Speaker 1: According to statistics from the Virginia Health Department, women in Hampton Roads are getting diagnosed with breast cancer at higher rates than anywhere else in the state. Several factors are playing a role in this. In the disturbing trend, Dr. Erica Steele from Holistic Family Practice in Virginia Beach is here to tell us about naturopathic healthcare providers like herself. Yeah. And how they can help. How are you doing, Dr. Steele?
Speaker 2: I’m doing well, as always. Good. Thanks for having me.
Speaker 1: Good to see you. Okay, so why do you think our breast cancer incidents are so high? Compared to those in other parts of the state?
Speaker 2: granted, we don’t know specifically, and it’s challenging to isolate a causative, meaning a cause for something to occur.
But we can theorize that it’s a lot to do with toxicity within the area, within the region. There are a lot of companies that produce a lot of toxicity within this region that the body is affected too. But unfortunately, we haven’t done much due diligence in studying hormonal health and the impact of these chemicals and toxic agents on the female reproductive system.
Speaker 1: So how can a physician like you help us avoid having incidents of breast cancer? What can we do now so that we don’t have a problem later?
Speaker 2: Yeah, and this kind of goes into that conversation. People really need to start thinking about their health before they have a symptom. We’re still very reactionary in our approach to our healthcare. We’re like, we wait until we have a sign. We’re tired, we’re exhausted, we’re not feeling well, and then we go see the doctor rather than keeping up with our checkups, doing our physicals, doing lab work routinely, and then also working with a holistic practitioner who is going to really focus on their health, not just diagnose and manage diseases.
Speaker 1: It’s the overall health. Focused on specific things.
Speaker 2: Correct. Exactly.
Speaker 1: Holistic medicine has become very mainstream and acceptable, but there are still some myths about it. What are some of the challenges? Yeah, as a physician, you’re faced with when people come to you, and you’re like, oh, I’m not so sure.
Speaker 2: Yeah, so it’s interesting. I have two camps that come to me. I have those that. They’ve been to every doctor under the sun. They’ve not necessarily like the approaches they’ve gotten or heard. And then they come to me looking for the Hail Mary, right? Yeah. Yeah. So I get that.
But then I also get many DIYs who Google and Pinterest everything to death and think that they come in telling me. You know what it is and want me to cosign on it. Okay, so I get that. But many times, people think that we’re an alternative provider, and we’re not. The US Department of Health and Human Services actually did away with the term alternative medicine years ago.
We’re complimentary because we serve two different roles in healthcare, whereas an allopathic, meaning a medical doctor, diagnoses and manages diseases. We stabilize the health and build the body’s health rather than fighting those disease processes head-on. Okay. We believe that the body can heal itself if given the right environment, and our job is to create an environment conducive to healing, so I work a lot of times very integrative with oncologists and rheumatologists, and many different providers, endocrine. And working with them because they’re trained to manage those disease processes. I call ’em the firefighters of medicine, actually. . . They’re there to want to keep that watchful eye.
We’re there to support and handhold the patient, work with them through their nutrition and ensure they get enough food, digesting and assimilating that. Adequately. And then we’re self-healing, looking at the toxins too.
Speaker 1: And you have ways that people can get more information and have naturopathic awareness classes, right? Yes, exactly. So tell me about how you offer those, how they’re available, and how people can find out.
Speaker 2: Yeah. So every month, we have a different theme. This is actually naturopathic medicine awareness. So we’ll educate people interested in naturopathic medicine and dispel many myths.
So we have three classes Monday, October 15th at five 30, and Saturday, October 20th. Two 30 and then Friday, October 26th at five 30.
Speaker 1: Wonderful. Thank you so much, Dr. Steele; it was much; it was a pleasure having you.