February 28, 2019 - The Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP) today announced the publication of its Principles of Care (POC) Guidelines for integrative cancer care. Disseminated through Current Oncology, this POC is a welcome addition to medical literature.
The POC Guidelines provides a safe and effective, evidence-informed approach for Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) who focus on the care of patients diagnosed with cancer. It details what should be present in naturopathic oncology patient management but, it is not meant to be prescriptive or to provide instructive advice on therapeutic options. Instead, it recommends how best to deliver patient-centered care in the areas of assessment, treatment planning, care management, interprofessional collaboration, and survivorship care.
The POC also serves as a valuable resource for conventional oncology providers seeking to understand the naturopathic and integrative oncology care model and potential for collaboration. In fact, it is designed to support NDs, oncologists, surgeons, and all health care practitioners as they work together to help transform care patients receive in the treatment of their cancer.
What is driving this transformation of care? Some studies show up to 87% of cancer patients are choosing integrative oncology, or non-conventional treatments, alongside conventional standard care. Patients are demanding integrative cancer treatment options, and there is an increase in published research documenting the safety and efficacy of natural and supportive therapies.
Heather Wright, ND, FABNO, President of OncANP explains: “ND oncology providers play a very important role in cancer care. They are trained to employ a wide range of natural therapeutics and supportive strategies to help achieve positive patient outcomes based on scientific evidence, long-standing traditional use, and patient preference. Our newly published guiding principles reflect the expertise and thought leadership of OncANP and naturopathic oncology providers,” adds Wright. “As our profession continues to grow, standard principles are needed in order for NDs to be effective providers in the larger care team for cancer patients.”
“The Principles of Care Guidelines were developed by a varied group of leading experts and is based on the most current and relevant evidence,” said Eric Marsden, ND, Founder of the Marsden Centre for Excellence in Integrative Medicine, and Chair of the OncANP POC Committee. “It has been reviewed by NDs, medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, policy experts, and OncANP membership. Now ready for dissemination, our goal is to achieve broad adoption by NDs practicing integrative cancer care, and to help support ALL clinicians, serving patients with cancer.”
“What binds all providers together is the goal of delivering the best care for patients in a manner that is multidisciplinary, honours patient choice, is scientifically sound, supports the whole person, and achieves the best quality of life for patients,” said Dugald Seely, ND, FABNO Founder & Executive Director of the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre and Shailendra Verma, MD (Retired Oncologist of The Ottawa Hospital).
Read the full POC Guidelines in Current Oncology published by OncANP.
Read the companion editorial in Current Oncology by Dugald Seely, ND and Shailendra Verma, MD.
About the ONCANP
The Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP) is dedicated to education and research in naturopathic oncology. It advocates for collaboration with conventional providers and is committed to advancing the science and application of naturopathic medicine alongside standard cancer care and treatment. The vision of OncANP is to enhance survival and quality of life for people living with cancer through the integration of naturopathic medicine into cancer care. The American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (ABNO), the certification branch of the OncANP, supports advanced training in oncology for naturopathic doctors, awarding board-certified members the status of Fellow by the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO). Established in 2004, the OncANP is a recognized affiliate of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP). www.oncanp.org
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