Integrative Cancer Care
integrative cancer care
Our aim is to provide safe options for combining conventional cancer treatments with natural, supportive therapies
What is Integrative Cancer Care?
For anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, or whose loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, information comes fast and the questions can be overwhelming. What is my chance of survival? What will be used to treat my cancer? How effective will treatment be? Can I be cured? How will I feel during treatment? Do I have to have chemotherapy? Will surgery cure my cancer? Can I still work? What about my family? How can I reduce the risk of this cancer coming back again?
Integrative cancer care helps to support anyone who has received a precancerous or cancer diagnosis, has a strong family history of cancer, or is a cancer survivor. Every situation, patient, and diagnosis is unique and requires individualized assessment and support. Our aim is to provide safe options for combining conventional cancer treatments with natural, supportive therapies that are scientifically grounded and evidence-based. Ensuring you leave with more answers than questions.
Cancerous & Precancerous Conditions
Naturopathic Medicine & Integrative Cancer Care
Naturopathic medicine excels at supporting wellness in the midst of complicated medical care. For this reason naturopathic oncology functions best when it comes alongside the rest of your medical care. We look at how best to treat both you and your cancer, delving into your most pressing risk factors, and addressing your concerns, questions, and goals. Using the strongest available evidence and clinical knowledge, naturopathic care can help optimize your medical treatments, reduce the side-effects of cancer therapies, help you recover from treatment faster, and reduce your risk of recurrence after treatment ends.
The goal of naturopathic oncology is to improve overall survival, minimize side-effects of treatment, and improve your quality of life both during and after treatment. Whether you are looking for support while you undergo surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy, or you need more aggressive natural therapies to target your cancer directly, your Naturopathic Doctor will ensure you have a full understanding of treatment options available to you, so you can make choices you feel comfortable with.
what we can address
Making cancer treatment more tolerable:
Surgery preparation and recovery
Radiation support to minimize side-effects
Chemotherapy care to improve your body’s response to chemotherapy and ability to tolerate treatment, as well as minimize side-effects
Improving survival, maintaining remission, and preventing metastasis:
Killing cancer cells
Boosting the immune system
Long-term effects of treatment and returning to life / work / school:
Digestive changes (low appetite, nausea, abdominal discomfort), diarrhea, constipation
Pain, scarring, and adhesions
how we can care for you
Targeted Nutritional Counselling: Improving your nutritional status before, during, and after treatment can help you better prepare, tolerate, and recover from surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Herbs and Supplements: There is no end to the number of health products that claim to cure cancer. When it comes to natural supplements, you need to be extremely careful about what you are taking, and why. Guided support can ensure that what you are taking is both safe (won’t interfere with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or medications) and has enough evidence to ensure you don’t waste your time, effort, or money.
Acupuncture: This is a wonderful adjunct to treatment as there is no risk of interactions with your other treatments. It can be used to address so many aspects of wellness and recovery including pain, sleep, stress, depression, and digestion.
Mistletoe Therapy: Mistletoe is a common component of complementary cancer care in Europe and has become more commonly used here in Canada in recent years. Administered either by subcutaneous injection or through IV therapy, Mistletoe is both directly cytotoxic to cancer cells (i.e. kills cancer cells directly) without causing damage to healthy cells, and is a strong stimulator of your immune system to help your body continue to kill cancer cells, and working to prevent metastasis. Want to know more? You can read more about mistletoe therapy here.
Intravenous Vitamin Therapy:
Vitamin C is the most commonly used IV therapy, as IV dosing allows us to provide doses that cannot be reached through supplements alone. At high doses, vitamin C results in an accumulation of hydrogen peroxide within cancer cells, killing cancer cells directly. It also helps to strengthen stromal tissue to reduce the risk of metastasis long-term. Treatment helps boost your immune system and improves your quality of life.
ALA is a powerful antioxidant and is another agent often used to treat cancer (especially pancreatic cancer), and reduce side-effects such as neuropathy, insulin resistance, chronic liver disease, and diabetes.
Cancer Care: What to Expect from Naturopathic Treatment
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, are in the midst of cancer treatments, or are in recovery / remission and you’re considering naturopathic oncology care, here’s what you can expect:
Month 1: Initial Appointment, 1.5-2 hours in length
You first naturopathic oncology appointment is often the longest appointment.
This is when we discuss your case in-depth, diving into your diagnosis and reviewing all your reports, scans, and blood work.
We will run a full assessment including physical exams and requisition any necessary lab work (blood work, hormone testing) to get a baseline of where you’re at and ensure treatment is both safe and necessary.
We will discuss your treatment options in full so you know all of your options, including cost, frequency, and rationale.
You will be sent home with an initial treatment plan to get you started on your road to wellness and recovery, based on where you are at with other treatments.
Your treatment plan will include a customized nutritional guide, support information, and information for other support services available to you in the city
Months 2-3: Follow-up Appointment, 1-1.5 hours in length
This is our first chance to reconnect and review how your treatment plan has been going, what is working, and what challenges you may have faced.
We will go over your lab results together to ensure you understand your results and what that means for treatment.
At this visit, a more detailed and customized treatment plan will be developed, specific to your physiological needs, where you are at with other treatments, and what symptoms or side-effects are presenting
This is the point where we start to directly track your progress so we can continue to evaluate how effective treatment is and watch for any imbalances or deficiencies before they develop into larger problems.
Months 4-12: Your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th appointments
For patients in active treatment follow-up appointments are scheduled to coincide with the end of each treatment phase / onset of a new medical treatment. This timing allows us to stay on top of your care, ensuring your naturopathic treatments continue to be safe and effective, and allowing us to address side-effects that have come up and lingering effects that are taking long to recover from.
Your treatment plan will continue to be tweaked based on your other treatments, your symptoms, and your blood work results. Treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy have the potential to alter your genes so as we progress it’s important that we understand what’s happening to better inform treatment moving forward.
By the end of year one our goal is to have you supported through a stable treatment plan that works for you long-term. At this stage follow-up visits can be moved to every 6 months unless you have changes to your health status or medical treatments.
Every patient and situation is going to be different. Some people may be facing their first cancer diagnosis, while others are dealing with a recurrence metastasized cancer, or a second cancer diagnosis. For some, their cancer treatments went well but the damage done to their body has made recovery challenging and slow. Additionally, there are cancers for which no clear medical treatment options are available. No matter the situation, the principles of naturopathic oncology remain the same: treat the person first, prioritize killing the cancer, and no matter where you are in your experience, support wellness.
If you’ve been affected by cancer, our cancer support team is here to help answer your questions and provide safe, effective care. If you would like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us or book a complimentary 15 minute meet-and-greet with one of our practitioners.