Tech to help fight can­cer eyed for clinic

Sar­nia woman bat­tling can­cer hop­ing to help raise $250,000 for hy­per­ther­mia ma­chine

The Observer (Sarnia) - - NEWS - TYLER KULA OB­SERVER

A Sar­nia woman fight­ing can­cer for the third time says she wants to help a natur­o­pathic doc­tor in Petro­lia raise $250,000 to buy a ma­chine that may help can­cer treat­ments work more ef­fec­tively.

“I don’t know how long I have left,” said Cindy VanHoogen­huize.

The 60-year-old owner of Sharky’s gym said she no­ticed in 2016 her non-Hodgkins lym­phoma had re­turned after her first di­ag­no­sis 20 years ear­lier.

Chemo­ther­apy has dam­aged her body, so she’s hop­ing heat tar­geted through hy­per­ther­mia will in­crease the ef­fec­tive­ness of the nat­u­ral ther­a­pies she’s cur­rently us­ing.

David Shih of the Lambton Natur­o­pathic Clinic in Petro­lia said the treat­ment would help the de­liv­ery of var­i­ous treat­ments, in­clud­ing chemo­ther­apy.

“It’s not a stand­alone treat­ment,” he said about hy­per­ther­mia. “It’s not a cure-all treat­ment. It’s a method of de­liv­ery to en­hance what­ever treat­ment the per­son de­cides.”

The Health Canada-li­censed de­vice they’re look­ing to pur­chase uses ra­dio-fre­quen­cies to pen­e­trate and uni­formly heat a tar­geted area of the body, in­creas­ing blood­flow to the area and al­low­ing what­ever medicines are at play to bet­ter pen­e­trate tu­mours, he said, com­par­ing it to run­ning a fever when some­one’s body is fight­ing an in­fec­tion.

“It’s a very sim­ple idea,” he said. “It’s just the de­liv­ery sys­tem is not sim­ple be­cause some of those tar­get sites are pretty deep in the body.”

Us­ing a sauna or heat­ing pads wouldn’t reach them, he said.

The Cana­dian Can­cer So­ci­ety says re­search is un­der­way into the ef­fec­tive­ness of the tech­nol­ogy, not­ing the dam­age hy­per­ther­mia causes to cells does make them more sus­cep­ti­ble to ra­di­a­tion and chemo­ther­apy.

In an emailed state­ment, Can­cer Care On­tario said “ev­i­dence re­lated to hy­per­ther­mia treat­ment is still emerg­ing. There is no es­tab­lished use in can­cer pa­tients in On­tario cur­rently.”

The goal is to have the ma­chine avail­able to the com­mu­nity at $20 per hour, es­sen­tially the fee for the tech­ni­cian, as op­posed to $300 else­where, said Shih, not­ing the pri­vate clinic is in, but not af­fil­i­ated with, the hos­pi­tal in Petro­lia.

Only a hand­ful of the ma­chines ex­ist in Canada, he said.

VanHoogen­huize said she’s try­ing to raise money with a raf­fle at Sharky’s.

They’re also con­sid­er­ing set­ting up a char­ity for the fundrais­ing drive, Shih said, ac­knowl­edg­ing it’s a lot of money.

“This may be a long-term thing,” he said. [email protected]­media.com

TYLER KULA/SAR­NIA

Natur­o­pathic doc­tor David Shih and Cindy VanHoogen­huize, who is fight­ing can­cer, are hop­ing to raise $250,000 for a hy­per­ther­mia ma­chine for Shih's Petro­lia clinic. VanHoogen­huize is lead­ing the fundrais­ing push in Sar­nia.

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