Your Guide To Doctors, Health Information, and Better Health!
Your Health Magazine Logo
The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Veronica A. Stevens, ND, FABNO
Naturopathic Oncology Can Benefit Every Patient With Cancer
Gynoecium Health
. http://www.gynoecium.net/

Naturopathic Oncology Can Benefit Every Patient With Cancer

It is a long-held belief within the oncology community that the use of “natural medicines” during conventional cancer treatment is contraindicated. Often, patients are advised against the use of natural medicines and supplements because of fears 1) of interaction with chemotherapy or radiation and 2) that supplementation can provide a survivor advantage to cancer cells.

Naturopathic oncologists serve a largely unmet need in cancer care as providers of safe and effective natural therapies. Naturopathic oncology is a unique offering in patient care which is based on the principles of naturopathic medicine First, do no harm; co-operate with the healing powers of nature; address the fundamental cause of disease; heal the whole person through individualized treatment; and teach the principles of healthy living and preventive medicine.

In accordance with these principles, naturopathic oncologists specialize in the optimization of normal physiology and the co-management of side effects with natural nontoxic therapies during conventional cancer treatment with chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation, and or surgery. Collaboration with naturopathic oncologists enables better tolerability of treatment among patients, which results in improved well-being and outcomes.

First, Do No Harm

A patient's desire to use natural therapeutics is usually disregarded because natural therapeutics are perceived to be harmful to patients with cancer. Patients often feel overwhelmed by the volume of often contradictory information found on the Internet as well as information given to them by family and friends.

According to National Health Statistics Report in 2007, 38% of the adult population reported use of complementary and alternative medicine; 14.8 billion dollars were spent out-of-pocket on non-vitamin, non-mineral natural products for self-care.

Supervised use of natural products with cancer patients is necessary because of possible interactions that can either reduce effectiveness of antineoplastic drug agents or increase toxicity to patients via common drug metabolism pathways. Second, supervision is needed to assist patients with the selection of products that are indicated for their conditions and symptoms. Inappropriate use of natural products can cost patients financially and delay appropriate treatment.

At this time, inadequate oversight in natural products industry allows for inconsistent standard among supplement quality; contamination and adulteration of products increases patients susceptibility for purchasing a product that may be harmful or ineffective. Because naturopathic doctors have experience in the safe and appropriate use of natural supplement products, are trained in herb-drug interactions, and are fully trained as primary care providers, they are able assists patients by making safe and suitable recommendations and to recognize emergent situations that necessitate medical interventions.

Working with trained and skilled providers like naturopathic oncologists enables patients to discern which natural approaches are most appropriate for them rather than disregarding the use and benefits of natural therapies. Patients feel supported in their desire to use natural therapies, improving their optimism and satisfaction without compromising safety.

MD (301) 805-6805 | VA (703) 288-3130