Receiving a cancer diagnosis can feel like you’re swimming in a sea of uncertainty. The field of integrative oncology can help bring your journey into focus and support you the whole way.
The official description of integrative oncology is “a patient-centered, evidence-informed field of cancer care that utilizes mind and body practices, natural products, and/or lifestyle modifications from different traditions alongside conventional cancer treatments.” You may also hear integrative oncology referred to as complementary cancer care, as well as functional medicine. Naturopathic doctors trained in integrative oncology are specialists with years of experience whose aim is to support each patient physically, emotionally, and mentally. They strive to improve each patient’s quality of life, manage their side effects, help speed up recovery, prevent recurrence, and educate them and their families about healthy lifestyle strategies.
Additionally, naturopathic doctors work alongside conventional oncologists, and treatment plans are blended seamlessly together for the best outcome. Your ND collaborates with other providers at the time of diagnosis to prepare the patient for what lies ahead, during active treatment, and during post-treatment to help with recovery.
Naturopathic doctors who practice in this field may also choose to pursue board certification in naturopathic oncology. Successfully board-certified members are awarded the status of Fellow by the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO). These Fellows meet the highest standard of the profession and tend to practice solely in the naturopathic/integrative oncology field.