When trying to navigate a cancer diagnosis it can be hard to know what kind of medical support you need. A quick google search on “complementary cancer treatment” can bring up hundreds of websites, articles, and blog posts, all claiming to have the answer. This can be very overwhelming and create a lot of confusion!
Naturopathic cancer care aims to bridge the gap between medical oncology and complementary cancer care. Naturopathic medicine can help people better tolerate cancer treatments by minimizing side-effects and reducing the risk of complications. It can also speed up healing and recovery, reduce the risk of recurrence, and improve the quality of life for people living with cancer.
Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) trained in integrative cancer care are able to provide evidence-informed guidance on safe and effective natural therapies. As they are well-versed in the many “alternative therapies” and diets promoted for cancer they can help patients sort through the confusion. Additionally, they understand treatments used by medical oncologists and how best to work with them in a collaborative model of care. By following the science behind why some naturopathic therapies can make chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatments more effective at killing cancer cells, they are able to advise on which supplements are appropriate and which may prevent medical treatments from working.
Goals of Naturopathic Cancer Care:
● Reduce side-effects of of chemotherapy and radiation
● Prepare patients for surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy
● Improve tolerance to cancer treatments
● Improve recovery and increase longevity
● Educate patients as they navigate the complicated world of cancer care and complementary medical treatments
What to Look for When Choosing an ND:
● Someone who is able to speak with you in detail about your specific cancer diagnosis
● Someone who will consult with you prior to your first visit, to ensure they are the right fit for you
● Someone who will work collaboratively with your oncologist
● Someone who continues to pursue education and training in naturopathic cancer care
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