By now, you have likely been through the Cancer Care model at either Winnipeg's well-established St. Boniface or HSc hospitals. You've seen any number of highly respected oncologists, nurse or nurse practitioners and pharmacists. You've either been given a treatment plan, are undergoing treatment, or transferred to a palliative care team (or hopefully, you are coming to me cancer-free, and you want to stay that way). You are integrated into the system, and you are a statistic.

Being a statistic is an essential piece of the conventional cancer care model and one that I encourage, as it helps us to pave the way for future treatment successes by documenting what works and what doesn't. It also gives us vital information on cancer risk factors to add to the ever-expanding list of related or causative compounds and behaviours. This approach offers comfort to those who don't have cancer, yet it does little to alleviate the anxiety associated with the individual undergoing cancer treatment. When you are deeply involved in the fight against this dis-ease, you are focused on recovering, you are focused on a cure, and while it may be helpful to hear another cancer patient's story, you are focused on your own story. If you aren't focused on your account, it's time to start because this dis-ease needs your individualized attention.

The naturopathic doctor's approach is to help you to individualize a treatment plan that allows you to win this fight. The process you end up taking may involve the entire treatment plan offered to you by your medical oncologist with no alternative interventions; it may include a combination of dietary changes, herbal medicines, and chemotherapy; it may consist of significant lifestyle shifts, IV vitamin therapy and radiation; or you may choose to do nothing at all.

My approach is providing safe and effective integrative cancer care and avoiding harmful herb or nutrient drug interactions. I also focus on keeping my patients healthy and robust so they can complete their recommended treatment with their medical oncologist as prescribed. I will provide each patient and their medical oncologist with a detailed list of my treatment plan, including rationale and relevant research. I encourage an open dialogue if there is anything that the prescribing medical oncologist is uncomfortable with. My contact information is provided to each of my patient's CancerCare team, along with access to a continuous source of updated research on my website. My treatment plans are meticulously researched using the most current evidence-based medicine. First-time patients need to understand that naturopathic medicine is a separate and distinct form of medicine from the standard we are all familiar with. If there are any concerns or discrepancies, please demand that your medical team speak directly to me, the prescribing naturopathic doctor. I want to bring up the issue of self-prescribing. Please don't do it! Many herbs and nutrients may be unsafe to take during chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Unless otherwise stated, the natural medications I prescribe are to be taken between chemo or radiation treatments and for the longer term after your conventional therapies are finished. When I define natural medicines to be used during chemotherapy or radiation, the instructions I provide about dosing are to be followed strictly. Sometimes we take these medications based on the half-life of both the chemo drugs and the natural medicine. Sometimes the natural medicines I prescribe are to be taken concurrently with the chemo or radiation (at the same time), and when this is the case, it is clearly stated to avoid confusion.

I am well aware of the myriad of health claims of various natural substances openly available to the world via the internet. Only a few natural compounds have complete, randomized human-based clinical trials. At the very least, I will only use combinations with evidence based on human studies. If there is a natural substance that you have read about and are interested in trying but are unsure of the safety due to a lack of research, I will look into it for you, and we can make that informed decision together.

I have seen natural medicine make a positive difference in my patients who are living with cancer. Patients who see a naturopathic doctor during their conventional cancer treatments find they can withstand the severity of their treatments better. They can recover from chemo and radiation quicker. Their quality of life is higher. They live longer.

Dr. Jessica Beatty, BSc. ND
Naturopathic Doctor (MNA, OncANP)

Appointment Hours:
Mondays: 1:00 pm – 8 pm
Tuesdays & Thursdays: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm