Naturopathic Physicians diagnose, treat, and support prevention of disease using a system of practice based on the natural healing capacity of individuals and includes counseling to improve health related behaviors. Naturopathic physicians 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.
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 society of physicians who either specialize in naturopathic oncology or who desire to further their knowledge and understanding of the field. OncANP is an affiliate of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP). 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 OncANP 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.
Naturopathic Oncologists: The OncANP initiated a credentialing process for naturopathic doctors in 2006. A separate and independent board, the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (ABNO) was established to oversee the process. ABNO established a Board of Medical Examiners (BoMEx). ABNOBoMEx developed standards including training requirements, an application process and mechanisms for an independent agency to administer board certification tests.
FABNO (Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology): 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 completed a 2-year residency focused in naturopathic oncology or have been in practice for at least 5 years with 5000 pt contact hours and submit cases for review by designated examiners. All applicants must then pass a board certification exam in order to be awarded the status of Fellow by the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology. Fellows of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO’s) meet the highest standard of the profession as specialists in naturopathic oncology.
Many people with cancer choose complementary and alternative medicine in their fight against cancer and in seeking to improve quality of life while undergoing treatment for cancer. They utilize therapies including meditation, prayer, acupuncture, herbal, botanical, nutritional diets, homeopathic, and other holistic practices seeking benefit. Naturopathic doctors specializing in oncology serve as capable guides for patients interested in exploring alternative medicine.
Naturopathic doctors (ND) support people with cancer to use natural therapies safely and seek to maximally support overall health, fight disease processes, and prevent or reduce side effects of standard cancer treatment regimens for patients who utilize them. ND’s promote and teach health related behaviors and may recommend specific supplements or nutritional programs in an individualized treatment approach.
ND’s are trained at accredited naturopathic medical schools in modern scientific nature cure. Please refer to the AANP at naturopathic.org for more information on the education and training of naturopathic doctors.
Naturopathic doctors who specialize in naturopathic oncology understand both the standard treatments employed by medical oncologists and how best to work in a collaborative model of cancer co-treatment. They often help patients maintain their oncology treatment regimens and provide vital support for reducing side effects of those treatments. Naturopathic doctors are well aware of the multitude of ‘alternative therapies’ promoted to cure cancer and work to educate patients on evidence based treatment modalities.
Naturopathic physicians may offer advanced alternative therapies to their patients including things such as intravenous treatments and hyperthermia therapies.