Our integrative oncology advisors
CancerChoices works with many integrative oncology and other cancer and wellness advisors to ensure the information we offer incorporates the highest levels of expertise and available evidence.
Donald I. Abrams, MDProfessor emeritus of clinical medicine at the University of California San Francisco
Donald I. Abrams, MD
is past chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, an integrative oncologist at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and professor emeritus of clinical medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He graduated from Brown University in 1972 and from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1977. After completing an internal medicine residency at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco, he became a fellow in hematology-oncology at the UCSF Cancer Research Institute in 1980 during the time that the first cases of AIDS were being diagnosed. He was one of the original clinician/investigators to recognize many of the early AIDS-related conditions. He conducted numerous clinical trials investigating conventional as well as complementary therapies in patients with HIV including therapeutic touch, traditional Chinese medicine interventions, medicinal mushrooms, medical marijuana and distant healing.
His interest in botanical therapies led him to pursue a two-year fellowship in the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona that he completed in December 2004. His particular passion in the field involves nutrition and cancer. Since completing his fellowship, Dr. Abrams has been providing integrative medicine consultation to people living with and beyond cancer at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. His integrative oncology interests are in medicinal mushrooms, traditional Chinese medicine interventions and nutrition. He co-edited the Oxford University Press textbook Integrative Oncology with Andrew Weil, MD. He is a member of the NCI PDQ CAM Editorial Board. Dr. Abrams was president of the Society for Integrative Oncology in 2010.Website
Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNOProfessor of clinical medicine at the University of Arizona School of Medicine and assistant director of the the Integrative Medicine Fellowship at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine
Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO
is a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Arizona School of Medicine where she is assistant director of the the Integrative Medicine Fellowship at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Alschuler has a part-time naturopathic oncology practice out of Naturopathic Specialists, LLC. She co-hosts a podcast, Five To Thrive Live! and is co-founder of the iTHRIVE Plan, a lifestyle app for cancer survivors.
Dr. Alschuler has been an invited speaker to more than 100 scientific/medical conferences, has authored articles and chapters and been co-investigator on several research studies. She is co-author of Definitive Guide to Cancer, now in its 3rd edition, and Definitive Guide to Thriving After Cancer. She is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including 2014 American Association of Naturopathic Physicians’ Physician of the Year. Dr. Alschuler is past-president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and a founding board member, immediate past-president and current board member of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians.Website
Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-CPast executive director of the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, DC
Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C
was recently the executive director of the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, DC. She is a rising star in the psycho-oncology field with almost a decade of experience as an oncology social worker, most recently at George Washington University in DC where she helped create the cancer support program. During her tenure at GWU she created a number of deep and impactful programs for families, young adults and patients and helped to ensure program success by defining and tracking outcomes. Jennifer received the 2017 Oncology Social Worker of The Year Award from the Association of Oncology Social Workers.Website
Keith Block, MDMedical-scientific director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment and author of Life Over Cancer
Keith Block, MD
is medical-scientific director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment. The Block Center website says: “The care provided a Block Center patient embodies the highest level of conventional medicine and integrates those conventional protocols with advanced complementary therapies that address the physical, nutritional, psychosocial, and spiritual aspects of healing and recovery.” Dr. Block is the author of Life Over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Care. In his introduction, Dr. Andrew Weil writes: “I believe in Keith’s program and would go to the Block Center if I were facing a diagnosis of cancer. It is where I have sent and will continue to send my friends and family members. For many years, the Block Center was the only facility practicing true integrative cancer treatment. Today, a few others exist, but the Block Center continues to set the standard by which other integrative cancer care facilities should be measured.”Website
Brian Bouch, MDassociate clinical professor, UCLA School of Medicine
Brian Bouch, MD
has 30 years experience in family practice, emergency medicine, and integrative medicine. Dr. Bouch is also an associate clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine where he teaches medical acupuncture to physicians. Dr. Bouch founded Hill Park Medical Center in 1988 to offer patients the best in alternative healing therapies combined with high-quality conventional medical care. He earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and obtained board certification in emergency medicine and medical acupuncture.
