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Can naturopathy cure cancer or other fatal illness?

Dr. Peter Bongiorno, ND
Naturopathic Medicine
Cancer is a difficult disease to treat, by any measure, using any kind of therapy. As a result, it needs all types of medicines available to be used in an individualized fashion. For patients with cancer, in my clinic, we use naturopathic therapies (food, lifestyle, exercise, spirit and stress work, nutritional supplements and hydrotherapy) to help support patients through cancer. Oftentimes, this means using naturopathic medicine adjunctively to support the patient going through surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Many natural treatments have been shown to improve patient outcomes and reduce risk of recurrence. In other cases, naturopathic care may be considered as the primary care when conventional care does not have a strong treatment option or if all conventional oncology options have been exhausted. Cancer is a multi-faceted disease, and requires all options on the table, including conventional oncology and naturopathic care. Taking this approach, in my opinion, brings the best chance of "cure."

Additionally, when using naturopathic and conventional care together, it is best that all the doctors on a patient’s team are communicating, and coordinating care. This assures patient safety and minimizes the risk of interactions among drugs, herbs and nutrients that may be prescribed.

Regarding the idea of "cure," I am trained, as a physician, to recognize that no medicine or doctor really "cures" anything. The first rule of thumb in medicine is to realize the body heals itself. We use conventional drugs and natural medicines to support the body in this process. But without the wisdom of the immune system, nervous system, hormonal system etc... the body would not be able to finish this work.

Naturopathy is not scientifically proven as a cure for serious disease. The goal of naturopathy is to prevent disease and build a healthy body. If you have a potentially fatal illness, you should take advantage of any form of treatment that can benefit. Naturopathy and other forms of alternative care can help you deal with your symptoms through holistic treatments and stress control. Many people have found relief for pain and other symptoms through herbal medications, acupuncture and massage therapy. These are just some of the treatments that a naturopath can provide.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.