
  • Social counselling
  • Pastoral care
Sarah Schadow Desirée Kreis

Your contact for supportative cancer medicine

Ward 7, Building 10 & Ward 5, Building 12

Sarah Schadow, Désirée Kreis
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Appointments for outpatient tumour therapy


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