We recommend that patients consult medical, surgical and radiation oncologists as well as naturopathic physicians, specialists in Chinese medical oncology and other complementary medicine clinicians if interested in using the therapies mentioned in this website. We do not recommend that the therapies mentioned in this website be used instead of conventional cancer treatment.
The core of Integrative Oncology is the well coordinated use of conventional and complementary approaches that work synergistically with each other. Some complementary therapies, particularly those involving herbal compounds, may have synergistic effects with conventional cancer treatments or may interfere with them. Therefore it is crucial that patients consult with accredited complementary professionals to avoid interfering with their conventional treatment. Most complementary therapies, however, are used to enhance quality of life by means of helping the patient feel more relaxed and by helping manage pain, nauseas or other cancer or treatment related symptoms.
Integrative Oncology is an emerging field of medicine. There is no current official training that prepares oncologists to become "integrative oncologists." However, some naturopathic physicians are board certified in naturopathic oncology and have therefore received training on how to use complementary therapies along with conventional cancer treatments. Likewise, Chinese medical oncology is a distinct discipline and specialty. Clinical oncology nutritionists are also an excellent source of information about diet and nutritional supplements.
For a list of integrated oncology clinics within academic centers see resource list below:
Medicinal mushrooms, specially 'turkey tail' (Trametes versicolor or PSK™) are used especially at post-chemotherapy stage. If you are interested in using a mushroom extract along with chemotherapy it is very important that you consult with either a TCM practitioner or ND who is trained in cancer care. Typical post-chemotherapy dose to prevent recurrence is 3000mg/day of high quality mushroom extract. Because there is huge variation in quality of these extracts, the best way of knowing is consulting with a knowledgeable provider.