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Meet clinician blogger Christina Shannon

christina shannon

Let me start off by sharing my goal for writing this blog.  I would like to share information on integrative medicine and the benefits that can be obtained from a team approach to healthcare.  As a naturopathic doctor and specialist in treating people diagnosed with cancer, I hope to provide reliable, science-based information, in order to create an open dialogue where we all benefit.

My path to becoming a naturopathic doctor was a personal journey of discovery. Upon graduating from the State University of New York, I was recruited to work as a market researcher of U.S. and international industries. My experiences working in the world of business, especially outside of the United States, provided me with a strong foundation and lessons on how to think critically and communicate with diverse groups of people. Despite being very successful in the world of business, I knew deep down that this road was only a stepping stone for me.

While pursuing my own health goals, I met a naturopathic doctor who changed my life. She opened my eyes to a medicine that focused on using natural therapies to treat disease, took an integrative approach with conventional medicine, and incorporated the powerful connections of the mind, body and spirit into healing. The more research I did on naturopathic medicine, the more I knew this was where I belonged. I felt strongly that more people should have the chance to benefit from naturopathic medicine, so I went back to school to study pre-med and was accepted at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington.

Upon graduating from Bastyr University, I went back to my home state of Connecticut and started a private practice focused on treating chronic diseases in women and children. I began to see more and more woman diagnosed with cancer, including breast, uterine, lung and pancreatic.  The patients I was seeing were being treated at different institutions—from local community hospitals to the top medical facilities in New York City. I saw the benefits my patients were experiencing from an integrative approach to care.

I learned about CTCA when I was first in private practice, during a training course run by CTCA, on treating individuals diagnosed with cancer. I was fascinated. I followed a similar approach to treating individuals and wanted to learn more. I later knew that I wanted to focus solely on oncology in an integrative setting and that CTCA was leading the way. I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to join the team in 2009. We have many care teams specially designed to work with patients diagnosed with specific types of cancer. I am currently part of an integrative care team that focuses on treating woman with breast cancer. In 2012, I was presented with the opportunity to lead our team of naturopathic oncology providers—an honor I gladly accepted.

This has been a long personal and professional journey for me. Every day I am reminded of the reasons for choosing naturopathic medicine and oncology. I see patients from all over the country that have often never heard of naturopathic medicine but are so deeply appreciative of the integrative care they are experiencing. One of my goals when I first chose the field of naturopathic medicine was to introduce this science to as many people as possible. Here at CTCA, I am fulfilling that goal each and every day.

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