Janie Brown, RN, MSN, MACo-founder and executive director of the Callanish Society
Janie Brown, RN, MSN, MA
is the co-founder and executive director of the Callanish Society in Vancouver, BC, modeled after the Commonweal Cancer Help Program. Over the past 23 years Callanish has provided almost 100 week-long residential retreats and offers support programs for people living with, and/or dying from, cancer to reconnect with the essentials of life. The documentary film I’m Still Here: Young Adults Living Life with Recurrent Cancer highlights the work of the Callanish Society.Website
Linda E. Carlson, PhD, CPsychEnbridge Research Chair in Psychosocial Oncology and professor in psychosocial oncology in the Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary
Linda E. Carlson, PhD, CPsych
holds the Enbridge Research Chair in Psychosocial Oncology, is full professor in psychosocial oncology in the Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, and adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology. She is the director of research and works as a clinical psychologist at the Department of Psychosocial Resources at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre (TBCC). She is also a fellow of the Society for Behavioral Medicine and the Mind and Life Institute, the 2022 president of the Society for Integrative Oncology, and is co-editor-in-chief for the official International Psycho-Oncology Society journal: The Journal of Psychosocial Oncology Research and Practice.
Dr. Carlson’s research in psychosocial oncology, integrative oncology and mindfulness-based cancer recovery has been published in many high-impact journals and book chapters, and she published a patient manual in 2011 with Michael Speca entitled Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery: A Step-by-Step MBSR Approach to Help You Cope with Treatment and Reclaim Your Life, in addition to a professional training manual in 2009 (2nd Edition 2017) with Shauna Shapiro entitled The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness into Psychology and the Helping Professions. She presented a TEDx talk called Mindfulness for Personal and Collective Evolution in 2016.Website
Lorenzo Cohen, PhDRichard E. Haynes Distinguished Professor in Clinical Cancer Prevention, director of the Integrative Medicine Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston) and distinguished clinical professor at Fudan University Cancer Hospital in Shanghai, China
Lorenzo Cohen, PhD
is the Richard E. Haynes Distinguished Professor in Clinical Cancer Prevention and director of the Integrative Medicine Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston) and distinguished clinical professor at Fudan University Cancer Hospital in Shanghai, China. Dr. Cohen is a founding member and past president of the international Society for Integrative Oncology and past vice chair of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health.
Dr. Cohen is passionate about educating others on how to prevent cancer and maintain optimal health across the lifespan. As the majority of cancers are preventable, Dr. Cohen is conducting research to demonstrate that lifestyle factors can influence cancer outcomes.
Dr. Cohen leads a team conducting National Institutes of Health-funded research and delivering clinical care of integrative medicine practices such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, massage, diet, exercise, acupuncture and other strategies such as stress management, music therapy, emotional writing and more. Practices are aimed at reducing the negative aspects of cancer treatment and improving quality of life and clinical outcomes. Dr. Cohen is the co-author of the recently published book: Anticancer Living: Transform Your Life and Health with the Mix of Six.Website
Barry D. Elson, MDPast medical director of Northampton Wellness Associates, adjunct faculty for Touro University College of Medicine, medical director at Commonweal, and professor of medicine at the Pacific College of Naturopathic Medicine
Barry D. Elson, MD
has been practicing and teaching integrative medicine for over 40 years. He has been the medical director of Northampton Wellness Associates, adjunct faculty for Touro University College of Medicine, medical director at Commonweal, and professor of medicine at the Pacific College of Naturopathic Medicine. He recently retired from clinical practice and has been providing freelance medical consulting. He is an avid biker, cross country skier, and sailor. He currently resides in the rolling hills of western Massachusetts.
Dr. Nina Fuller-ShavelFellow of the College of Medicine and the vice chair for BSIO (British Society for Integrative Oncology) and director of Synthesis Clinic
Dr. Nina Fuller-Shavel
is a GMC-registered integrative medicine doctor with degrees in medicine and natural sciences from the University of Cambridge. Dr. Fuller-Shavel is a fellow of the College of Medicine and the vice chair for BSIO (British Society for Integrative Oncology). Alongside her science and medical training, Dr. Fuller-Shavel holds multiple qualifications in nutrition, integrative medicine, health coaching, herbal medicine, yoga, mindfulness and other mind-body approaches.
