Specialized Natural Health Care

Cancer Care

Controlling Chemotherapy and Radiation Symptoms with Naturopathic Oncology

One of my primary roles as a Naturopathic Oncologist is to treat the symptoms caused by your conventional care. This not only makes you more comfortable and preserves your quality of life, but can often make the difference in being able to continue your therapy verses having to stop because of severe symptoms.

As soon as the medical oncologist prescribes the chemotherapy, I go to work to educate the patient about the potential side effects and to craft a plan to minimize those symptoms.

For example, if your chemotherapy causes peripheral neuropathy, as Cisplatin does, I will recommend supplements that are safe to use during chemotherapy and that will protect your nerves and support their recovery.

One of my patients is a musician and recording artist who couldn’t play guitar or sing as a result of nerve damage to his vocal cords and finger tips caused by his chemotherapy. I helped him regain the ability to play and sing. He was able to complete an album with his two sons and wife, and to play at a benefit concert that same year.

If you are being given a chemotherapy that is toxic to your heart, such as Adriamycin and Herceptin, or if you are receiving radiation therapy to the chest wall that overlies the heart, I can protect your heart and support its function and recovery without interfering with your chemotherapy or radiation.

If your chemotherapy causes severe diarrhea, as those who are given Irinotecan experience, I can minimize the severity and frequency of the bowel movements.

If your radiation treatments are likely to cause mouth and throat irritation, I can provide interventions to soothe and heal the tissue without decreasing the ability of the radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells.

If Tamoxifen has you dreading the next hot-flash, I can help reduce your symptoms with safe, non-hormone based, interventions.

If you find yourself apologizing for your “chemo brain”, like patients on Abraxane, Adriamycin, Abrazane, Alimta, Amifostine, Arimidex, Avastin, Bleomycin, Bortezomib, Camptosar, Capecitabine, Carboplatin, Danorubicin–can we just say, like almost all people going through treatment?–I can help reduce this symptom and give you more “good days” before and after infusion.

I am proud to have helped one of my patients who had been struggling with “chemo brain” to finish a book he was writing by supporting his cognitive function. He completed his book and it was accepted for publication while he was still undergoing treatment.

If you are anxious, not sleeping well, feel “on-edge,” are constantly worried, unable to relax, not acting like yourself, if you can’t seem to make decisions, or feel overwhelmed, I can help address your concerns and symptoms. Almost every one of my patients tells me they feel some mix of these emotions. This is true for my patients regardless of their diagnosis; it is true of my patients with breast cancer, prostate cancer, anal cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, bladder cancer, carcinoid tumors, pancreatic cancer, melanoma, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, cervical cancer, esophageal cancer, hepatocellular cancer, mesothelioma, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndrome, renal cell, sarcomas, testicular cancer or thyroid cancer. So that’s pretty much everyone facing a cancer diagnosis (and their loved ones). They all talk to me about helping their minds and bodies deal with this stressor.

I can help support your adrenal glands, replenish the neurotransmitters that help you think and feel in a cool, calm and collected way, and I can help you create a lifestyle that will have you feeling and functioning at your best.