Naturopathic Cancer Treatments
Oncology Acupuncture Toronto works in cooperation with naturopathic doctors at the Marsden Centre for Excellence in Integrative Medicine in Vaughan, who are known experts in the field of naturopathic cancer care. Aside from Traditional Chinese Medicine (Asian Medicine) and acupuncture for cancer patients, an overview of the other naturopathic cancer treatments offered at the Marsden Centre appears here.
Naturopathic cancer treatments are commonly used as supportive care before, during and/or after conventional cancer treatments. The therapies aim to: reduce side effects of conventional chemotherapy, improving the patient’s ability to tolerate the treatment, as well as the effectiveness of the treatment itself; increase the length of time that individuals with cancer live, while reducing the changes of cancer coming back; improving quality of everyday life (energy, mood, pain, appetite, etc.), and educating and supporting patients and their families. Naturopathic cancer treatments offered at the Marsden Centre include:
Loco-regional hyperthermia (LRHT): Clinical research has shown that hyperthermia can be effectively combined with different cancer treatments to increase their effectiveness. For example, using locoregional hyperthermia in conjunction with radiation, or with chemotherapy can offer better outcomes than conventional therapy alone. The Marsden Centre is one of a few centres in Canada, and the only one in Vaughan and the Greater Toronto Area, to provide LRHT.
Viscum Album European Mistletoe: This herb is often administered by IV or injection, and has become the most commonly used natural cancer therapy in Europe. There have been hundreds of clinical trials on European mistletoe, and it has a very high safety record.
High dose intravenous Vitamin C: High dose intravenous ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) is used as an added treatment to cancer therapy in numerous centres around the world. Research from the National Institutes of Health in the United States has showed how its anti-cancer effects may work at the molecular level. Intravenous treatments with vitamin C can be used to enhance the effectiveness and reduce side effects of conventional treatments, while also acting to suppress cancer growth.
Dietary Therapy: Increasing research in diet and nutrition show clear links to cancer. It is important to adopt specialized dietary changes that take into consideration current treatments and your state of health, as well as your stage and type of cancer. (From an Asian Medicine point of view, we also take into account your energetic balance to prescribe dietary changes).
Botanical Medicine (herbs): Many chemotherapy drug were originally extracted or synthesized from plant medicines, such as periwinkle, the yew tree, etc. Herbs are an exciting line of research in cancer prevention and treatment. Herbs and supplements used in naturopathic medicine are often in a different form (typically a prepared pill or capsule form), whereas Asian Medicine formulas typically use the raw herbs (in dissolvable granules, or boiled into teas) in custom combinations for each patient.
Asian Medicine and acupuncture: Some naturopathic doctors also provide Asian medicine and acupuncture as one of the many therapies they were trained in. At the Marsden Centre, this service is offered by Pauline Sok Yin Hwang (of Oncology Acupuncture Toronto), who is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) specialist with over 7 years full-time post-graduate education and training completely focused acupuncture and traditional Asian herbs. Pauline has advanced training in acupuncture techniques and herbal formulas both for the full range of general practice health conditions, as well as three additional years of a Master’s degree focused specifically on TCM cancer care. Pauline offers a diagnosis and assessment of the patient using the classical Chinese medicine view. This is a holistic analysis of the body, mind and emotions, and results in effective recommendations for acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutrition and other recommendations.
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