Read the Current Oncology article here
A breast cancer patient may experience significant amounts of stress at any given stage of the process after initial diagnosis. Stress, anxiety and depression can also worsen during their treatment as well as in the survivorship phase. It is essential for patients to get the appropriate care in managing and improving their mental and emotional well-being. In practice, there are usually two types of patients: 1) The patient that wants a pharmaceutical intervention to help reduce negative or anxious feelings and 2) The patient that wants a more “holistic” approach in healing the mind via a variety of techniques. These may include yoga, meditation, and improving the mind-body connection.
Based on my experience, patients that take an interest in their own mind-body connection and work towards spiritual health with a positive attitude are much more likely to have a positive outcome. I always encourage patients to do restorative yoga and/or meditation especially if they have not found an outlet for stress.
The study makes an interesting comparison about nutritional education versus MBSR. These are two very separate issues, and while I have had patients who do have a lot of anxiety about their diet, I don’t feel that these two issues should be compared. Giving dietary or nutritional counselling may address one source of stress in a patient’s life, but it is only a single component in a patient’s healing journey.
Dr. Jill Shainhouse B.Sc, ND, FABNO is the founder of the Insight Naturopathic Clinic. She received her Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario prior to graduating from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Dr. Shainhouse was on staff at Toronto’s Medicor Cancer Centres as the naturopathic oncology consultant when the clinic first opened in 2007.
Dr. Shainhouse has a special interest in treating cancer and chronic disease. With her mentor in 2007, she started the Adjunctive Cancer Care Program at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). She is currently the one of few naturopathic doctors in Ontario to obtain a specialized board certification in naturopathic oncology and maintains both a private practice in Toronto and also supervises at the Robert Schad Clinic in the CCNM.
Dr. Shainhouse’s goal in treating cancer patients is to provide safe and effective support during or after conventional therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Dr. Shainhouse is additionally certified in intravenous therapy and has completed additional training in central vascular access and advanced parenteral therapy. She is a member of the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors, the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors, the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians. the Society for Integrative Oncology and the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine.