We believe in the importance of patients receiving the very best in supportive and Integrative cancer care, both during and after conventional treatment, to:
Recently I have seen many patients with advanced breast cancer and various kinds of cancer. Most of them failed many lines of chemotherapy (at least two lines) and now undergoing more aggressive chemotherapy with or without targeted therapies (like Herceptin/Cetuximab). Some take hormonal ablation therapies like Leuprolide injections. I appreciate these interventions from my conventional oncology background as they all aim to reduce the tumour mass and get better disease-free/progression-free intervals.
More than gaining a few months/ years for these patients, it is clear that the quality of life of these patients makes a huge difference. So treating advanced/metastatic breast cancer with chemotherapy can increase their disease-free interval by a few months. It also drains their energy, and some deplete their immune system, making them more liable to infections and sepsis. The addition of naturopathic supportive care for these patients makes a lot of difference; like giving them proper nutrition to support their immune system and replenish their depleted nutrients, managing pain with acupuncture or alternating heat and cold rather than giving narcotic sedatives with all know side effects like constipation, sleepiness, and drowsiness. I have seen many patients receiving subcutaneous Iscador ( a herb that helps boost immune function and improve stamina in cancer patients) or giving them high doses of intravenous vitamin C can change the lives of these patients dramatically.
Due to regulations, I cannot say that naturopathic interventions can improve survival for these patients until the proper research is done. Still, the one thing I am confident of is that most advanced cancer patients do very well in naturopathic care when they receive it compared to those who do not.
Because I have been in conventional medical care as a medical and radiation oncologist for over 20 years (outside Canada), and even when I visited Princess Margaret Hospital and General Jewish Hospital Cancer department; I found a significant difference between patients treated with conventional medical care alone as compared to those who received this conventional care and naturopathic support as well, in favour of those who receive both types of care.
In some patients with advanced breast cancer, even conventional medical care is just supportive care with no chemotherapy, radiation or targeted therapy because simply in this group of patients, the oncologists find no benefit of giving further chemotherapy or radiation to them and the harm of getting these interventions supersedes the benefits of giving further chemotherapy and radiation; so these patients would be referred to palliative care service where they would be under pain killers and sometimes intravenous fluids, for this patient population naturopathic care plays even a more significant role using other modalities like high dose intravenous vitamin C and intravenous multivitamins and minerals that provide these patients with their needs of essential nutrients, also giving them essential oral nutrition that suits their case is of paramount importance.
In summary, modern oncology care necessitates the integration of naturopathic medicine for advanced breast cancer patients to optimize their quality of life.
Many people with cancer consider alternative and Integrative medicine in their fight against cancer. Naturopathic Oncology improves the quality of life and potentiates the efficacy of conventional treatment for cancer. Naturopathic doctors specializing in oncology serve as capable guides for patients interested in exploring alternative options such as mindfulness meditation, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, botanical Medicine, specific diets and homeopathy.
Naturopathic doctors support cancer patients in their choices to use natural and safe therapies and in their goals to achieve overall health, fight disease progression, and reduce the side effects of mainstream cancer treatment regimens. Naturopathic Doctors promote wellness, educate on the best available evidence for supplement usage, and design a diet with an individualized treatment approach.
Our Naturopathic Oncologist is trained in conventional and naturopathic oncology. Thus, he used his expertise on how best to work in a collaborative model of cancer co-management. He helps patients maintain their oncology treatment regimens and provide vital support for reducing the side effects of those treatments.
Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid (AA) was first researched as an anti-cancer agent by Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Linus Pauling, Ph.D. and Dr. Ewan Cameron, MD. Their first clinical trial began in 1971, and the results of this and other research were published in the book “Cancer and Vitamin C” in 1979. In their clinical trial, they found a four-fold increase in survival time by those individuals treated with 10,000 mg of AA intravenously.
Oral AA is absorbed through the intestinal lumen in energy and dose-dependent process. At Vitamin C doses over 2g orally, less than 20% is absorbed. The result is a large quantity of Vitamin C in the intestinal tract, which brings water with it leading to Osmotic effects in the gastrointestinal tract, leading to gastrointestinal upsets and diarrhea. Recent research has shown that high doses of vitamin C (25g-100g )have significant cytotoxic effects. These doses can only be achieved by intravenous administration.
Vitamin C is an essential extracellular anti-oxidant and plays a role in a host of biochemical reactions in the body. Vitamin C has been validated as supportive therapy in case studies, Preclinical trials and cancer cell research. These studies show that vitamin C acts in the following ways: Selective Cytotoxicity (cancer cell killing) Effect – vitamin c in high doses leads to the production of large amounts of hydrogen peroxide in the connective tissue of the body. Hydrogen peroxide is an essential oxidative molecule involved in many immune reactions in the body. In healthy cells, the hydrogen peroxide is absorbed and then quenched with intra-cellular anti-oxidants. Still, cancer cells often lack sufficient levels of anti-oxidants, so that hydrogen peroxide will build up. As levels of hydrogen peroxide rise in cancer cells, they eventually go through apoptosis (programmed cell death).
Mistletoe or Viscum Album is a safe therapy that has been used as a medicine for a long time for disorders of heart and circulatory disorders, and arthritis. Recently, Mistletoe was postulated to have anti-cancer effects by anthroposophy creator Rudolf Steiner. It has become the most commonly used natural cancer therapy in Europe and has been validated by clinical trials.
European Mistletoe has been widely studied for its mechanism of action and clinical effects on cancer patients. Current research has shown the following therapeutic mechanisms of action for mistletoe:
Acupuncture has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 2000 years. Recent research into acupuncture has shown that it can reduce adverse effects of chemotherapy, like nausea/vomiting and peripheral neuropathy, decrease anxiety and depression, improve sleep, and increase energy.
Botanical Medicine is an integral part of integrative cancer care. Many of the most potent chemotherapeutic agents were initially derived from herbs. Herbs are showing great promise in the supportive care of cancer patients and the context of prevention.
One of the most crucial aspects of treating cancer is diet. Conventional cancer treatments focus primarily on treating the local tumour. Naturopathic medicine emphasizes the whole health of the individual, including their diet. Our Naturopathic oncologist educates patients undergoing treatment on what to eat and how much they should eat, considering their current standard treatments, their current state of health and the progression of the disease.
IV Therapy should not be considered to replace other effective, proven treatments. It should be considered where: