For almost 20 years I’ve been practicing naturopathic oncology. When I was still in naturopathic medical school I was asked to help a good friend’s mother, who was newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. As any diligent student would, I delved into every aspect of pancreatic cancer, from scientific journals to chat rooms with families and patients. It was during this labor of love that a spark ignited. The many facets of cancer-scientific, spiritual, psychological, cultural- were simply too vast for anyone to master in one lifetime. This had a definite appeal. I wondered if I would be able to bring together my love of molecular biology, my desire to serve people through natural medicine and my newfound appreciation for the complexity of cancer. Then, as luck would have it, I was accepted as one of the first residents in naturopathic oncology at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, Oklahoma. My residency was a total immersion in an integrative oncology setting and solidified a foundation in what has become my life’s work, naturopathic oncology.
My services at Round Table Cancer Care (www.roundtablecancercare.com) are broader than simply helping patients get through treatment, although this is a service I offer. I also offer services that include scanning research trials to find the most promising treatment on the horizon. I will also escort patients to a conventional oncology visits, particularly when time is of the essence and tough decisions need to be made quickly. I have even escorted patients to German and Mexican clinics, and I’m familiar with the unconventional treatments offered online and around the world. We live in a time when reliable information is difficult to discern. There are, unfortunately, many cases where online information is misleading or even dangerous. I do not have any affiliations with companies or other entities that sway my advise. There is no dogma or philosophy to which I subscribe. At Round Table Cancer Care my hope is to provide each person a natural medicine expert they can trust. My goal with each patient never wavers, regardless of one’s cancer diagnosis or situation. The goal is to help each person live as well as possible for as long as possible.
Professionally, I believe it’s essential for those of us that specialize to disseminate information in our field. I have lectured and written for the past ten years. I’ve also been the Senior Medical Editor and Editor-in-Chief at the Natural Medicine Journal (www.naturalmedicinejournal.com) since 2009. I’ve served on several boards, including the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (www.oncanp.org) and the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology Board of Medical Examiners (ABNOBoMEx). Recently, my attention has focused on how to bring naturopathic oncology to the masses. With this in mind, I am the founding Chair of the Naturopathic Oncology Foundation (www.natoncfoundation.org), a newly formed 501c3 charity.
There is so much people can do to optimize outcomes of cancer treatment, to lessen risk of recurrence, to sleuth out the very best treatment for any given diagnosis. I still believe that cancer is a topic too vast for anyone to master. The spark that interested me in 1998 still guides my daily life. Through writing, lecturing, and individual consultations, my hope is that the life trajectories of patients I know, and people I don’t, are bettered. It’s with incredible appreciation that I get to work in a profession I love. It’s with gratitude that I get to serve people as part of my day to day life. It’s with humility that I can report my quest for mastery continues.
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