Integrative Cancer Care
Integrative naturopathic cancer care aims provide safe options for combining conventional cancer treatments with natural, supportive therapies.
Integrative Cancer Care
Integrative oncology aims to provide safe options for combining conventional cancer treatments with natural, supportive therapies that are scientifically grounded and evidence-based. Naturopathic medicine can help to safely and effectively strengthen the immune system, help patients better tolerate treatment, minimize the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation, support the body’s innate ability to heal, and improve the quality of life of patients living with cancer.
Goals of integrative cancer care:
Educate and support patients as they navigate the complicated world of cancer care and natural treatment options
Prepare patients for surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, as needed
Improve tolerance to cancer treatments and reduce side-effects
Improve recovery and increase longevity
Whenever possible, collaboration with a patient’s health care team is prioritized as naturopathic medicine works best when it can come alongside conventional medical treatments. All naturopathic treatments provided during conventional care (ex. chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy, etc) are researched to ensure there are no potential drug interactions. Similarly, care is taken around surgery to ensure patients are not on any blood-thinning products. This collaborative, multi-disciplinary model is able to provide patients with more comprehensive and effective care that considers not only their physical health, but also their mental and emotional wellbeing.
at the time of diagnosis
Once patients have received a diagnosis and have a sense of what their treatment options are, we can work to prepare them for what may lie ahead, including:
In-depth discussions around goals, concerns, needs, options, and available resources
Preparation for surgery and support for recovery
Preparation for chemotherapy and radiation, paying special attention to reducing any higher risk side-effects and complications of treatment
This is a time when many patients need a little extra support to address side-effects and even improve their response to conventional treatment. It is extremely important to ensure all naturopathic treatments provided a this time are well researched and evidence-based to ensure patient safety. We work to create a customized care plan that will:
Improve tolerance to chemotherapy and optimize the body’s response
Minimize side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation (including nausea, constipation, fatigue, insomnia, brain fog, and neuropathy)
Reduce the risk of complications during treatment (including infection, anemia, and thrombocytopenia)
once treatment is done
This is often a time when people need more support than they are expecting, as active treatment has finished and they are sent home to return to life. While successfully completing treatment is to be celebrated, the reality of being left on your own to recover can often feel overwhelming, frustratingly slow, and isolating. Naturopathic cancer care does not end with your last infusion or hospital visit. This is a time when we can adapt your treatment plan from one focused on side-effect management to one that focuses on your future quality of life, including:
Addressing lingering side-effects of treatment (including brain fog, fatigue, insomnia, digestive changes, nutrient deficiencies, and neuropathy)
Improve recovery after treatment by helping to strengthen the immune system, as well as rebuilding any reduced blood counts
Increasing longevity by working to reduce the risk of recurrence, prevent treatment induced cancers, and prolong cancer-free status
It can be hard to know what hospital services, support programs, and care there is available to you. To make it a little easier I’ve collected together a resource list to give you somewhere to start.