Dr Fuller-Shavel is the director of Synthesis Clinic, an award-winning multidisciplinary integrative medicine practice in Hampshire, UK, specializing in women’s health, gut health (microbiome and gut-brain axis) and mental health. She combines her clinical work in women’s health and supporting patients with breast and gynecological cancer with education and training for healthcare professionals and research in precision cancer medicine and precision nutrition.Website
Jen Green, ND, FABNONaturopathic physician and cofounder/research director for Knowledge in Integrative Oncology Website
Jen Green, ND, FABNO
is a naturopathic physician who is board-certified in naturopathic oncology (FABNO). Dr. Green is also a cofounder/research director for Knowledge in Integrative Oncology Website, a nonprofit website that harvests up-to-date research in integrative oncology to support evidence-informed decision making. Dr. Green has published scientific articles in journals such as the American Urology Association Update Series, Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine and Natural Medicine Journal. Since 2000, she has been a dedicated clinician, as well as serving on the board of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Michigan Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors and Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors. Dr. Green founded the Naturopathic Department at Beaumont Hospitals in 2008 and served as the department head for five years. She provides consultations for integrative cancer care, survivorship care, cancer prevention and mental wellness at Emcura Integrative Clinic in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. Dr Green firmly believes that human health and the health of our planet are one.Website
Wayne B. Jonas, MDFamily physician and the executive director of Samueli Integrative Health Programs
Wayne B. Jonas, MD
is a practicing family physician, an expert in integrative health and healthcare delivery, and a widely published scientific investigator. Dr. Jonas is the executive director of Samueli Integrative Health Programs, an effort supported by Henry and Susan Samueli to increase awareness and access to integrative health and supporting the scientific investigation of healing processes in the areas of stress, pain, and resilience. Additionally, Dr. Jonas is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Medical Corps of the United States Army. From 2001 to 2016, he was president and chief executive officer of Samueli Institute, he was the director of the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1995 to 1999, and prior to that served as the director of the Medical Research Fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Dr. Jonas’s research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, Natural Medicine, The Journal of Family Practice, The Annals of Internal Medicine, and The Lancet. His books include the 2018 best seller How Healing Works: Get Well and Stay Well Using Your Hidden Power to Heal.
Dr. Jonas received the 2015 Pioneer Award from the Integrative Healthcare Symposium, the 2007 America’s Top Family Doctors Award, the 2003 Pioneer Award from the American Holistic Medical Association, the 2002 Physician Recognition Award of the American Medical Association, and the 2002 Meritorious Activity Prize from the International Society of Life Information Science in Chiba, Japan.
Dr. Jonas’s view: “We know so little about the mystery of life and the body that we need to consider all systems and explanations for their wisdom.”Website
Gunver Sophia Kienle, MDCo-founder of and senior research scientist at the Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology at the University of Witten-Herdecke, Freiburg, Germany, and senior scientist at the University Centre for Complementary Medicine, University of Freiburg
Gunver Sophia Kienle, MD
studied medicine in Witten-Herdecke and Göttingen, Germany, and received methodological training at Harvard University in the USA. She is co-founder of and senior research scientist at the Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology at the University of Witten-Herdecke, Freiburg, Germany. She is also senior scientist at the University Centre for Complementary Medicine, University of Freiburg.
Dr. Kienle’s research interests and activities include clinical trials on anthroposophic medicine, mistletoe therapy, eurythmy therapy, placebo effects, clinical research methodology, clinical judgement, single-case study designs, case reporting, cognition-based medicine, systematic reviews on pre-clinical and clinical studies on mistletoe therapy, and reviews on tumor biology, tumor immunology, bacterial vaccine therapy, and system approaches in medicine. Dr Kienle has conducted a health technology assessment report on anthroposophic medicine.
Dr. Kienle is a member of the Commission C for Anthroposophic Medicinal Products at the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices in Bonn, Germany, and a member of the German Network Evidence-based Medicine. From 2012-2016 she was editor in the journal Global Advances in Health and Medicine. Dr Kienle has published five books and about 150 papers, articles, book chapters and monographs. She organized the International Conference on Integrative Medicine in Stuttgart, 2016, together with the AIHM.Website
John Laird, MDFounder of the Great Smokies Medical Center and Shafiyy Institute of Health and Healing and co-founded the Great Smokies Diagnostic Lab
John Laird, MD
has been on the forefront of the holistic medicine movement for forty years. In 1980 he founded the Great Smokies Medical Center and co-founded the Great Smokies Diagnostic Lab to expand innovative and comprehensive patient care options. During the following 15 years, he provided care for nearly 10,000 families.
Early in his professional experience, Dr. Laird noted that “body-mind-spirit” medicine generally lacked the deeper understandings of how to bring healing and transformation to the “spirit.” In the early 1980s, he organized several major conferences exploring scientific and spiritual perspectives on healing, attracting over 5,000 participants in three years. Dr. Laird is a co-founder and past president of the University of Spiritual Healing & Sufism. He played a leading role in shaping academic and clinical instruction on the application of the classical Sufi perspectives, including as they relate to health and healing.
