What is Integrative Naturopathic Oncology?
The term integrative can be defined as “various parts or aspects being joined together”. It implies cohesiveness and completeness.
Integrative Naturopathic Oncology combines the two medical disciplines of modern oncology (which uses surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapies) and naturopathic oncology. Naturopathic oncology involves the use of “natural” therapies to treat the person as a whole who is fighting cancer. It stems from the philosophy that by removing factors that interfere with health, and restoring optimal functioning of our organ systems, our body can optimally fight disease.
The goals of Integrative Naturopathic Oncology are:
1 – To fight cancer and optimize the tumour killing ability of chemotherapy and radiation;
2 -To prevent and manage side effects from modern treatments without using drugs;
3 – To speed healing from modern treatments;
4 – To maintain the body’s immune function to help it to fight cancer;
5 – To teach each individual how to eat a cancer-fighting diet;
6 – To reduce the risk of a recurrence.
Treating the person as a whole is a foundational philosophy in naturopathic medicine. With respect to oncology, we don’t just treat your breast cancer or lung cancer, for example. We make sure your kidneys and liver are optimally functioning. We make sure your digestive system is healthy. We support your brain and emotional health. We help you stay well, both body and mind, which will enable you to fight cancer to your fullest.
The most exciting aspect of integrative naturopathic oncology is that natural therapies appear to help chemotherapy work better, while at the same time protecting the patient’s body from detrimental side effects. There have been many studies supporting the notion that when patients undergo an integrative approach, their quality of life is much better compared to those who do not utilize an integrative approach. In other words, the combination of conventional treatments with naturopathic medicine seems to work better than using either one on its own.
A naturopathic doctor who practices integrative cancer care will examine your lab results in as much detail as your diet. Any other existing medical conditions you may have will be treated as adequately as your emotional needs. Your side effects will be followed up on as often as your social support. It is truly a comprehensive medical experience, all with the goal of providing the utmost care to patients.
~ Dr. Jessa