Cancer & naturopathy – can complementary medicine provide useful support?
Recognised scientific sources suggest that naturopathy can make an important contribution to cancer treatment
Hardly any other diagnosis has such far-reaching consequences for those affected as cancer. The disease, in which uncontrolled cells proliferate in the body and so attack healthy tissue is responsible for around a quarter of all deaths in Germany, according to the German Federal Statistical Office (Statistische Bundesamt).
The prognosis and treatment in individual cases always depend on the type of cancer cells and the extent to which they have spread. However, in many cases chemotherapy is required, and this is often a significant additional strain on those affected. According to the German Cancer Research Centre (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum), many People thus decide on alternative forms of therapy that have a less severe impact on the body.
But how can naturopathy specifically support cancer therapy? Recognised experts do in fact indicate that complementary medicine can play an important supportive role here.
Chemotherapy and its related treatments still have the best chances of success
One of the particular features of this disease is the additional strain imposed on the body by anti-cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy. The substances used generally act not only against the cancer cells themselves but also attack healthy tissue.
At the same time, those affected are not only exposed to significant psychological strain, as, in many cases, the effectiveness of the treatments selected cannot be assessed before therapy begins. Thus, before starting treatment there is often no exact prognosis for disease progression and the chances of recovery.
Farid Zitoun, Director of the Natural Healing Centre Bottrop (Naturheilzentrum Bottrop) known as NABO nevertheless clearly considers the recognised traditional therapy options as appropriate:
“Traditional medicine still has the most powerful weapons against cancer. Several studies, for example one published in JAMA Oncology Magazine, indicate that chemotherapy and its associated treatments still offer the best chances of success. However, naturopathy can also make a significant contribution. Not as a replacement for chemo but as complement to it.“
Non-toxic complementary medicine therapies as a supplement
The potential value of complementary medical treatment is also increasingly becoming accepted in Human medicine. As the oncologist Dr. Friedrich Douwes explained in an interview with the German Society for Oncology, so-called non-toxic tumour therapies are also gaining increasing importance amongst doctors.
Dr. Douwes also specifically emphasises that there is no either/or situation between traditional and complementary medical treatments but that these can complement one another synergistically.
The Bottrop naturopath, Farid Zitoun, has a similar view. “The ideal of modern, responsible naturopathy is to act at the boundaries of traditional medicine. Experience from almost three decades of practice shows that the combination of different approaches can open up new avenues which was not possible with one single point of view.
The same synergistic approach is followed by the Centre for Integrative Medicine in the Ruhr area for cancer patients consulting the outpatients‘ clinic. Our work here includes close cooperation with oncologists and other specialists to provide optimal support for traditional cancer therapies.”
Naturopathy to fight cancer – better quality of life is the aim
Many naturopathic procedures for cancer do not act directly to combat cancer cells but instead aim to improve the quality of life of those living with cancer and their families by using complementary therapies.
Thus, a promising approach is, for example, Mind-Body Medicine where the patient is supported with individual and effective stress management and strategies for a generally healthier lifestyle.
Proof of the effectiveness of this treatment has been published by the Immanuel Hospital in Berlin where a study established significant improvements in quality of life.
In the most recent blog in the NABO magazine, the experiences of a cancer patient and her husband also suggest that the additional use of complementary medicine in the battle against cancer offers numerous advantages and can help the body to cope better with the strain of chemotherapy.
More information on the Naturheilzentrum Bottrop YouTube channel
NABO health expert, Farid Zitoun summarises the role of naturopathy in cancer:
“Cancer is one of the most traumatic experiences in life for those affected and often still has fatal consequences today. Yet medical progress gives hope that survival rates will improve further with time.“
An important factor here is the acceptance of naturopathy or complementary medicine by doctors in cancer treatment. The synergies created have the potential to improve quality of life for patients. And that‘s something worth fighting for.“
More knowledge and information for those living with cancer, interested parties and also families is available in the most recent You Tube video from the Bottrop healthcare institution. Farid Zitoun and his colleague Christian Rüger provide more insight into complementary medical cancer therapies and demonstrate the role they can play in a holistic approach and treatment.