Naturopathic oncology providers are specialists who use natural, non-toxic therapies to support the whole person and encourage the self-healing process. Their goal is to minimize the risk of harmful effects from cancer treatments, and apply the gentlest intervention needed to restore your health.
Your naturopathic oncology provider at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) acts as a consultant to your oncologist to support normal metabolism and digestion during cancer treatment; manage any side effects, such as nausea or fatigue; and boost immune function.
As part of the intake process, you'll meet with your naturopathic oncology provider, who will review your history and make recommendations from a wide variety of natural therapies.
Throughout your treatment, your naturopathic oncology provider will suggest natural therapies to support your immune system and reduce any treatment-related side effects, including:
- Nutritional supplements and botanical medicines, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbs.
- Natural therapies, such as garlic, ginger and salt water.
- Homeopathic remedies, mainly involving plant extracts and minerals that gently strengthen the body's healing and immune response.
- Physical therapy and exercise therapy, including massage and other gentle techniques used on deep muscles and joints for therapeutic purposes.
- Hydrotherapy, which prescribes water-based approaches like hot and cold wraps, steaming and other therapies.
- Lifestyle counseling. Many medical conditions can be treated with foods and nutritional supplements, with fewer complications and side effects.
- Acupuncture. Some of our naturopathic oncology providers also provide acupuncture therapies.
All of our naturopathic oncology providers have extensive knowledge of radiation, chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. They help guide your treatment plan and are in regular communication with the oncology team at CTCA. They also monitor your supplement and vitamin intake to ensure safety from potential drug-herb and drug-nutrient interactions.
The Naturopathic Medicine Department also provides an educational component as well. Programs include information about vitamin and mineral supplements, natural remedies, nutritional guidance, lifestyle changes, stress management techniques and strategies for long-term prevention of recurrence.
The naturopathic medicine team at Midwestern
Led by Clinical Director of Naturopathic Medicine Christina Shannon, ND, FABNO, the naturopathic medicine team at CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center includes 13 naturopathic clinicians. Each holds a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from a doctoral-level program accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. In addition, some have also completed residency programs in naturopathic oncology.
“It is important that I get to know my patients in order to understand the larger picture," she says. "This relationship creates a foundation so that I can then make the best naturopathic recommendations for each individual," says Shannon.