Empowered Healing

The 6 Elements of Empowered Healing

A powerful, evidence-based program offered for your care journey.

Alongside your prescribed medication, participation in the Empowered Healing program has been shown to lead to better treatment outcomes, reduction in side effect symptoms and greater overall wellness.


Research supports that diet, nutrition, and hydration are foundational elements of cancer recovery that also impacts disease relapse.

Cutting Refined Sugar

Sugar dangers and changes.

Did you know that the food you eat can affect your cancer recovery? Research has found that cutting refined sugar out of our diet starves cancer cells and takes away the glucose that they need to grow. You can support your recovery and remission by cutting refined sugars out of your diet.

How do I make a change?

Cutting refined sugar out of your diet may sound like a challenge, but you can start by:

  • Visiting a health food store and selecting versions of your favorite foods that are free of refined sugar. Avoid foods with ingredients that list sugar, cane sugar, or anything that rhymes with the word “gross.”
  • Fructose, sucrose and dextrose.
  • Replacing added sugars in your cooking with fruit purees, stevia, or raw, organic honey.
  • Talking to a nutritionist about ketogenic, Paleolithic and other sugar-free raw or ancestral diets.


Daily physical activity and exercise, especially out in nature, promotes holistic wellbeing, mental health, productive sleep, and the strength needed during treatment.

Recovery Through Exercise

Exercise helps recovery.

Did you know that research indicates that regular exercise can prevent many forms of cancer and can help cancer recovery. According to research, both aerobic and resistance (strength) exercise led to improvements in physical function, quality of life, fatigue levels, and sleep quality. Cancer patients also showed improvements in weight and muscle mass, mental health, and social functioning.

How do I make a change?

First, before undertaking any exercise program, talk to your oncologist about the recommended types, level, and intensity of exercise that are right for your healthcare needs. If you are generally sedentary, start slow, such as by taking a walk in your neighborhood, by the waterside, or in a park. If you are physically active, switch it up! Add a different type of exercise to your repertoire, (such as strength training if you primarily do aerobic activity).

Stress Management

Reducing stress is foundational to cancer recovery and remission, as stress is believed to inhibit apoptosis and increase inflammation of the body.

Managing Stress Levels

Try “7 Breathing”

Did you know that stress is very dangerous to cancer patients? Research tells us that stress hormones can increase the size of tumors and lead to cancer cell metastasis (when cancer cells spread to other parts of the body). The good news is that reducing your stress levels can put the brakes on this unhealthy process.

How do I make a change?

Try the “7 Breathing” technique:

  • Breathe in for 7 seconds.
  • Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
  • Exhale slowly for 7 seconds.
  • Do this five times, then breathe normally. Practice this technique three times per day and use it anytime that you feel your stress level rise.

Sleep and Repair

Healthy sleep is very important to cancer treatment, as research has found that poor sleeping hygiene puts people with certain cancers at high risk for bad recovery outcomes.

Reducing Nighttime Artificial Light

Melatonin and artificial light.

Did you know that being exposed to unnatural light at night may be a cancer risk? Our sleep hormone, melatonin, is suppressed by exposure at night to artificial light, especially the blue light of screen devices. Research has found that a reduction of melatonin at night can lead to suppression of the immune system and its role in detecting and fighting abnormal cells.

How do I make a change?

Turn your screen devices off an hour or two before bedtime. Keep your bedroom dark. Turn off any night lights or TVs in your bedroom and keep smartphones and other screen devices out of your bedroom.


Patients that have a positive mindset towards their treatment, oncology team, and their bodies’ ability to recover, are more likely to recover and remain in remission.

Exercising Your Mindset Muscle

The placebo effect.

Did you know that a positive expectation of recovery may affect your recovery? Research has consistently documented a healthcare phenomenon known as The Placebo Effect – when study participants improve and feel better because they believe in the treatment, even when they were given a non-therapeutic treatment (such as a sugar pill). Having a positive mindset about your oncology team, your treatment, and your body’s ability to recover may enhance your body’s ability to feel better and heal.

How do I make a change?

You can work out your positive mindset “muscle” like you would work out a physical muscle: By practice. Every day, write down one thing about your cancer treatment team or support system that gives you hope: “My oncology team was voted the best in my state!” Carry this little note around with you in your pocket, purse or wallet. Replace it with a new note the next day.


Your care team will provide you with full chemotherapy education, as well as medical management, side effect management, and general health and safety guidelines.

