What is Integrative Cancer Care and what are its goals?

The word of cancer surrounded by many question marks

The integrative medical concept combines the best of standard, conventional treatments and natural and complementary therapies. The idea behind an integrative approach is that since cancer is a multifactorial disease, affecting every aspect of a person, you need a multifaceted treatment plan. The research now clearly shows that cancer patients have improved outcomes and reduced mortality when they use natural and complementary techniques such as fitness therapy, diet counseling, yoga, meditation etc.1,2,3,4 Integrative cancer care combines the best of conventional treatments (i.e. new chemotherapy agents, surgical techniques etc.), supportive natural approaches (vitamins and nutrients) and mind-body-spirit practices. This includes making sure that all the approaches work together without interfering with the primary therapy (i.e. Chemotherapy).

At pureBalance Wellness Centre, our signature Integrative Cancer Care Program focuses on helping the patient get the best combination of treatment available. This can mean helping a patient prevent cancer or actively treat a cancer that has returned and they no longer want to do chemotherapy. It can also mean that a patient gets natural therapies along side their conventional treatments or we help get a patient ready for resection surgery or radiation. One of the strengths of natural medicine is that it can be tailored to the needs and desires of each person.

The goals of naturopathic and integrative cancer therapy are:

  • Combine the best treatments from natural and conventional medicine – which natural and drugs treatments are best for you
  • Directly cause cancer cells to self-destruct and die
  • Reduce tumour size and prevent further spread (metastasis) of the cancer
  • Boost the overall immune system so that it is able to destroy cancer cells
  • Reduce the toxicity and side effects caused by chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy
  • Improve survival outcomes and patient quality of life
  • Prevention of relapse after successful cancer treatment
  • Learn techniques that promote dietary and lifestyle habits which prevent cancer
  • Integrate the mind, body and spirit to promote healing at the deepest levels

To achieve the above goals, naturopathic and integrative cancer therapy uses the latest evidence-based therapies and interventions. To find out how integrative cancer care can work for you contact pureBalance Wellness Centre to book an initial appointment or free 15 minute consult.

References

1) Steindorf et al. Physical activity and risk of breast cancer overall and by hormone receptor status: The European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition. Int J Cancer. 2013 Apr 1;132(7):1667-78.
2) Block et al. Impact of antioxidant supplementation on chemotherapeutic toxicity: a systematic review of the evidence from randomized controlled trials. Int J Cancer. 2008 Sep 15;123(6):1227-39
3) Norat T, Aune D, Chan D, Romaguera D. Fruits and vegetables: updating the epidemiologic evidence for the WCRF/AICR lifestyle recommendations for cancer prevention. Cancer Treat Res. 2014;159:35-50
4) Buffart et al. Physical and psychosocial benefits of yoga in cancer patients and survivors, a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMC Cancer. 2012 Nov 27;12:559.

Dr. Paul Hrkal,ND

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