Cancer

Many patients with cancer visit MHHG for advice. An important focus of our treatment is to support an individual undergoing primary cancer treatment such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery.

There are a number of common side-effects of these treatments that significantly impact on quality of life, and adherence to medical treatment regimens. At MHHG we recognise that each person is unique and each cancer is associated with specific changes in physiology. Likewise, cancer treatments also vary greatly and correspondingly side-effects will depend on the specific treatment regimen undertaken. Our practitioners assist patients in maintaining quality of life during these sometimes difficult medical treatments. It is of paramount concern that our treatments do not interfere with the safety and efficacy of primary (medical) regimens.

Patients may also visit the clinic to reduce their risk of cancer or cancer recurrence. Our practitioners are continually updating their knowledge on current cancer research, and we use this information to inform our treatments. There are a number of possible strategies to reduce cancer risk. These include a variety of dietary and lifestyle modifications, such as exercise, maintaining an ideal body weight, certain dietary consumption patterns, and particular nutrients. Practitioners will individually tailor treatments to meet the specific needs of each patient.

Risk reduction is focused on adopting dietary and lifestyle strategies to support a person nutritionally, to enhance quality of life and improve a number of health parameters. As part of ongoing research the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), together with the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR), has put together a report which summarizes the most important research on cancer risk and certain dietary and lifestyle patterns. These can be viewed following this link. The recommendations outlined in the WCRF/AICR report are consistent with our practitioners’ approach. The report suggests that patients should aim to meet their nutritional needs from diet alone; however some patients may not be able to achieve this aim. Thus we may also give nutritional, in addition to dietary advice, when we assess the person as nutritionally deficient. Nutritional supplementation should be taken under the guidance of a qualified health professional.

Cancer risk assessment, including routine evaluation, testing and screening, are important aspects of cancer prevention and we encourage these for all of our patients. In addition, our practitioners encourage and educate their patients as to the value of self assessment for evidence of common cancers including cervical, breast, ovarian, endometrial and bowel cancers. In Australia there are three routine population based screening programs, BreastScreen Australia, The National Cervical Screening Program, and most recently The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

Without doubt a diagnosis and the subsequent treatment of cancer is frightening and confusing. Western medicine continues to improve the treatments and survival rates of cancer sufferers through chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.

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