I currently practice at Salish Cancer Center in Fife Washington (just outside of Tacoma).
The clinic is owned and operated by the Puyallup Tribe for the benefit of both native and non-native cancer patients. We have an integrative practice with 2 oncologists, an ARNP, 2 naturopathic oncologists (both FABNOs), 2 acupuncturists, a native healer, 6 nurses, and numerous support staff including MA’s, reception, billing, patient financial services, native outreach coordinator, HR etc. The practice has been in operation since April 2015 as a successor to the Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center, which had been run by CTCA until they decided to focus exclusively on hospital practices. Our doctors work with multiple local hospitals and radiation centers and we are now starting to look for a third oncologist to meet our growing needs.
How did you get into Naturopathic Oncology?
After graduating from Bastyr in 1985 I focused on family medicine, However over time I began seeing some patients who had cancer and were getting conventional treatment but wanted help with side effects. They and their oncologists noticed that they seemed to tolerate treatment with fewer side effects, and some evidence for improved response. Over time one of the local oncologists sent more and more patients for supportive care. When he was asked to help open Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness by CTCA, he invited me and Patrick Donovan to join the new clinic and provide naturopathic care. We spent an entire summer reviewing everything we could find on nutrition and cancer and were amazed at all the things being ignored in mainstream oncology. I’m happy to be able to help share that information now with patients and give them increased hope and chance of recovery.
What do you do on your downtime and/or what do you do for fun?
I love outdoor activities and my two favorites are kayaking or sailing, and motorcycle touring. I try to get out for at least two weeks a year on the motorcycle and explore another part of the country, camp and just enjoy the scenery either alone or with a friend.
What is your “broken record statement” to your patients- i.e., what is that you tell your patients the most?
I emphasize to patients that cancer is due to an imbalance in molecular signaling and cellular behavior. The environment surrounding cancer cells has a big impact on the behavior of the cancer. Therefore every change they make in diet, lifestyle and herbs alters the internal environment and signaling. When they make the appropriate changes they change the promoters of tumor growth and the likelihood of recurrence. It is also refreshing to be able to tell patients that rather than reducing cancer risk at the cost of multiple undesirable side effects, the natural approach to cancer improves overall health, vitality ad quality of life.