The Nardella Clinic’s Dr. Meghan Haggarty, ND, discusses some of the evidence-based cancer care provided by the naturopathic doctors at the Nardella Clinic in Calgary, Alberta
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Continuing our pursuit of knowledge in Naturopathic Medicine is essential to provide patients with the most up-to-date care. Last week, I attended the virtual Advanced Integrative Oncology conference hosted by Dr. Paul Anderson, Advanced Applications in Medical Practice. Dr. Anderson is a well-respected Naturopath from Seattle. His research and teaching conferences are rooted in evidence-based treatments and prevention strategies. Integrative Oncology is a term meaning complimentary cancer care. As Naturopathic Doctors we can support, help manage side effects, enhance traditional treatments that cancer patients are undergoing, and help patients maintain a healthy lifestyle after therapy.
An important way to augment cancer therapies is the integration of nutraceuticals. Several supplements are directly cytotoxic to cancer cells. These can be delivered as oral doses or intravenously in larger doses that more directly target the cancer cells. For example, curcumin intravenously delivered to the patient was shown in numerous studies to enhance radiation and chemotherapy cytotoxic effects. Artemisinin is another well researched potent substance with broad anti-cancer properties to help aid in the treatment of several cancers.
As naturopathic doctors we treat the “whole person”, and lifestyle modification plays a big role in cancer care. Diet is an integral component building a solid health foundation. All patients should incorporate organic food and filtered water. We encourage patients to stop eating processed foods, decrease simple carbohydrates and increase fiber. Ketogenic and modified Mediterranean diets can have profound effects on cancer cells. Other dietary interventions such as intermittent fasting was shown in a 2016 study to decrease the risk of breast cancer recurrence. This study of 2,413 women demonstrated that fasting greater than 13 hours in a 24-hour period decreased the risk of breast cancer recurrence by 36%.
Naturopathic Doctors provide evidence-base cancer care support helping patients in their fight against cancer.