Thursday October 23, 2014

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Retreat offers information on cancer

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Keynote speaker Dr. Toby Bridgeman, Canadian Cancer Society Saskatchewan Division director of support services Debra Polischuk, and local Relay for Life survivor committee co-chairs Mary Antonenko and Carol Cundall were among those who attended a Living Well with Cancer retreat in Estevan.

Local cancer survivors and their caregivers learned how naturopathic medicine can help with cancer treatments during a Living Well with Cancer retreat, organized by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and the Estevan Relay for Life committee, on April 26 at the Days Inn.

More than 30 cancer survivors attended the event, and another 20 caregivers were present. Dr. Toby Bridgman, a naturopathic physician from Weyburn, discussed how naturopathy can fit into a cancer treatment and assist survivors.

“I think there's a lot of confusion around what naturopathic medicine is, and how it can help,” said Bridgman.

He offered some tips and tools on diet and basic supplements, and discussed how simple, natural medicines can help slow down the growth of cancer. 

“Naturopathic medicine is always focused on the individual and individualized treatment, so that may be dealing with pain, or that might be helping someone with their digestive problems, because of the cancer itself, or because of drugs that have been given,” said Bridgman.

The local Relay for Life committee and the CCS also had representatives speak at the workshop. Marlene Gaudry, who is this year's honourary event for Estevan's relay, gave a speech to discuss her battle with cancer.

CCS director of support services Debra Polischuk discussed the services that people in the southeast can access to help them through their fight with cancer.

The workshop was also a chance for cancer survivors to pick up the yellow t-shirts that they will sport for Estevan's relay next month.

A tea has typically been offered for survivors as one of the events prior to the local relay, but this year, the decision was made to have a retreat. Estevan hosted a Living Well with Cancer get-together for the first time last September. 

“The retreat went over so well the last time we were in Estevan, they said 'Why don't we combine them? Let's have the survivors get together. We'll do survivor registration. The survivors can meet each other in our community. And then we'll offer them some information for them to take home,'” said Polischuk.

Estevan's Relay for Life will be June 7 and 8 at the Civic Auditorium.


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