Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC)



CCNM’s Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC), which opened in 2011, is a model multi-disciplinary flagship centre providing whole-person integrative care to people with cancer, cancer survivors, and those seeking both primary and secondary cancer prevention.

The OICC is the first integrative oncology and research centre in Eastern Canada to provide care, advocacy and education for the use of whole-person care to the cancer community and health-care practitioners, regionally and nationally.

Often cancer patients do not communicate their complementary care choices with conventional oncologists. One of oncologists’ biggest concerns with complementary medicine is the potential for this care to interfere with conventional therapies like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The OICC will work with patients, their families and their health-care professionals to develop a complementary, non-interfering therapy program to optimize overall wellness.

Now, with CCNM Board approval, and with $1.35 million financial support from the Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation, OICC as a first-rate cancer-care centre is a reality.

While approximately 80 per cent of Canadians wish to pursue complementary therapies to augment and ameliorate conventional cancer therapies, many cannot afford the additional out-of-pocket expense. With support from donors, OICC can commit to providing free individualized care to those that do not have extended insurance and cannot afford the care that they need.

The centre will be operated by CCNM, a registered charity providing research and and education in naturopathic medicine. CCNM is commited to seeing positive changes in our healthcare system.

The OICC offers:
  • scientifically grounded, evidence-informed natural cancer care, to strengthen the body’s ability to heal itself and to sustain wellness during aggressive cancer therapies
  • open communication and collaboration with allied health professionals and conventional oncologists
  • evidence-based therapies at doses and times that will not negatively impact on conventional therapy but support the body's own inherent healing ability and help patients cope with therapy associated toxicity and side effects
  • research that evaluates the effectiveness of the therapies provided

Cancer-related mortality is the number one cause of death in Canada and the US. Billions of dollars are spent every year on researching the basic science and pharmaceutical treatments of cancer. While this research has provided essential understanding of the disease process and helped develop effective treatments, little attention is given to prevention and complementary approaches towards therapy and care.

Reaching out
CCNM is engaging and meeting with a network of stakeholders in the Ottawa area, including local politicians, cancer agencies, regional cancer centres, regional research centres, cancer survivors, and oncology-based health-care practitioners, in order to secure support and sustainability for OICC.

Ways you can help
OICC is looking for cancer survivors who have been treated by naturopathic medicine and families touched by the disease to tell your story. Write letters of support, volunteer your time for fundraising or other initiatives, or donate – all will greatly assist in creating and operating the centre itself. Patient and ND contact can be made directly with Frances Makdessian, advancement officer, at fmakdessian@ccnm.edu or Sarah Young, project coordinator, at syoung@ccnm.edu.