A new integrative cancer centre, Hummingbird, has opened in Century City, Cape Town, offering a fully integrated holistic way of tackling cancer based upon global research.

The centre is the first of its kind in Cape Town in that it creates individual strategies for patients and brings together leading registered doctors, dieticians, clinical psychologists, naturopaths, yoga practitioners and an Angel support network of cancer survivors to partner with patients through their journey to recovery.

According to the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC), lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer in South Africa accounting for 17% of all cancer deaths. This is followed by oesophagus, which accounts for 13%, cervix accounting for 8%, breast accounting for 8% and liver, which accounts for 6% of all cancers. And, while new technologies and research proves increasingly promising, there is little sign that lifestyle factors will diminish these figures.

Cancer.org estimates that by 2030 the global cancer burden is expected to nearly double, growing to 21.4 million cases and 13.2 million deaths. And while that increase is the result of demographic changes – a growing and aging population – it may be compounded by the adoption of unhealthy lifestyles and behaviours related to economic development such as smoking, poor diet and physical inactivity

“As a cancer survivor myself I know the importance of an approach like this, but it’s very difficult to find it, because normally you are dealing with independent doctors in various locations, and not often talking to each other. This is different. The patient is assessed, tested from many aspects of their physical, psychological and emotional being, and this information, and their on-going development, is shared among many practitioners who meet daily to discuss their progress,” said CEO of People Living with Cancer (PLWC), Janie Du Plessis.

Hummingbird is intended as a complementary healthcare service to traditional oncology, radiotherapy and surgery. “Our sole focus is helping patients and their families,” said Hummingbird’s Integrative Medical Practitioner, Dr James La Porta.

“We simply offer a much needed service that many cancer survivors will tell you was critical to their improvement. We do not take away, we only add to, so if patients want to pursue Hummingbird as their solution, or continue their current treatments with Hummingbird, that’s entirely respected,” continued Dr La Porta.

Together with optimising nutrition and psychological optimism, the centre utilises the latest research in botanical isolates, supportive Phytotherapy and Photo Dynamic Therapy.

“Patients are at the very centre of everything we do – it’s the way we’ve built every aspect of our treatment. The one thing we know is that many cancer survivors agree that an integrative approach is better than fighting the dragon with just one sword,” concluded Dr La Porta.

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