What is Naturopathic Oncology?
If you're wondering about the value of naturopathic oncology, you aren't alone. For some people, the idea of incorporating a naturopathic specialist into their cancer care team is a no-brainer, while some others would say that it's dangerous.
Will a naturopathic oncologist fight against your medical oncologist and treatments that are standard of care?
Absolutely not. Simply put, naturopathic oncology refers to the application of naturopathic medicine to the field of cancer care and treatment.
Naturopathic oncology doesn't fight against established cancer treatments and protocols, it supports them.
While people can approach their cancer treatments from an 'all-in' perspective; either relying solely on either conventional or naturopathic medicine, we often see the benefit of incorporating both in the treatment of the disease.
Cancer isn't a simple condition.
The research, standards of treatment, and professionals who treat patients are constantly changing and evolving. That's why our own Dr. Dan Rubin and a handful of like-minded collegues took steps in 2003 to create what would become the OncANP (the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians). In his own words:
"It's about public safety. How was I, under oath, to protect the public if I was 100% oncology and the person down the street from me saw maybe five patients with cancer a year? Where was the standard of care? How was that protecting the public?
The only way that I thought we could do that was to start the Oncology Association and mandate certification under Board supervision. Going through the training, going through the track to be able to call yourself an oncologist, you can have confidence that the naturopathic doctor you're seeing specifically for oncology is able to understand not just their specialty, but be able to effectively communicate and understand how anything they recommend or prescribe impacts the intricacies of conventional cancer treatment."
As the Founding President of the OncANP, Dr. Rubin continued to form the values and shape the reasoning of how specialization of naturopathic doctors in oncology looks in the world. Because of that, FABNO status (being recognized as Fellow by the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology) is recognized as the pinnacle of naturopathic cancer care in America.
We are proud to have three FABNO physicians on staff at Naturopathic Specialists, LLC:
Dan Rubin. ND. FABNO.
Lise Alschuler. ND. FABNO.
Melissa Coats. ND. FABNO.
Additionally, we're committed to furthering the ideals of naturopathic cancer care by supporting a residency program with Dr. Adam Kozin as our current oncology resident.
We're proud to have contributed to the positive perception and education of conventional practitioners as well as the public in general by showing through clinically supported and evidence-based information that naturopathic methodologies are helpful in:
Improving the quality of life during cancer treatment.
Speeding recovery from intensive conventional protocols.
Helping to manage side effects from both the disease and its corresponding treatments.
Aiding the body, with a focus on preventing recurrence of the disease.
Conventional cancer treatments can be very hard on an already taxed body, and before a person can receive them, their doctor needs to believe that the treatment will do more good than harm. Naturopathic oncologists have the education and the experience in working with people with cancer to understand and integrate supportive treatments. That's very important. Integrating seamlessly with a patients medical team is crucial to avoid wasted time and issues where the treatments themselves can get in the way of proceeding with patient protocols.
Our doctors not only excel at integrating with other practitioners, we've built a powerhouse of medical professionals who we both refer to, and who also look to us when they think of leaders in naturopathic cancer care.
Naturopathic Specialists, LLC has developed a reputation for integrity and ethics along with intelligent care by holding fast to the principles at the foundation of naturopathic medicine:
First, Do No Harm
The Healing Power of Nature
Identify and Treat the Causes
Doctor as Teacher
Treat the Whole Person
These principles have guided our philosophy, as you can tell from our motto: Personalized Medicine / Personalized Care.
We view each patient as an individual, not as a diagnosis. Even though many of our patients have a cancer diagnosis, we don't refer to them as 'cancer patients'. When we see our patients, the disease isn't the first thing. Most important to us, and we feel that it's more important to the healing process as well is to see them as 'people with cancer'.
It might seem like a small difference, but to us, and to our patients, the difference is huge.
By taking the emphasis off the disease, and seeing a person first, instead of just a diagnosis, we're able to approach each individual patients care in a unique way.
Each person develops cancer for a different collection of reasons, and it's our job to discern those reasons through the use of targeted testing as well as our depth of knowledge of the physiology of cancer. By understanding not just the intricacies of the disease, but also how it's interacting with a person's body, we're able to generate the appropriate treatment plan to decrease the opportunity for cancer to survive in their body.