Naturopathic Physicians diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases using a system of practice that is based on the natural healing capacity of individuals. They may use physiological, psychological or mechanical methods. They may also use natural medicines, prescription or legend drugs, foods, herbs, or other natural remedies. Reported job titles include: Naturopathic Physician, Naturopathic Doctor, Physician, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. [U.S. Department of Labor definition (29-1199.04)] For more information about our profession, The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians www.Naturopathic.org
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.
The Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP) is a specialty society created by naturopathic physicians who either specialize in naturopathic oncology or who desire to further their knowledge and understanding of the field. OncANP is a recognized affiliate of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), the national professional association of naturopathic physicians in the United States. OncANP’s founding vision is, “… to enhance survival and quality of life for people living with cancer through the integration of naturopathic oncology into cancer care.” One of the goals of the association is to bring naturopathic doctors into standard medical oncology practices. To achieve this, the organization has worked to create a credentialing process to assure a level of competence in naturopathic oncology.
OncANP initiated a credentialing process for naturopathic doctors in 2006. A separate and independent board, the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (ABNO) was established that oversees the process. ABNO established a Board of Medical Examiners (BOMEx). ABNO-BOMEx developed experience and training requirements, an application process and mechanisms for an independent agency to develop and administer board certification tests.
Naturopathic physicians who meet standards representative of advanced experience and knowledge in cancer care are eligible for board certification in Naturopathic Oncology. Qualifying doctors whose applications are accepted must pass stringent examinations in order to be awarded the status of Fellow by the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology. Examinations demonstrate competence in both naturopathic and conventional medical oncology. These naturopathic physicians meet the highest standard of the profession as specialists in naturopathic oncology.
Aware that modern medicine has made little advance in its War on Cancer, many people with cancer choose to also include complementary and alternative medicine in their fight against cancer. They reach out and employ a wide range of therapies including meditation, prayer, acupuncture, herbal, botanical, nutritional, homeopathic, dietary and other holistic practices seeking benefit.
Naturopathic doctors and physicians are trained in accredited naturopathic medical schools in modern scientific nature cure. They are trained in both modern science and natural medicine. They emerge from their training well versed in the use of botanical medicine, homeopathy, diet, fasting, nutritional supplementation, orthomolecular medicine, psycho-immunology and other complementary and alternative medical techniques; they serve as capable guides for patients interested in exploring alternative medicine.
Those naturopathic doctors who choose to specialize in naturopathic oncology understand both the standard treatments employed by medical oncologists and how best to work with them in a collaborative model of cancer co-treatment. They are well aware of the multitude of ‘alternative therapies’ promoted to cure cancer and can help patients understand which might be useful and why.
People with cancer often get excited about what they have read about intravenous vitamin C, Iscador (mistletoe), green tea, resveratrol, fish oil or curcumin. They read websites promoting a wide range of diets that range from Dr. Budwig’s cottage cheese flax oil regime to lists of alkaline and acid foods. Their friends and family, hearing they have cancer, offer to sell them the latest multi-level-marketed products such as mangosteen juice, graviola, or Ambrotose, believing these have anticancer properties and promising miracle cures. Naturopathic doctors can guide patients through this confusing marketplace.
Naturopathic doctors can help patients choose which of these various supplements or dietary concepts will be of help. They understand the science that explains why some supplements may make chemotherapy, radiation and other medical treatments more cytotoxic, killing cancer cells more effectively, and which supplements may prevent treatments from working. They seek out therapies that trigger apoptosis in cancer cells, that is trigger the cancer cells to commit suicide, destroying the tumor.
Naturopathic physicians may offer advanced alternative therapies to their patients including intravenous treatments, hyperthermia therapies, etc. !