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1. What interests you about cancer prevention?
As a naturopathic doctor, my career and life focuses on the prevention of disease, and having family members and close friends who have been diagnosed with cancer, I understand both the physical and emotional challenges that come with the diagnosis. I want all Canadians to be empowered when it comes to their health so that they can make the changes to their diet and lifestyles and reduce their exposures to chemicals, reducing their risk of cancer. Unfortunately there is also a great deal of carcinogen exposure in pesticides and other environment toxins that can only be reduced through legislative and regulatory reform.
2. Your background seems well suited to prevention. Can you tell us about it?
Naturopathic medicine is about finding the root cause of illness and treating it with natural therapies. It is not about symptom management, but rather understanding the person as a whole and giving them the tools their body needs to heal itself. Diet and lifestyle modifications are a large part of my practice as the standard North American diet and lifestyle are major contributors to disease, including cancer.
3. Do you work in conjunction with the traditional medical system? If so, how does that work?
I work closely with medical doctors in both of my clinical practices. My appointments are longer than family physician appointments so I am able to explain and provide more detailed information regarding diet, sleep, stress and supplementation that I and their family physician agree upon. Treatment plans either augment conventional medications, or help patients to discontinue medications that have side-effects. Patients have a more comprehensive approach to their health when both their naturopath and family doctor are working and communicating with each other.
4. What made you want to volunteer for PCN, in particular?
I believe that Canadians need to take more responsibility for their health and PCN provides the information for people to do that. The majority of chronic disease, including many cancers, can be prevented and PCN not only provides education, but also works to improve the Canadian legislative framework that governs toxic handling and exposure to substances that detrimentally affect our health.
5. What do you hope to accomplish at PCN?
I want PCN to be a household name, like other cancer organizations. No other organization takes as strong an approach to cancer prevention as PCN does and I want Canadians to seek out and use PCN’s resources to improve their health and reduce their risk of cancer.
6. What key messages would you give to people trying to protect themselves and their loved ones from getting cancer?
Every bit helps. Every day you can make a small change that reduces your risk of cancer, and PCN has a wealth of knowledge and resources that makes it easier.
Published: October 15th, 2013