In 2014, Dr. Laird founded the Shafiyy (sha-fee) Institute of Health and Healing that seeks to integrate Sufi healing techniques into the spectrum of evidence-based, integrative therapeutics. For patients with cancer and their families, the Institute intends to offer comprehensive care and deep support. In 2017, he completed Dr. Mark Renneker’s advanced training in medical advocacy with a specific focus on oncology patients. Dr. Laird readily collaborates with other practitioners who see cancer not as a death sentence, but as an opportunity for greater aliveness, personal transformation and deeper love.Website
Dawn Lemanne, MD, MPHFounder of Oregon Integrative Oncology and graduate of the University of Arizona’s two-year integrative medicine fellowship
Dawn Lemanne, MD, MPH
founder of Oregon Integrative Oncology, is a Stanford-trained and board-certified oncologist whose practice combines advanced conventional treatments with evidence-based complementary therapies. She seeks out the best conventional treatment, then employs personalized lifestyle interventions to enhance treatment efficacy and maximize survival after a cancer diagnosis. She is particularly involved in using genetic and metabolic parameters to personalize diet and exercise recommendations.
Dr. Lemanne attended UCSF School of Medicine and completed a three-year internal medicine residency at Henry Ford Hospital in inner-city Detroit. She completed a medical oncology fellowship at Stanford University. Dr. Lemanne holds advanced degrees in epidemiology from UC Berkeley and in science writing from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Lemanne is also a graduate of the University of Arizona’s two-year integrative medicine fellowship. Following graduation she joined the faculty of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. There she served as the first medical oncologist in the integrative medicine service.
Dr. Lemanne continues her association with the University of Arizona., developing much of the current oncology curriculum for UA’s Integrative Medicine Fellowship, including the popular courses “Breast Cancer” and “Nutrition and Cancer.” She lectures widely on integrative oncology, and has authored textbook chapters, peer-reviewed scientific papers, and works for the lay press, including the book “n of 1,” with coauthor Glenn Sabin.Website
BJ Miller, MDPractitioner at UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and faculty at UCSF California
BJ Miller, MD
powerfully advocates for the roles of our senses, community and presence in designing a better ending, informed by his own experiences as a patient. His interests are in working across disciplines to effect broad-based culture change, cultivating a civic model for aging and dying and furthering the message that suffering and dying are fundamental and intrinsic aspects of life.
Dr. Miller invites us to think about and discuss the end of our lives through the lens of a mindful, human-centered model of care, one that embraces dying not as a medical event but rather as a universally shared life experience.
BJ is a longtime hospice and palliative care physician and educator. He’s been on faculty at his alma mater, UCSF, since 2007 where he’s worked in all settings of care: hospital, clinic, residential facility and home. He now sees patients and families at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.Website
Leroy Lowe, PhDPresident and co-founder of Getting to Know Cancer
Leroy Lowe, PhD
is the president and co-founder of Getting to Know Cancer, a Canadian non-governmental organization that led the Halifax Project, an initiative that involved 350 cancer scientists in 31 countries. Within that project, a large task force focused on the development of a “broad-spectrum” integrative design for cancer prevention and therapy to leverage the rapid advances in our understanding of cancer biology. The goal has been to develop a robust approach to therapy utilizing precise combinations of nontoxic chemicals extracted from plants and foods. This work laid the foundation for a groundbreaking new direction for the treatment of advanced cancers.
Dr. Lowe is a polymath, scientist, social entrepreneur and committed leader who is focused on leading large-scale international initiatives than can leverage science in ways that will benefit humankind. He has corporate senior management experience and currently serves as the president of three NGOs.Website
Dwight L. McKee, MDOncologist-hematologist and co-author of After Cancer Care: The Definitive Self-Care Guide to Getting and Staying Well for Patients with Cancer and other works
Dwight L. McKee, MD
is a board-certified oncologist-hematologist. In 1976 he was named associate medical director of Integral Health Services in Putnam, Connecticut—the first integrative medicine clinic on the east coast. Over the next twelve years he studied and practiced nutritional and mind-body medicine, along with a full range of complementary medicine disciplines.
Through working with cancer patients in his practice, he became increasingly interested in cancer medicine. After becoming board certified in internal medicine, he completed a three-year fellowship in hematology and oncology at Scripps Clinic, in La Jolla, California, and subsequently became board certified in both disciplines. He was also a visiting scientist at The Scripps Research Institute immunology division for two years, where he pursued advanced studies in immunology and performed laboratory research in tumor immunology.
Since completing training in medical oncology, hematology and immunology, Dr. McKee has been involved in the development of integrative cancer care, working to create a synthesis between conventional cancer medicine and alternative/complementary medicine. In 2003, he became board certified in nutrition by the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists of the American College of Nutrition, and in 2007 he became board certified in integrative and holistic medicine through the American Board of Holistic Medicine. He subsequently practiced medical oncology and hematology for three years in Kalispell, Montana.
