Colleen Huber, NMD
The first thing to expect from a naturopathic oncologist is that he or she will listen to you.
Cancer does not arise overnight, and often there is a history of exposure to toxins, radiation or other past assault. Many times even the patient does not know or is not sure what event in their past was most causative of cancer. An initial consult of an hour or more is necessary to try to identify such events, in order to make a plan to reverse damage to the greatest extent possible.
The initial assault leading to cancer varies widely from person to person. However, it is really necessary to try to dig through past history to see if that can be found. Sometimes we meet with auto workers who handled brake pads with asbestos, or people who lived or worked near crop dusters, or under an industrial smokestack. In other cases, there may be extraordinarily high levels of estrogen, or perhaps there were solvents that a person was exposed to. To the extent that these exposures can be reversed, we can get to work on that.
We also do a physical exam, to assess the extent of cancer in the body. We also look at imaging, examining together the CDs or films that patients bring in of their CTs, PET/CTs, MRIs, ultrasounds and x-rays. We piece together a picture of the current tumor burden in the body.
Finally, it’s time to talk about treatments. Conventional treatments for cancer are discussed with respect to the individual and his or her tumor burden. There are very different considerations for different parts of the body.
Natural treatments are discussed with the same considerations. Where is the cancer? We fight cancer differently in the lungs than in the prostate, for example. How aggressive is the cancer? Where in the body did it begin? How widespread is it? What is the most precarious/difficult/threatening metastasis? For example, is it wrapped around the aorta? Is it pressing on an eye or ear? Is it pressing against the central bile duct or a ureter? So various suggestions for treatments are given, with all of these considerations.
In any case, naturopathic physicians are trained, examined and licensed to practice both conventional and natural medicine. Therefore, naturopathic physicians are uniquely qualified to discuss both your conventional options and your naturopathic options with you. We honor the Patient Bill of Rights, as shown in this Informed Consent.