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What is Naturopathic Oncology?

Naturopathic doctors (ND) support patients with cancer to maximize overall health, fight disease processes and prevent or reduce side effects of standard cancer treatment regimens for patients who utilizing them. Spark Health doctors may recommend specific supplements or nutritional programs in an individualized treatment approach. Naturopathic doctors who specialize in naturopathic oncology understand both the standard treatments employed by medical, radiation and surgical oncologists, and how best to work in a collaborative model of cancer co-treatment. Spark Health doctors often help patients maintain their oncology treatment regimens while providing vital support reducing the 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.

What is FABNO?

The Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians 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 and work with the Board of Medical Examiners to develop standards for credentials, including training requirements, application process and board certification exams.

Naturopathic doctors 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 oncology patient 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) meet the highest standard of the profession as specialists in naturopathic oncology.

How Can Naturopathic Oncology Benefit Patients?

  1. Prevent and minimize the risk of side effects from chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Some common side effects addressed during treatment are hot flashes, insomnia, taste changes, mouth sores, fatigue, diarrhea and constipation, nausea, anxiety, depression and neuropathy.
  2. Screen for any potential interactions between conventional cancer therapies and natural products that may affect the efficacy of treatment.
  3. Resolve lingering side effects from conventional treatment such as neuropathy, hot flashes, cardiovascular/bone health and sexual dysfunction.
  4. Support the natural cancer-fighting ability of the immune system to help prevent recurrences or other types of cancer.