Since January 2001, he has served as scientific director of Life Plus International in Batesville, Arkansas. Dr. McKee is co-author of After Cancer Care: The Definitive Self-Care Guide to Getting and Staying Well for Patients with Cancer and co-author of a text on interactions between drugs, nutrients, and botanicals, published by Elsevier Science in 2008. Dr. McKee’s experience in medical research, nutritional science, immunology, chemistry, oncology and complementary medicine make him one of the most knowledgeable researchers and clinicians worldwide.Website
Ralph Moss, PhDFounder and director of The Moss Reports
Ralph Moss, PhD
founder and director of The Moss Reports and the leading chronicler of integrative cancer treatments, is one of the most senior and significant resources in the field. As a medical writer Dr. Moss has been thinking and writing about cancer—especially its less-conventional treatments—for over 40 years. During this time he has written or edited twelve books and three film documentaries on questions relating to research and treatment. Moss is a graduate of New York University (BA cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1965) and Stanford University (MA, 1973, PhD, 1974, Classics). The former science writer and assistant director of public affairs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York (1974-1977), Dr. Moss has independently evaluated the claims of most conventional and non-conventional cancer treatments. He currently writes The Moss Reports, detailed and annually updated reports on the 40 most common cancer diagnoses. Reports are updated every year.Website
Dean Ornish, MDPresident and founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and clinical professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
Dean Ornish, MD
is president and founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and clinical professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. Dr. Ornish has worked with heart disease, prostate cancer, diabetes and pre-diabetes, depression and other conditions with a program that includes nutrition, fitness, stress management, and love and support.Website
Santosh Rao, MDMedical director of integrative oncology at University Hospitals Connor Whole Health and director of medical oncology for genitourinary cancer at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center
Santosh Rao, MD
is a medical oncologist, the medical director of integrative oncology at University Hospitals Connor Whole Health, and director of medical oncology for genitourinary cancer at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center. He is the 2022-23 president-elect of the Society for Integrative Oncology. Dr. Rao is also the host of the podcast Integrative Oncology Talk, with support from the Society for Integrative Oncology.
After graduating from the University of Michigan Medical School and completing a residency program in internal medicine at the University of California San Diego, Dr. Rao completed a fellowship in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona and later obtained a board certification in integrative medicine through the American Board of Integrative Medicine. Dr. Rao has trained in Ayurveda and Healing Touch. He also attended the Leadership Program in Integrative Medicine at Duke University. His research interests include genitourinary oncology, sleep, and integrative medicine implementation and program development.Website
Rachel Naomi Remen, MDClinical professor of Family and Community Medicine at UCSF School of Medicine and founder and director of the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness
Rachel Naomi Remen, MD
is clinical professor of Family and Community Medicine at UCSF School of Medicine and the founder and director of the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. She is one of the pioneers of relationship-centered care and integrative medicine. US News and World Report Best Graduate Schools has called The Healer’s Art, her groundbreaking curriculum for medical students, “A profoundly innovative curriculum on reintegrating the heart and soul into contemporary medicine and restoring medicine to its integrity as a calling and a work of healing.” The Healer’s Art is now taught yearly in more than half of American medical schools and in medical schools in seven countries abroad.
Dr. Remen was one of the first to recognize and document the psychological and spiritual impact of cancer on people and their families. She is a co-founder and medical director of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, one of the first support groups for cancer patients in America, featured in the groundbreaking 1993 Bill Moyer’s PBS series Healing and the Mind. Through her television appearances and lectures, she has reminded many thousands of people of their power to grow beyond their current challenges and heal themselves. Dr. Remen’s New York Times bestselling books, Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings have sold more than a million copies and been translated into 23 languages.
Dr. Remen has a 60-year personal history of Crohn’s disease, and her teaching and writing is a unique synthesis of the wisdom and courage of physician and patient.Website
Mark Renneker, MDAssistant clinical professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco
Mark Renneker, MD
is assistant clinical professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Renneker writes: “I have developed a San Francisco-based private medical consultative practice which, since 1988, has provided intensive research and advocacy services to hundreds of patients, family members, and other healthcare providers…About half of the cases I work with are cancer-related, most often dealing with high-risk, recurrent, and metastatic disease…The general approach I take in my practice is to try to put the patient (and family) in charge of their overall case (and health) by learning to be in charge of their case with me (i.e., patient-directed consultations). To accomplish this necessitates, from the outset of the work, my going to where they are, meaning that I need to do everything possible to understand their feelings, fears, confusion, frustrations, hopes, and desires, as well as their physical symptoms and suffering; I need to take up their side in dealing with the disease, their doctors and the healthcare system—my alliance, my bond, is to them, less so the profession. I find that doing this work by phone actually facilitates empowerment and intimacy (e.g., their being at home (not in some doctor’s office), using such a familiar communication medium as the telephone—which many of them use professionally and with great authority).
