Download PDF version of Michael Thomsen's talk Approaching Integrative Oncology, first presented at Woodford Folk Festival, 2016
Have you recently been diagnosed with cancer and are wondering how to reduce the side effects of treatment and maintain optimal health?
Have you completed medical treatment but are wondering what else you can do to help reduce the risk of the cancer recurring?
For the majority of people, a cancer diagnosis is the beginning of a long and complicated journey through the health care system. Finding your way through this system can be challenging, particularly when you are also managing the physical and emotional effects of cancer.
Your support team
A diagnosis of cancer affects more than just your physical health. It can cause worry and distress for you and your family and friends, in addition to practical concerns
Supportive care helps to meet your social, psychological and physical needs and provides you with the relevant information to better understand the implications of the procedures and treatments being offered to you.
Multidisciplinary or team care involves a group of health professionals with appropriate skills to manage your treatment and care options.
It is often necessary for you to bring your own team together to ensure you receive the best care.
Your team may include a surgeon, GP, oncologist, radiologists, specialist nurses, counsellors and allied health practitioners.
Beware of well-meaning friends and Dr Google
People with cancer often get excited about what they have read about intravenous vitamin C, Iscador (mistletoe), green tea, resveratrol, fish oil or curcumin. They read websites promoting a wide range of diets that range from Dr. Budwig’s cottage cheese flax oil regime to lists of alkaline and acid foods. Their friends and family, hearing they have cancer, offer to sell them the latest multi-level-marketed products such as mangosteen juice, graviola, or Ambrotose, believing these have anticancer properties and promising miracle cures. We can guide you through this confusing marketplace.
Cancer support programme
At Hobart Naturopath we offer a comprehensive cancer support programme.
We integrate various strategies into a single unique programme of care for you.
We offer dietary and lifestyle advice including herbal and nutritional medicines to safely support you during and after your medical treatment.
The most efficacious cancer care strives not only to kill cancer cells with the use of anticancer agents such as chemotherapy or radiation, but also to support healthy tissue through dietary and lifestyle interventions, the use of specific herbal and nutritional medicines and other supportive therapies as directed by your naturopath.
At Hobart Naturopath, we are familiar with the conventional diagnostic tests, blood markers and treatments for cancer. The protocols we offer will not interfere with your medical treatment but may help reduce side effects and improve your well-being during treatment.
We understand the standard treatments employed by medical oncologists and how best to work with them in a collaborative model of cancer co-treatment.
After completion of medical treatment, patients can also benefit from specific herbal medicines, nutritional support and diet and lifestyle modifications to reduce the risk of recurrence of cancer and improve overall health and wellness.
The support programme will also include recommendations about additional screening tools that may help guide specific therapies.
Tests include screening for Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC) isolated from the blood. CTC may be used as an early warning sign of cancer developing or returning, and may also be used to track progression and response to treatment.
Elevated levels of circulating tumour cells have been associated with a worse prognosis and reduced overall survival.
Your Medical Record
A medical record includes notes about services provided, scans and the interpretation of results, recommendations about treatments, personal details and correspondence with health professionals.
You can request access to your medical record. It is recommended that you obtain copies of notes and reports and keep your own medical record in a suitable folder.
Diet and lifestyle
An individualised naturopathic care plan can help you achieve a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Risk reduction is focused on adopting dietary and lifestyle strategies to support you nutritionally, to enhance quality of life and improve a number of health parameters.
The foods we eat can affect our risk of developing certain types of cancer. High-energy and high-fat diets can lead to obesity which is generally thought to increase the risk of some cancers.
Plant-based diets high in fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and wholegrain foods may help to prevent cancer. It stands to reason that a healthy diet may also reduce the risk of the cancer returning.
The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute of Cancer Research recommend that patients should aim to meet their nutritional needs from diet alone.
However some patients may not be able to achieve this.
As qualified health professionals, we are able to prescribe nutritional supplementation and provide additional dietary advice
Consultations – what to expect?
During the initial appointment we will discuss your full medical history, your diagnosis, and current or planned treatments. Please bring any records, test results or other medical documents that you have available. Follow-up consultations will focus on dietary and lifestyle advice and the use of naturopathic medicines, hyperthermia and other supportive therapies.
Therapeutic heating is one of the oldest traditional principles of healing. Elevated body temperatures have been recognised as beneficial in supporting health recovery since the writings of Hippocrates. Hyperthermia improves circulation and supports a healthy immune response. Whole-body hyperthermia is a complementary therapy that can be combined with other therapies to relieve associated symptoms of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, arthritis, aches and pains, skin disorders and inflammation associated with cancer and other chronic conditions.
Wholebody hyperthermia is available from our partner clinic, Gore Street Medical. We will be able to refer you for Hobart Hyperthermia if indicated.
Michael is an experienced naturopath and herbalist. with over 28 years experience. He has a Master of Science, Graduate School of Integrative Medicine at Swinburne University. Michael has a special interest in Integrative Oncology and works in close collaboration with Hobart Hyperthermia featuring a German whole-body infrared hyperthermia system used to care for cancer patients.
Or contact reception by email or telephone 03 6223 4842