Cancer Support: Combining Natural and Conventional Medicines


5 Critical Keys for Cancer Patients Who Want to Combine Natural Medicines with Chemotherapy and Radiation

Are you looking for someone to guide you in choosing the very best  natural medicines to fight your  cancer? Do you want to know the best foods to eat and the most effective lifestyle choices you can make to increase the likelihood of beating cancer?

Dr. Boice works with cancer patients to create an individualized program that suits your needs, based on

  • your current level of health
  • your type of cancer
  • the grade and stage of your cancer
  • your conventional treatments (e.g. chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation, cyberknife, etc.)

As a Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO), Dr. Boice has additional training and board certification in using natural medicines to safely, effectively support you on your cancer journey. She works with you to combine the best of all possible worlds – both conventional and natural medicine – to increase your likelihood of becoming cancer-free.

If you are ready to include a physician who specializes in natural medicine on your team, please contact Dr. Boice for a free Cancer Care Strategy Session to assess your best next steps. Click here to sign up for a Next Step session.

“For patients who have just been diagnosed with cancer, or are in the midst of treatment,” says Dr. Boice, “my thoughts and prayers are with you. Having worked with late stage cancer patients, I know cancer can turn your world up-side-down and inside-out. I am guessing that in the midst of juggling appointments with doctors in different parts of town; treatments that leave you feeling drained and disoriented; and family and work commitments, you are trying to research how best to address your cancer.

“I know your time is precious, and likely your attention limited, especially if you are in active treatment. With luck a family member is reading this information instead of you, so they can summarize and report back to you. I am offering you five critical keys for choosing natural medicines to combine with chemotherapy, radiation, and other cancer therapies:

Find a physician who is deeply trained in working with natural medicines in conjunction with conventional cancer therapies. Dr. Boice is part of a group of naturopathic physicians who have additional training and board certification in oncology, Fellows of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology, or FABNO. “I can put my energy into healing now instead of worrying if I’m doing the right thing,” said one of Dr. Boice’s cancer patients. “I finally found someone who has the knowledge and expertise I was searching for.” That peace of mind is priceless.

Know what specific type of cancer you have, and focus on information that applies to your particular type of cancer. As an example, non-small lung cancer (NSLC) responds to completely different therapies than pancreatic cancer. Even different types of the same cancer may require different therapies. Triple negative breast cancer, for example, is treated differently than estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. This is true for conventional cancer therapy and natural therapies.

Your cancer treatment (chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation etc.) strongly influences what natural medicines you should or should not take. What supplements you take as well as as when you take them can either increase OR decrease the effectiveness of your conventional cancer treatments.  Certain supplements are so protective, for example, they may block the effects of radiation therapy, while other supplements actually potentiate (increase) the effectiveness of radiation therapy. The same is true for combining natural medicines and chemotherapy.

When you go on-line to look for answers, read research with an eye for the level of evidence.

  1. Cell studies: this is the entry level for research studies, and the weakest level of evidence.
  2. Animal studies: usually mice or rats are used in animal research. The way a mouse or rat reacts to a treatment may OR may not be the same as a human. If the results with animals are promising, researchers then move to human studies.
  3. Human studies: clinical trials usually are divided into four phases.

Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, our current “gold standard” in research, are rarely the best method for evaluating natural medicines. Imagine using a yard stick to measure the pitch of a note; the yard stick simply is not the correct tool. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, everyone receives the exact same treatment. The most effective natural medicines prescriptions, though, are individualized, meaning the medicine is selected for the individual as well as the disease.

I might have a dozen breast cancer patients and give each one a different treatment plan, based on their specific needs. The double-blind, placebo-controlled model has no way of evaluating individualized treatments. This research method definitely does yield important information, but it has some major limitations, particularly for evaluating natural medicines.

Although most contemporary research regards double blinded tests as the “holy grail,” this research model was only developed in 1948, less than a century ago.

“I never would have believed this was possible,” said one lung cancer patient, “but I actually feel healthier now, even in the midst of cancer treatment, than I did before my diagnosis. I’m learning how to take care of myself, how to support my health – for the long run, for my life.”

If you are ready to include a physician who specializes in natural medicine on your team, please contact Dr. Boice for a free Cancer Care Strategy Session to assess your best next steps. Click here to sign up for a Next Step session.


Dr. Judith Boice, ND, LAc, FABNO (Naturopathic Doctor, Licensed Acupuncturist, Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology)

A woman of many accolades, Dr. Judith Boice is an award-winning author and international teacher. She has a passion for working with cancer, women’s health, pain and chronic illness. She is the author of several magazine articles and 10 books, including The Green Medicine Chest: Healthy Treasures for the Whole Family which was honored with a Silver Medal in the Nautilus Book Awards and a Bronze Medal in the Living Now Book Awards. Dr. Boice worked for three-and- a-half years as a naturopathic oncology provider at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Southwestern Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Boice is passionate about teaching qigong. “Qi” means life force or vitality, and “gong” means skill or practice, so qigong is the practice of restoring vitality and health. Qigong combines gentle movements with focused concentration to restore health. Research is demonstrating qigong can be extremely beneficial for cancer patients, improving quality of life and reducing side effects of cancer treatments. Dr. Boice is a certified teacher of Soaring Crane Qigong, Essence Qigong, and Awakening Light Gong.


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