In addition to patients not receiving enough time from their physicians, the other general problems I commonly see are family ignored, under-treated pain, incorrect or absent diagnosis, no prognosis given, hasn’t consulted elsewhere and false hopelessness. Specific areas that most often need to be addressed:
- Completeness and accuracy of the medical record
- Additional tests, consultations, and research that may be needed
- Mainstream, experimental, complementary and alternative treatment possibilities
- Nutritional and physical considerations (including exercise, sleep, and sexuality)
- Psychological, spiritual, and family considerations
- Primary, preventive and wellness care
- Quality of life, pain and symptom control and end-of-life planning
- Quality of care to date
- Communication with healthcare providers
- Advocacy within the healthcare system
Dugald Seely, ND, MScFounder and executive director of The Centre for Health Innovation (CHI) and executive director for research and clinical epidemiology at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
Dugald Seely, ND, MSc
is a naturopathic doctor and clinician scientist living in Ottawa, Canada. Dr. Seely serves patients living with cancer in clinic and is active in research building on the base of evidence for integrative and naturopathic oncology. Helping to pioneer the delivery and development of integrative oncology, Dr. Seely is the founder and executive director of the The Centre for Health Innovation (CHI); an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine; executive director for research and clinical epidemiology at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine; and president of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP). Dr. Seely has led numerous clinical trials and synthesis research over the past 18 years and has published and presented internationally. Dugald is the father of two and most happy when spending time with his family in the wild outdoors.Website
Leanna J. Standish, PhD, ND, LAc, FABNOProfessor for the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University, and clinical professor for the School of Public Health at the University of Washington
Leanna J. Standish, PhD, ND, LAc, FABNO
is a professor for the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University, a clinical professor for the School of Public Health at the University of Washington, and affiliate research professor in the University of Washington’s School of Medicine’s radiology department. Dr. Standish is also the medical director of the Bastyr Integrative Oncology Research Center (BIORC) and a professor at the Bastyr University Research Institute.
Sr. Standish has served as principal investigator on several National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grants since 1994. She is a neuroscientist and a naturopathic physician who is board-certified in naturopathic oncology. Currently her research is focused on the Asian medicinal mushroom Trametes versicolor in the treatment of breast and prostate cancer, functional brain imaging in the treatment of brain cancer, and the development of integrative oncology outcomes studies. New projects using IV resveratrol and IV curcumin to treat cancer are being developed.
In 2010, Dr. Standish became the co-principal investigator for the Bastyr/UW Oncomycology Translational Research Center, NIH/NCCAM (U19); PSK as Neoadjuvant Therapy for Locally Advanced Breast Cancer Principal; and the Breast Cancer Integrative Oncology: Prospective Matched Controlled Outcomes Study, a partnership with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She has provided adjunctive naturopathic medical care to hundreds of cancer patients and has worked collaboratively with Seattle-area oncologists to provide integrated conventional/CAM care.
A founding board member of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Dr. Standish was board certified in naturopathic oncology in 2006. Her recognition by the oncology community as an expert in naturopathic medicine is evidenced by her being voted one of Seattle’s Best Physicians in the Seattle Metropolitan Magazine in 2002, 2004 and 2008. She has been a member of both the NIH and the Department of Defense study sections for scientific review of CAM research in cancer. Dr. Standish has served as a CAM oncology advisor to MD Anderson Cancer Center.Website
Gwendolyn Stritter, MDAnesthesiologist and past director of the Kaiser San Jose Pain Medicine Clinic
Gwendolyn Stritter, MD
is board-certified in anesthesiology. She was also certified in pain medicine from 1996 to 2016 and served as the director of the Kaiser San Jose Pain Medicine Clinic for 10 years. Wishing to pursue a more patient-centered style of practice, Gwen subsequently trained with Dr. Mark Renneker, honing her medical advocacy skills to help those with life-threatening health problems. Her own high risk for breast cancer led her to focus on that area in particular.
During her 13 years of clinical advocacy practice, she appeared on radio, lectured and wrote many articles on medical advocacy. She also coauthored the chapter on clinical advocacy in the textbook Patient Advocacy for Healthcare Quality: Strategies for Achieving Patient-Centered Care (2007).
As fate would have it, Dr. Stritter was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. Although side effects of treatment forced closure of her medical advocacy practice, she continues to enjoy attending several breast cancer conferences every year, learning best integrative oncology practices and mentoring the next generation of breast cancer medical advocates.
Debu Tripathy, MDProfessor of medicine and chair of the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Debu Tripathy, MD
is professor of medicine and chair of the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
A graduate of Duke University Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and certified in medical oncology and internal medicine, Dr. Tripathy has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles.
