Dr. Leesa Kirchner, ND, FABNO
Carp Ridge Natural Health Clinic
2386 Thomas Dolan Parkway, Carp, ON
What is Naturopathic Oncology?
Naturopathic Oncology is the application of naturopathic medicine to the field of cancer care & treatment. Naturopathic doctors who specialize in naturopathic oncology understand both the standard treatments employed by medical oncologists and how best to work with them in a collaborative model of cancer treatment.
They have a clear understanding of conventional treatments (including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and surgery), and are leading experts on the multitude of natural therapies promoted to be beneficial in cancer care. They are thus able to help patients understand which of these treatments might be to them useful and why.
What does FABNO (Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology) mean?
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) who meet standards of advanced experience & knowledge in cancer care are eligible for board certification in Naturopathic Oncology. Qualifying NDs must pass stringent exams to be awarded the status of Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology.
FABNO certification means an ND has demonstrated competence in both naturopathic & conventional medical oncology. FABNO certiied NDs meet the highest standard of the profession as specialists in Naturopathic Oncology. Dr. Kirchner is one of a handful of NDs in Canada to be awarded the FABNO designation.
It is safe to use integrative treatments during chemotherapy or radiation?
Definitely. Dr. Kirchner has a solid understanding of chemotherapeutic agents & radiation therapy. Any recommended treatment or therapy is well researched to prevent potential drug-herb & drug-nutrient interactions.
The goal is to provide complementary therapeutic programs that do not interfere with standard treatments but instead, help to enhance overall effectiveness of these treatments while also minimizing associated side effects.
What if I’m not getting conventional cancer treatment?
If conventional treatment is not an option for you, there are numerous well-studied treatments that can help slow disease progression, strengthen the immune system, and increase overall quality of life.
I’ve nished conventional treatment — how can Naturopathic Oncology help?
If conventional treatment has been completed, a program can be developed for you that focuses on preventing disease recurrence and maintaining optimal overall health. In addition, treatment plans can be developed to assist in helping you regain your energy and get back to ‘normal’ following conventional treatments.
I am told that I am at high-risk, or have a pre-cancerous condition. Can Naturopathic Oncology be helpful for me?
Now is the best time to intervene. There are a number of well-studied treatments and therapies that have been shown to lower risk factors for cancer development. Simple lifestyle modifications including dietary changes, the inclusion of exercise regimes, and identifying & reducing environmental risk factors can be incorporated to reduce the overall risk of developing cancer. Dr. Kirchner strongly believes that a “watch & wait” approach should be replaced with “active prevention.”
Will Dr. Kirchner work with my oncologist?
Absolutely. Dr. Kirchner believes in open communication and collaboration with medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons and other allied health professionals in order to best support patients, and to help them cope with treatment-associated toxicity & side effects.
What should I expect in a naturopathic oncology consultation?
An initial consultation lasts up to 85 minutes, in which medical history, physical exam, relevant test results, and current health status are all assessed and a treatment plan is put in place. Follow-up blood tests may be requested to look more closely at vitamin/mineral status.
The treatment plan varies for each patient but will consist of nutritional guidelines, vitamin & herb supplementation, and lifestyle changes. Patients return for follow-up sessions as needed (from 15 mins to 1 hr in duration).
The overall goal is to improve quality of life. Dr. Kirchner uses scientifically grounded, evidence-based natural cancer care to support the body’s inherent healing ability, to strengthen the immune system, and to help maintain health.
It is a ‘whole person care’ approach to cancer care that takes into account each individual’s
unique circumstances to customize treatment programs to ultimately help patients improve their quality of life (psychological, spiritual and physical), cancer outcomes, and overall health.
What is Intravenous Vitamin C?
Use of IV (intravenous) vitamin C in cancer care is growing in popularity around the world as positive research continues to accumulate and build a strong case for its effectiveness.
Recent studies have shown it to significantly reduce side effects of chemotherapy/radiation therapy (including fatigue, loss of appetite, depression, and sleep disorders). Laboratory studies have confirmed that high-dose vitamin C is cytotoxic (has a cell kill effect) to a wide variety of cancer cell lines, and that it also boosts the anti-cancer activity of several common chemotherapy drugs. References:
What is Mistletoe therapy?
Mistletoe is one of the most widely studied integrative therapies for cancer. In certain European countries, extracts made from European mistletoe are among the most prescribed therapies for cancer patients.
Laboratory studies suggest that mistletoe may support the immune system by increasing the number and activity of various types of white blood cells. Results of a few animal studies have suggested that mistletoe may be useful in decreasing the side effects of standard anti-cancer therapy, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy and may have an anti-cancer effect on certain cell types.
Art image credit: Cancer Woman by Sarah Dees.