Naturopathic Oncology Care for Pediatric Cancers: A Practice Survey


The majority of pediatric oncology patients report use of complementary and alternative medicine. Some naturopathic doctors (NDs) provide supportive pediatric oncology care; however, little information exists to formally describe this clinical practice. A survey was conducted with members of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP.org) to describe recommendations across four therapeutic domains: natural health products (NHPs), nutrition, physical medicine, and mental/emotional support.


We had 99 respondents with a wide variance of clinical experience and aptitude to treat children with cancer. Of the majority (52.5%) of respondents who choose not to treat these children, the three primary reasons for this are lack of public demand (45.1%), institutional or clinic restrictions (21.6%), and personal reasons/comfort (19.6%). The 10 most frequently considered NHPs by all NDs are fish-derived omega-3 fatty acid (83.3%), vitamin D (83.3%), probiotics (82.1%), melatonin (73.8%), vitamin C (72.6%), homeopathic Arnica (69.0%), turmeric/curcumin (67.9%), glutamine (66.7%), Astragalus membranaceus (64.3%), and Coriolus versicolor/PSK (polysaccharide K) extracts (61.9%). The top 5 nutritional recommendations are anti-inflammatory diets (77.9%), dairy restriction (66.2%), Mediterranean diet (66.2%), gluten restriction (61.8%), and ketogenic diet (57.4%). The top 5 physical modality interventions are exercise (94.1%), acupuncture (77.9%), acupressure (72.1%), craniosacral therapy (69.1%), and yoga (69.1%). The top 5 mental/emotional interventions are meditation (79.4%), art therapy (77.9%), mindfulness-based stress reduction (70.6%), music therapy (70.6%), and visualization therapy (67.6%). 


The results of our clinical practice survey highlight naturopathic interventions across four domains with a strong rationale for further inquiry in the care of children with cancer.



Title of abstract:
Naturopathic Oncology Care for Pediatric Cancers: A Practice Survey

Athanasios Psihogios, ND, Jullie K. Ennis, PhD, Dugald Seely, ND, M.Sc.


Integrative Cancer Therapies


Integrative Cancer Therapies Volume 18: 1–12