Dr. Tripathy’s clinical research focuses on evaluating and developing new breast cancer therapies. He has published numerous original laboratory and clinical research articles in the area of breast cancer and serves on several editorial boards, study sections, and societies. He is also editor-in-chief of CURE Magazine and The American Journal of Hematology/Oncology. He previously served as president of the American Society of Breast Disease and of the Society for Integrative Oncology.Website
Andrew Weil, MDLeader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine and New York Times best-selling author
Andrew Weil, MD
is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine. Combining a Harvard education and a lifetime of practicing natural and preventive medicine, he is the founder and director of the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, where he is a clinical professor of medicine and professor of public health.
A New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Weil is the author of 15 books on health and well-being, including Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better, and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own; Fast Food, Good Food; True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure; Spontaneous Happiness; Healthy Aging; and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health.
Dr. Weil is a frequent guest on talk shows and the lecture circuit. He is the editorial director of DrWeil.com, the leading online resource for healthy living based on the philosophy of integrative medicine. He is also a founder and partner in the growing family of True Food Kitchen restaurants. In partnership with Seabourn and The Onboard Spa by Steiner, his “Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil” mindful-living program is offered on all of the Seabourn cruise ships.Website
Heather Wright, ND, FABNOPresident of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians and co-research director for the KNOW project
Heather Wright, ND, FABNO
is president of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians and co-research director for the KNOW project, a searchable database of integrative oncology clinical trials. Dr. Wright is board-certified in naturopathic oncology with 12 years of experience working in hospital-based oncology teams.
Dr. Wright is a volunteer and clinical board member for Gilda’s club and Cancer Support Community and is a lecturer, writer and consultant for research and publication projects in integrative oncology. Dr. Wright has published articles in journals such as Current Oncology, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, and Natural Medicine Journal and consults with organizations to incorporate integrative providers and treatments into clinical settings.
Dr. Wright currently offers private consultations for people and families affected by cancer to provide expertise on natural therapies for integrative oncology care plans. Dr. Wright works with clients both in person in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and by tele-consultation at Goodapplewellness.com.Website
Cancer, health, and wellness advisors
yvonne charlesPast executive director at Charlotte Maxwell Clinic
is the past executive director at Charlotte Maxwell Clinic, a free state-licensed integrative care clinic for low-income women with cancer. Charles has worked in various capacities in the nonprofit healthcare field for over 25 years. In addition, she is a tireless peace activist both in the US and internationally.Website
Rob FeraruVeteran of metastatic kidney cancer since 2000
a veteran of metastatic kidney cancer since 2000, writes: Before cancer, I worked for 7 years in the state senate, and then served for 18 years in senior management positions at the California Public Utilities Commission. I attended the Commonweal Cancer Help Program (CCHP) in October of 2005. I’ve been active in the CCHP community and Healing Circles since then, and have been part of the East Bay and SF/Peninsula Hearts groups. These days, my life centers around healing. Healing our selves, healing our beloveds, and healing our wounded planet. Our circles are a wonderful way to demonstrate the power of group intention and deep listening in the warmth of a safe container. I look forward to learning from the gathered wisdom. May we all find healing.
Steve Heilig, MPHAssociate executive director of Public Health and Education at the San Francisco Marin Medical Society and senior staff at the Collaborative on Health and the Environment
Meg Cadoux HirshbergFounder of the Anticancer Lifestyle Program
Meg Cadoux Hirshberg
is the founder of the Anticancer Lifestyle Program (ACLP), a free, online, evidence-based lifestyle transformation course for cancer survivors. The ACLP provides participants with the tools and information they need to make and sustain changes in the areas of diet, fitness, stress management and toxic exposure. Meg’s nonprofit, the Anticancer Lifestyle Foundation, supports the maintenance and dissemination of the ACLP. She was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2001 and credits an anticancer lifestyle with her excellent quality of life since her diagnosis.
For 15 years, Meg was a freelance nonfiction writer whose work appeared in Yankee, New Hampshire magazine, and the Boston Globe magazine, among other publications. For six years, she was a columnist and contributing editor for Inc. magazine, writing a regular column called “Balancing Acts,” which explored work-life balance and the intersection of family and business in an entrepreneurial setting. Meg’s book, For Better or For Work: A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families, expands on her column topics. Axiom Business Book Awards, AMEX Open Forum, and Entrepreneur magazine cited Meg’s book as one of the best business books of 2012. Meg has written two yogurt cookbooks. She also serves as a director of the Environmental Working Group.
