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Naturopathic Oncology

In 2006, the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology established a board certification to regulate the practice of naturopathic oncology.  According to the board:

Naturopathic oncology is the application of the art and science of naturopathic medicine to the field of cancer care and treatment. Naturopathic oncologists work both in hospital oncology settings and in private practices bringing their wisdom, perspective and experience to aid oncology treatment teams that seek the best positive outcomes for their patients.

Naturopathic oncology is the specialty of using natural compounds to treat cancer. Naturopathic oncology blends medical information from conventional western medicine, emerging research and traditional medical systems to support cancer patients through conventional cancer treatment and beyond.  The ultimate goal of naturopathic oncology is to address the underlying imbalances that contribute to the development of cancer.

Naturopathic oncologists work with medical, surgical and radiation oncologists to provide comprehensive treatment plans that best support individuals through conventional cancer treatment. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery each present patients with a unique set of challenges to patients.  In this setting, the role of naturopathic oncology is to reduce treatment side effects, to reduce breaks in treatment, and to improve the therapeutic benefits of treatment whenever possible.  This ensures that patients receive the best treatment with as little disruption to their daily life as possible.

Outside of conventional treatment the role of naturopathic oncology expands considerably.  Conventional oncologists often lack the time or expertise to discuss with patients the myriad of lifestyle factors that can benefit cancer patients and survivors.   With their expertise in oncology and natural medicines, naturopathic oncologists are ideally suited to helping patients sort through the sometimes-confusing amount of information regarding natural and alternative cancer treatments.  Looking at all levels of scientific evidence, a naturopathic oncologist can help determine which complementary and alternative therapies are best for each individual.  Using this eclectic approach, naturopathic oncology has something to offer all people struggling with cancer.

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