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Simply put, naturopathic cancer care is the use of natural therapies (vitamins, minerals, plant-nutrients, diet, lifestyle support and herbs) to support people with cancer, at any stage of the disease. Naturopathic cancer care is based on an integrative care model, where trained naturopathic doctors (NDs) aim to work alongside conventional treatment in supporting cancer prevention, health during treatment and into survivorship and palliative care. The main tenets of naturopathic cancer care are to emphasize education and prevention, optimize quality of life, mitigate treatment-related side effects, enhance treatment outcomes, and reinforce a healthy recovery.
For NDs trained in cancer care, safety and effectiveness is critical when combining natural support alongside conventional treatment. These cancer-focused and trained NDs use evidence-informed recommendations that have been shown to be safe.
How do you find, or know, if your ND has focused cancer care training? The American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (ABNO) certifies NDs who have undergone additional training and testing to provide cancer care. NDs who have completed their certification are awarded fellow status of ABNO and termed “FABNOs” – Fellows of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology”. You can find a list of FABNOs here.
In addition, the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP) is a professional organization that bands together NDs, students and allied providers across North America to further advance the science and integration of naturopathic medicine into cancer care. It does this by maintaining a database of related studies and journal articles that’s accessible for all members and holds regular conferences and educational webinars.
At our clinic, both Drs Lander and Hoffman, ND have attained FABNO status and can provide accurate guidance to patients seeking information on natural therapies within the realm of cancer. Recently, Dr. Lander, ND was the recipient of the OncANP President’s Award. This award is presented once a year to a member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to the profession. Dr. Lander was recognized for his dedication and work in advancing the education of students, residents, and naturopathic doctors in the field of naturopathic cancer care. Congratulations Dr. Lander!
Author: Nadine Kexel, CCNM Integrative Cancer Centre, resident