We are so honoured to have Dr. Kyla Stewart, ND in our clinic who offers integrative treatments for those in our community who have been diagnosed with cancer. She utilizes an evidence-guided approach to provide care, guidance and support during all stages of treatment, recovery, and prevention.
The journey through cancer is undoubtedly one of the most challenging experiences life can throw our way. In the quest for effective and holistic healing, integrative cancer care has emerged as a beacon of hope, blending conventional medical treatments with complementary therapies to address not only the physical aspects of the disease but also the profound impact it has on emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being. This integrative practice aims to select and incorporate therapies that work synergistically with conventional treatments to help manage unwanted side effects, improve quality of life, and prevent reoccurrence.
Understanding Integrative Cancer Care
Integrative cancer care is not a replacement for conventional treatments; instead, it is a collaborative approach that unites the strengths of both traditional and complementary therapies. The goal is to create a personalized treatment plan that not only targets the cancer itself but also nurtures the whole person, recognizing the intricate interplay between mind, body, and spirit.
The Pillars of Integrative Cancer Care
- Collaboration Across Disciplines: Central to integrative cancer care is the collaboration between conventional oncologists, nurses, and a diverse range of healthcare providers, including naturopathic doctors, nutritionists, and mental health professionals. This interdisciplinary teamwork ensures that patients receive a comprehensive spectrum of care, tailored to their unique needs.
- Personalized Treatment Plans: No two individuals are the same, and neither are their experiences with cancer. Integrative cancer care places a strong emphasis on personalized treatment plans, considering factors such as the type and stage of cancer, the patient’s overall health, and their preferences. This tailored approach recognizes the importance of treating the individual, not just the disease.
- Complementary Therapies: Complementary therapies play a vital role in integrative cancer care, addressing various facets of the patient’s well-being. These can include nutritional therapy, acupuncture, massage, yoga, and mindfulness practices. Each therapy is carefully chosen to enhance the effectiveness of conventional treatments and alleviate the side effects associated with cancer therapies.
- Mind-Body Connection: Integrative cancer care acknowledges the profound connection between the mind, body, and spirit. Emotional and psychological support is woven into treatment plans, with counseling, support groups, and stress-reducing techniques aiming to empower patients to cope with the emotional challenges of their journey.
The Role of Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic medicine, a vital component of integrative cancer care, focuses on supporting the body’s natural healing processes. Naturopathic doctors may integrate herbal medicine, nutritional counseling, and lifestyle modifications to complement conventional treatments, addressing the root causes of illness and promoting overall well-being.
Intravenous Therapies in Integrative Cancer Care
Intravenous therapies, including high-dose vitamin C and mistletoe extract, have gained attention for their potential to support the immune system and mitigate the side effects of conventional treatments. When administered under the guidance of healthcare professionals, these therapies contribute to the comprehensive approach of integrative cancer care.
Embracing Hope and Empowerment
Integrative cancer care is not just about surviving; it’s about thriving through the journey. By embracing hope and empowerment, patients can actively participate in their healing process, taking charge of their well-being on all levels—physical, emotional, and spiritual.