If you or someone you love is being treated for cancer, you want to ensure the best care is available in order to achieve an optimal outcome. In treating cancer, West Vancouver Wellness Centre takes a multi-faceted, integrated approach in addressing the physical, mental and emotional aspects of this disease group. It’s not just about the cancer — it’s about the patient’s quality of life.
West Vancouver Wellness Centre offers a number of treatment options and services to treat specific types of cancer. Our support services are available to patients and their families.
Vancouver Cancer Support Services
Cancer is complex. Therefore, the treatments should always be tailored to the individual and include a well-planned strategy. The naturopathic doctors at West Vancouver Wellness Centre will take into account your diet, lifestyle and other treatments you are currently undergoing. In surveys conducted over the past 10 years, it was found that 90% of cancer patients use complementary treatments in addition to their standard oncological treatments. Unfortunately, this is often done without consulting doctors knowledgeable in drug-herb and drug-nutrient interactions, and without the knowledge of their oncologists. It is certainly best when each health care provider is aware of all treatments being used, allowing for collaboration between the various providers. This is our approach at the West Vancouver Wellness Centre, and is undoubtedly the vision for the future.
Integrating Your Cancer Treatment Plan
We believe in integrating the best aspects of medicine (conventional and naturopathic) with treatments that can be used alone or in conjunction with chemotherapy, radiation or surgical intervention, when and if appropriate. When used in conjunction with conventional treatments, natural cancer therapies have been clinically and scientifically proven to enhance the effects of conventional treatments, significantly reduce the number and severity of common side effects, improve quality of life and reduce the risk of recurrence. All cancer treatments at our clinic are evidence-based and aimed at reducing tumor burden, providing immuno-supportive therapies, as well as providing adequate nutritional, mental-emotional and spiritual support.
The primary goals for those patients undergoing conventional cancer treatment are to:
Whether your goal is to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of cancer, or to treat an existing cancer diagnosis, we provide a comprehensive assessment for every patient, for both diagnostic and prognostic (monitoring) purposes, before and at various times during and after treatment. This will likely include various blood work and tumor markers, nutritional analysis, saliva and/or urine tests (designed to detect specialized markers that indicate the progression or remission of cancer), along with physical examinations and frequent consultations.
Mistletoe is a widely used and researched therapy in many parts of Europe and across the world. Mistletoe is a plant harvested for its chemotherapeutic and immunostimulatory properties. Mistletoe extract is injected beneath the skin in a series of doses to stimulate the immune system and decrease cancer cell proliferation. We are proud to offer mistletoe therapy at West Vancouver Wellness Centre.
Intravenous Vitamin C (IVC) Therapy
IV vitamin C (IVC) therapy is the intravenous infusion of high dose vitamin C. There is a solid foundation of research to support the use of IVC in the integrative treatment of cancer.
We have observed meaningful improvements to quality of life and overall survival through the administration of this therapy. It is important to understand that the concentrations of vitamin C required against cancer are achievable only through IV use, not orally.
IVC therapy can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation. In fact, we recommend they be used concurrently. There are many studies demonstrating that vitamin C favourably enhances chemotherapeutic drug effects, as well as radiation — presumably due to the increased tumor cell oxidation via the high-dose vitamin C induction of peroxide. High-dose vitamin C administered intravenously is a pro-oxidant, and as such, is complementary to oncological care. Cancer patients consistently report that IVC helps them withstand the effects of their traditional therapies. Further benefits to IVC include significantly reduced fatigue, nausea, pain and appetite loss. Patients heal faster, are more resilient to infection and remain more active overall. All of these factors promote healing and an improved response to cancer therapy.
How is the Protocol Given?
An individually specific formulation of ascorbic acid, magnesium sulfate, vitamin K and sodium bicarbonate is prepared in an appropriate volume IV bag of sterile water. The ascorbic acid preparation is administered through a small catheter inserted into a vein in the hand or arm to deliver the IV treatment. All treatments are closely monitored by our medical staff throughout the approximately one-hour infusion time. Prior to initiating IVC, all our patients are pre-screened for G6PD deficiency (an enzyme used to maintain stability of the red blood cell membranes) and kidney function.
What is the Frequency of Treatment?
For cancer patients, the number of treatments needed may vary, but most require infusions one to three times per week. Treatment is ongoing as dictated by your individualized program.
IVC is a safe, effective and minimally invasive therapy that is well tolerated by most people. It carries a very low risk of serious adverse side effects and can have a significantly positive impact on overall health.
Immune System Support
The immune system is largely forgotten in the standard treatment of cancer. However, the relationship between both developing and treating cancer with immune system issues is becoming better understood. In fact, treatments aimed at stimulating the immune system cells are now part of mainstream medicine. For example, the more recent use of Neupogen® and Neulasta® has allowed patients to continue chemotherapy, where previously they would have had to discontinue due to low white blood cell counts. Many of the newer treatments being developed worldwide target the immune system, including vaccines and molecularly targeted agents.
At West Vancouver Wellness Centre, we have long believed that supporting your body’s innate immune system is pivotal to the success of any cancer treatment program. Through the management of diet and physical activity, and the educated use of natural supplements and injection therapies, your body’s immune system can be engaged as a primary treatment mechanism in the fight against cancer. We support the immune system throughout the cancer journey using many evidence-based modalities, including:
Our patients receive individualized guidance from our physicians. Not all cancers, nor patients, behave the same. Consequently, treatment plans need to be adapted to target the idiosyncrasies of varied cancers and the immune system needs of each patient. If you are already engaged in, or planning to become engaged in, chemotherapy treatments, the importance of immune system support cannot be overstated. Chemotherapy can be an effective treatment for many cancers, but it is a treatment proven to be very hard on your body, resulting in often debilitating and life-threatening adverse effects. The greater the effort made before and during chemotherapy to empower your body to manage these side effects, the stronger you will be and the more effective the overall treatment regimen will be.
Dietary & Nutritional Counselling
It is well-known that the rates of most cancers are increasing year by year. One of the biggest factors in this rise is the foods eaten (and not eaten) by those living in most industrialized nations. Today, there are still over 225 cultures worldwide that eat a traditional, whole food, unrefined diet. Not surprisingly, the rate of cancer in each of these societies is relatively low, despite our environments being very similar.
What is a whole foods diet? There are many names for this diet, including Paleolithic diet, traditional diet, ancestral diet, macrobiotic diet and others. There are differences in all these dietary philosophies or histories, but they have a few things in common. They only allow foods that are unprocessed and in their whole form, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, whole grains and varied amounts of wild and organic animal products. They do not include foods that have been packaged and refined allowing for years of a shelf-life.
At West Vancouver Wellness, we are aware that making dietary changes is often the most difficult part of a patient’s healing journey. We recommend taking it one steps at a time, slowly and steadily makes changes over time until you reach your goal.
Through diet management and nutritional supplement education, our cancer patients can be assured their nutritional needs are met. During cancer treatment, the requirements of certain macro and micro nutrients can change; our patients receive guidance specific to addressing individual needs. Not all cancers require the same dietary or nutritional interventions, and the recommendations will be adapted to target the idiosyncrasies of varied cancers and treatments being used.
Basic Things You can Do
Here are some of the basic things you can eat and drink to help you become healthier and stronger during your cancer treatment:
Things to Avoid
Eat and drink less of the following:
Schedule a Visit
To visit with one of our naturopathic doctors, call West Vancouver Wellness Centre today!