Integrative Cancer Therapy
The naturopathic approach to cancer treatment emphasizes strengthening the body as a whole – and the immune system in particular – to enhance the body’s ability to identify and kill cancerous cells. Dr Meli uses the naturopathic care model when creating treatment strategies for:
- Patients looking for screening of cancer risk or early detection
- Patients with an early diagnosis looking for naturopathic supportive care
- Patients undergoing chemotherapy/radiation looking to reduce side effects while enhancing the effectiveness of those therapies
- Patients with a history of cancer looking to prevent recurrence
- Patients with later stage cancers looking for improved quality and duration of life
Naturopathic cancer therapies are a useful support to increase cancer cell death, maintain healthy immune function, minimize the side effects of chemotherapy, radiation or surgery, and most importantly to increase quality and duration of life.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be a scary experience. It brings upon a sense of uncertainty, confusion, and urgency. We know cancer can be a terminal condition. We know that treatments are invasive, that side effects are often severe, and that prognosis is unpredictable. After decades of research and billions of dollars spent, cancer survival gains today are only months longer than expected in the 1950s. For these reasons, establishing a team of doctors, each with their own areas of expertise, is a maximally beneficial approach to improve the prognosis and maintain a higher quality of life. Dr. Meli listens empathetically and aims to be a source of hope and strength during this challenging time.
Working within a team approach with oncologists and primary care medical doctors is recommended to ensure treatments are safe and supportive of each other.
Dr. Meli’s Integrative Approach
Immune system support is paramount in the fight against cancer. As with the treatment of all conditions, a whole-body, comprehensive approach is taken. Fundamentals of therapy include appropriate dietary changes, lifestyle and stress management, and the ongoing treatment of any other conditions that might impair the body’s immune strength. Comprehensive laboratory testing is often helpful in determining an individualized treatment plan. Treatments may include supplements, herbs, and IV therapy as discussed in greater detail below.
The treatment goals are holistic and include:
- Attacking tumour cells and preventing metastasis (spreading)
- Improve energy and sleep
- Improving nutrient availability through adequate digestion and a healthy appetite
- Maintain healthy body weight and preventing cachexia (muscle wasting)
- Reducing pain, nausea or any other side effects of chemotherapy, radiation or surgery
- Optimizing the therapeutic value of conventional treatments with supportive therapies
- Maintaining strong immune function
Anti-Cancer Nutrition and Supplements
Nutrition is a powerful therapy for cancer patients. Dr. Meli counsels patients about the benefits of a supportive diet that emphasizes nutrient-dense vegetables, fruit, and lean protein and that eliminates processed foods, sugar, unhealthy fats, and individual food allergens.
Choosing the right supplements depends on your personal needs and the type of cancer present. Some of the compounds that have strong research supporting their role in cancer care include: vitamin D, melatonin, curcumin, modified citrus pectin, indole-3-carbinol, reishi and turkey tail mushrooms, EGCG, and several others. A customized supplement program is strong recommended for the treatment of all cancers. Dr. Meli customizes and adjusts supplement regimens on an ongoing basis
Intravenous Therapy and Cancer
IV therapy allows for complete utilization of higher doses of nutrients and herbal extracts, which can aggressively combat cancer cells with minimal side effects. Often treatment must be adequately aggressive against a growing tumour, and in these situations IV therapies are imperative.
Intravenous therapies offered include:
- IV Vitamin C
- IV Curcumin
- IV DCA (Dichloroacetate)
- IV ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid)
- IV Artesunate
- IV Glutathione
- IV Mistletoe therapy or via subcutaneous injections
A predisposition for certain types of cancer can be determined by altered genetics, which run in families. For certain cancers, genetic testing is offered for patients and their family members to assess family members’ risk for developing the same cancer. This test requires only a saliva sample.
For example, abnormalities in the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes have been associated with hereditary ovarian and breast cancer while abnormalities in the MLH-1 and MLH-2 genes are associated with colorectal cancer.