The Integrative Oncology Clinic is a pilot project that aims to provide personalized, patient-centered, safe and culturally sensitive recommendations on the use of complementary and integrative treatments for patients who are undergoing cancer treatment.
The objectives of the Integrative Oncology Clinic include:
1. To provide patients who are undergoing conventional cancer treatment with an integrative oncology care plan which includes recommendations for specific complementary and integrative treatments.
2. To promote quality and safety in the use of complementary therapies for patients with cancer
3. To evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of integrative oncology care delivery using this model.
4. To develop a delivery approach that can be expanded to all cancer centers in Alberta and that is sustainable over the long-term.
This service will provide patients with a one-on-one initial consultation and follow-up visits that take into account the following:
- Cancer diagnosis (type of cancer, stage and prognosis)
- Conventional treatment plan (i.e. surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation, hormonal therapy)
- Toxicities and side effects from conventional treatments
- Personal values and preferences
- Access to and previous use of complementary and integrative therapies; and,
- Other individual factors
The Integrative Oncology Clinic will incorporate existing complementary and integrative therapies offered through:
- Cancer Control Alberta Supportive Care (i.e. mindfulness meditation and other mind-body therapies)
- Alberta Cancer Exercise (ACE) program
- Rehabilitation Oncology
- Evidence-informed therapies that are available in the community (i.e. acupuncture, oncology massage).
Dr. Safiya Karim will serve as the medical director of the Integrative Oncology Clinic. Dr. Karim is a medical oncologist (MD, FRCPC) who has received additional training in Integrative Oncology. Having both knowledge of evidence-based conventional and complementary therapies, Dr. Karim will bridge the gap between these arenas to provide an integrated approach to cancer treatment.
The pilot project is currently in the planning stages and we hope to be ready for implementation in 2021. Please visit this page frequently for updates on this exciting initiative!