integrative cancer care
Dr. Ellen Conte ND focuses on integrative cancer care in her practice at Halifax Naturopathic Health Centre. Naturopathic medicine can support you before, during, and after cancer treatment. Therapies including nutrition, herbal medicine, mistletoe injections, and nutritional supplementation may help to reduce side effects of cancer treatments, enhance quality of life, support immune function, reduce inflammation, and reduce recurrence risk. Combining conventional cancer care with natural treatments is often referred to as integrative oncology.
FAQ for Naturopathic medicine and cancer care
How can naturopathic medicine support people with cancer?
Naturopathic treatments can be used to reduce side effects of cancer treatments (e.g chemotherapy, radiation therapy), improve quality of life, help reduce risk factors for cancer recurrences, and in some instances may be able to help you live longer. A consultation with a naturopathic doctor can also help you navigate complementary and alternative healthcare, which can be overwhelming and confusing.
Do I have to choose between naturopathic medicine and conventional hospital-based medicine?
No! Naturopathic therapies can be used before, during, and after your hospital treatments. An integrative approach to cancer is what I recommend in most instances, as natural therapies are not a cure for cancer and cannot replace conventional treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, immunotherapies, targeted therapies, and hormone therapies. Some people may choose to see a naturopathic doctor before or during their treatments, and others may wait until after to seek care.
Will I have to overhaul my diet and lifestyle? Will it involve expensive or invasive treatments?
Not usually. My goal is to use practical recommendations to help you achieve your objectives, while keeping stress and anxiety to a minimum. Elaborate treatment plans can sometimes create more stress and fear, which isn’t helpful. Treatment plans are made together with you, always keeping your goals in mind. As a result, they can range from simple to more complex depending on your goals, preferences, and health needs.
I already finished my cancer treatment, is it still worth it to see a naturopathic doctor?
This is a great time to address any lingering side effects (for example fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues), improving quality of life, reducing risk factors for cancer recurrence, and can also be a good time to work on health concerns that may have pre-dated cancer.