York Downs Chemists is pleased to be supporting The Patterson Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, an important new initiative led by Dr. Peter Papadogianis, that will provide resources and education for medical practitioners who treat cancer, including oncologists, medical doctors and allied health professionals.

The institute will be run under the auspices of The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine with the goal of changing the discussion around cancer from one that concentrates on its physical treatment with chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to more integrative treatments of the whole person.

“Patient are changing dramatically.” Dr. Papadogianis observes, “If you define alternative treatments broadly, around 85% of people with cancer are seeking alternatives to conventional care. So health providers are trying to adjust to what the patients are already doing, but they aren’t getting a lot of guidance.”

Oncologists in Ontario “are just so overloaded with what they’re doing with chemo, radiation and surgery saying to patients, “Let’s get moving on these treatments, for the other stuff, let’s wait ’til you are done.” They need a robust referral network so they can say, “Here’s where I want you to go. I want you to go talk to this practitioner about your emotional state and this practitioner about your nutritional state.”

The institute is building treatment models around whole person care that involves the best of all possible treatments, integrating the conventional side with the alternative side.

The institute’s approach is evidence-based. In addition to running clinical trials the institute is cataloging and summarizing 250 systematic reviews in the medical literature from 2010 to 2017. “A systematic review is a review of all of the papers up until that paper was written, so those 250 papers reflect many thousands of pieces of medical research,” Dr. Papadogianis explains, “We will publish these in a medical journal so they’ll be searchable on international databases.”

The institute will be developing 3 to 5-day programs for physicians so they can provide supportive therapies more confidently and openly along with self-care toolkits that will enhance patients’ quality of life.

The Patterson Institute is linked with the Abbey Retreat Centre, a retreat for people with cancer and their supportive partner, located in Haliburton, Ontario at the eco community Abbey Gardens.

The institute, retreat centre and Abbey Gardens are supported by John and Thea Patterson. Cancer has touched the Patterson family personally and integrative cancer care played a vital role in John’s journey with melanoma, a journey that is described by Alanna Mitchell, John’s sister-in-law, in the 2015 book, Malignant Metaphor: Confronting Cancer Myths. The book also surveys the history and science of cancer treatment.

Abbey Gardens in Haliburton is the setting for the Abbey Retreat Centre that works with the The Patterson Institute for Integrative Cancer Research providing support to those living with cancer.