Cancer has become far way too common and it is projected only increase in incidence. As of 2050, the National Cancer Institute has estimated 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will develop cancer (1), with liver, breast and lung rising most rapidly (2). It has become the epidemic of our time. In these days, it is common to have a close family member or someone you know with cancer. This is unacceptable, particularly with many factors within our control.
In comparison to pre-industrialization times, we have dramatically increased our daily toxic load of cancer-causing substances from foods, water, radiation, consumer products, lifestyle and industrial toxins. Not coincidentally, cancer rates have increased. This is why we need to understand the impact of these carcinogens in everyday life and how to avoid and/ or minimize them.
Integrative Naturopathic Oncology focuses on evidenced based therapies which have demonstrated effectiveness for the condition it is treating. The naturopathic doctor works with the goals of the patient. In most cases, it begins with prevention of symptoms from conventional therapies (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, immunotherapy). Additionally, if other symptoms arise, the goal is to minimize or completely eradicate the side effects, thus ensuring a better quality of life and tolerance to conventional therapy. Moreover, the practitioner works to keep the patient's immune system balanced, detoxify the body, treat other concurrent diseases, and promote mind body balance. These factors are integral to quality of life and long term survival.
The following are examples of patient's I have treated naturopathically:
64 year old female Stage 2, ER/PR positive HER-2 negative breast cancer diagnosed in 2014. Naturopathic medicine played an integral role in her preparation and recovery for her initial surgery. She was given remedies for pain, tissue and scar healing, inflammation, antibiotic effects, and to decrease metastasis during the procedure. The patient did excellent and was off pain medicine within the first few days, she was discharged early due to the area's rapid healing. Throughout her treatment she was given a chemotherapy which notoriously caused neuropathy (numbness and tingling of hands and feet) as well as hand and foot peeling. She was given naturopathic agents once therapy was initiated in order to prevent these symptoms. The patient developed slight neuropathy but it never disturbed her quality of life and she never developed the peeling of her hands and feet. She was also given remedies which protected her heart due to the high risk of cardio-toxicity from one of the chemotherapy