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by Daniel Rubin, ND
What is a naturopathic physician?
A licensed naturopathic physician (ND) has attended a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical
school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD. However, the naturopathic physician
also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention
and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician is
required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine,
botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling (to encourage people to make lifestyle changes in
support of their personal health). A naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams so
that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician
What is naturopathic oncology?
Naturopathic Oncology is the application of naturopathic medicine as it pertains to people living with
cancer; it is an emerging discipline on the forefront of cancer medicine. The goal of Naturopathic
Oncology is enhanced survival and quality of life through the integration of naturopathic oncology
into cancer care.
How is naturopathic oncology peformed?
There is something you can do to improve your chances of survival, to create a healthy anti-cancer
environment inside your body after or during conventional treatments. How? By truly beginning to
understand the way in which the tumor intially developed. This regards the choices you have made
and will make in your life. There is a difference between the cancer and the tumor and the tumor is not
the only relevant entity. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are aimed at getting rid of the tumor
and they are the best ways to do so; but they are not aimed at the reason that the tumor developed in
the first place. This is the area where naturopathic oncology shines. Naturopathic physicians believe
that there is an underlying cause to the canceróthe environment in the body became such that a tumor
was allowed to develop. Why? Where was the aberration of normal health? Where on the continuum
of health and disease does each person lie?
- Why Did a Tumor Develop?
a. immune problem
c. lack of a certain nutrient
d. "thick" blood?
e. what life event preceeded the diagnosis of cancer?
f. stress; and how significant is stress really on
development and progression
- Working With Conventional Oncologists
a. before surgery, chemotherapy, radiation
i. support the whole person
b. after surgery
i. getting out of hospital sooner
ii. prevent infection
iv. scar therapy
c. During radiation and chemotherapy:
supportive treatment only
iii. mouth sores
v. hot flashes
vi. immune system
x. prevent damage to the heart
xi. especially with radiation therapy
1. topical agents (traumeel, emu, alo)
2. botanical potentiators of the treatment
(withania, cucumin, green tea)
xii. most importantly: know what NOT to do
d. After Conventional Treatment
i. painful scars and the philosophy behind this
ii. heal the wound
iii. prevent (what?)
iv. painful scars and the philosophy behind this
v. heal the wound
vi. what is the immune system and why is it so important?
vii. the influence of diet and lifestyle on cancer
viii. education as a modality
1. precepts of naturopathic medicine
2. vis medicatrix naturae: the The human body
possesses the inherent ability to restore health.
The physician's role is to facilitate this process with
the aid of therapies.
3. tolle totum: The multiple factors in health and disease
are considered while treating the whole person.
Physicians provide flexible treatment programs to meet
individual health care needs.
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