Medical Examination and Treatment


  • Treatment Education: Your care team, which includes the doctor, nurse practitioner and nurse will provide you with full chemotherapy education. Chemotherapy education will include medication management, side effect management, and general health and safety guidelines. This type of education can help you better understand your treatment, manage potential side effects, and improve overall treatment outcomes. Education will be provided by your care team and delivered in various formats, including individual consultations, printed material, website links and group sessions.
  • Medical Examination: You will have a pre-treatment evaluation, which includes physical examination, blood tests, and imaging to check the extent of cancer. Your medical team may also discuss your medical history, allergies, and previous treatments.
  • Financial Estimate
    • First, our team will review your insurance coverage and the terms and conditions of the policy. This information will be essential in estimating the copay, as different policies can have different deductibles, co-insurance rates, or copayment amounts.
    • Next, the doctor identifies the chemotherapy treatment regimen you will undergo. Different treatment regimens can have different costs, and some may come with additional costs, such as required diagnostic tests or supportive care medications.
    • Once the specific treatment regimen has been identified, we can estimate the cost of the chemotherapy. The cost will depend on factors such as the drugs used, the dosage, the frequency of treatment, and the duration of treatment.
    • After estimating the chemotherapy treatment cost, we can then calculate your out-of-pocket expenses, including copays, deductibles, and co-insurance, if any. Depending on your specific policy, you may need to pay a set copay amount or a percentage of the treatment cost. You will need to pay for all the copays before we can order your medications and schedule you for your treatment.
  • Payment Plan: If you cannot pay your copays in time to receive your treatment, you can make arrangements such as a payment plan with us. In making a payment plan, you will need to pay a deposit, which as much of the total amount owed up front as well as make a commitment to pay the balance. When your deposit is paid and your payment plan is approved by your provider, your treatment appointment can be confirmed. Full payment for your first cycle of treatment must be made before the second round can be confirmed.
  • Financial Assistance: We can also help you explore any other financial assistance options that may be available, such as grants and co-pay assistance programs. In certain cases, you may be eligible for manufacturer sponsored medication, also known as “free drug.” To access any of these types of financial assistance, be prepared to submit an application as well as supporting documents, such as bank statements and tax returns. Overall, the estimation of copay for chemotherapy treatment is a complex and individualized process that requires careful consideration of several factors, including your insurance coverage, specific treatment regimen, and any available financial assistance options you may be eligible for. We will work with you to explore all available resources, to ensure you receive necessary treatment while managing out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Informed Consent: Before your treatment begins, you will need to give your consent to treatment. Consent is your informed and voluntary agreement to receive chemotherapy as a form of cancer treatment after being fully informed of the potential benefits, risks, and side effects of the treatment. Your informed consent acknowledges that you fully understand the nature of the treatment, including the drugs used, your share of the cost of treatment, the potential consequences, the expected outcomes, and the precautions to be taken before, during and after the treatment.
  • Empowered Healing: As a patient of Hawaii Cancer Care, you have exclusive access to Empowered Healing, a holistic, integrated approach to cancer treatment. Empowered Healing considers you a whole person – with physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Rather than treating just your disease with conventional medical treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, our Empowered Healing program offers access to complementary therapies like acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga and stress management, alongside dietary and lifestyle changes to improve overall wellness. The goal of holistic cancer treatment is to support your overall health and wellbeing, enhance your body’s natural healing abilities, and improve quality of life during and after treatment. It is important to note that holistic cancer treatment should not be used in place of medical treatment, but rather as a complementary approach to support your overall health and wellbeing.


During the infusion, you will receive chemotherapy through an IV placed in your arm or hand. It can take several hours to complete the treatment, depending on the type and dose of the chemotherapy drug. You may also receive other medications to prevent nausea, manage pain, or infection.

  • Side Effects: Your care team will be offering you ways to get your body as healthy and strong as possible prior to your first infusion so you experience minimum possible side effects, if any. Common side effects of chemotherapy may include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fever, chills, and a weakened immune system. Your medical team will monitor you closely during the infusion to address any side effects that may arise.


After the infusion, you may feel tired and need to rest for several days after treatment. Your medical team will also provide you with instructions on how to manage any side effects that may occur. You will also receive a call from our nurse to assess your condition and how you are feeling after your first treatment. It is essential to keep attending follow-up appointments, and the medical team may request some lab tests to see how you are doing after the infusion. It is normal to feel anxious or overwhelmed before the chemotherapy infusion but remember that your medical team is here to support you. Speak openly to us about any concerns you may have, and we will offer advice on how to manage your treatment concerns.