Rebecca Katz, MSFounder of the Healing Kitchens Institute and author of several health-promoting cookbooks
Rebecca Katz, MS
is a nationally recognized expert on the role of food in supporting health for the chronically ill. With a master of science in health and nutrition education, Ms. Katz is founder of the Healing Kitchens Institute and has been a visiting chef and nutrition educator at the Commonweal Cancer Help Program for more than a decade. Ms Katz is the author of the award-winning cookbook, The Cancer Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing Big Flavor Recipes for Cancer and Treatment and Beyond, plus The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the 16 Top Age-busting Power Foods as well as One Bite at a Time: Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Survivors and Their Friends. Her fourth book, The Healthy Mind Cookbook: Big Flavor Recipes to Enhance Brain Function, Mood, Memory and Mental Clarity was published in February 2015.
Adam Lerner, MDProfessor of medicine, director of hematology training and acting chair of hematology-oncology at Boston University School of Medicine
Diana LindsayCo-founder of Healing Circles Langley and director of Training and Communications for Healing Circles Global
was CEO of Lindsay Communications when she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2006. Now a long-term survivor, she has dedicated her life to helping others explore the power of deep intentional healing.
In 2015, she and her husband Kelly founded Healing Circles Langley on Whidbey Island, a secular sanctuary that provides social and emotional support free of charge to anyone who comes in. The center offers several services:
- A drop-in Circle of Two program offered by volunteers trained in generous listening
- Healing Circles for cancer, grief, chronic pain, race, gender and aging
- Learning Circles for those learning a healing skill, diving into a topic, or building community
- Discovery Circles for self-exploration through the arts
- Caring Circles for those who care for self and others
Lindsay is also the director of Training and Communications for Healing Circles Global, an international learning community for intentional healing. She is the author of Something More Than Hope, her story of surviving despite the odds, thriving because of them.
Carole O’Toole, MSDirector of the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts Institute of Integrative Oncology Navigation
Carole O’Toole, MS
is director of the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts Institute of Integrative Oncology Navigation (IION). IION includes their hospital and community-based patient navigation programs, integrative navigation services, and professional trainings and educational programs. Ms. O’Toole is the creator of Smith Center’s Integrative Navigation Model, and she co-created and facilitates national professional trainings in integrative oncology patient navigation. Ms. O’Toole also directs residential retreat programs for cancer patients and caregivers and leads the center’s integrative navigation team. Ms. O’Toole has been an advocate for integrative cancer care for over 20 years and is the author of two books on integrative cancer care: Healing Outside the Margins and Cancer Community Healing Network.
Julia H. Rowland, PhDFounding director of the Psycho-Oncology Program at Georgetown University and the Lombardi Cancer Center and past director of the National Cancer Institute Office of Cancer Survivorship
Julia H. Rowland, PhD
is a long-time clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of psychosocial aspects of cancer. She has worked with and conducted competitively funded research among both pediatric and adult cancer survivors, and published broadly in psycho-oncology, including co-editing with the late Dr. Jimmie Holland the groundbreaking text Handbook of Psychooncology.
Dr. Rowland received her doctorate in developmental psychology from Columbia University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in psychosocial oncology. While at MSKCC, where she held joint appointments in pediatrics and neurology, Dr. Rowland helped to develop and was the first director of the Post-Treatment Resource Program, an innovative resource designed to provide a full range of non-medical services to patients and their families after the end of treatment.
In 1990 Dr. Rowland moved to Washington, DC, to become founding director of the Psycho-Oncology Program at Georgetown University and the Lombardi Cancer Center. Nine years later, in September of 1999, she was recruited to the National Cancer Institute to become the first full-time director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship (OCS). As OCS director Dr. Rowland helped build the visibility of the office and created numerous governmental and nonprofit partnerships to advance public awareness about and funding for research addressing the healthcare and quality of life needs of the growing population of cancer survivors of all ages, and their families. After 18 years in this role, Dr. Rowland retired from federal service in September 2017 and assumed her current position as Senior Strategic Advisor at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, a small nonprofit organization that has been providing integrative support services to cancer patients and their families in the heart of Washington, DC, for over twenty years.
Ted Schettler, MD, MPHAuthor of The Ecology of Breast Cancer and science director of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment and the Science and Environmental Health Network
Ted Schettler, MD, MPH
science director of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment and the Science and Environmental Health Network, works closely with us in our cancer work and is the author of The Ecology of Breast Cancer. “[He] has worked extensively with community groups and non-governmental organizations throughout the US and internationally, addressing many aspects of human health and the environment. He has served on advisory committees of the US EPA and National Academy of Sciences. He is co-author of Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the Environment, which examines reproductive and developmental health effects of exposure to a variety of environmental toxicants. He is also co-author of In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, which discusses the impact of environmental exposures on neurological development in children, and Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging: With a Closer Look at Alzheimer’ and Parkinson’s Diseases.
Kelly Turner, PhDAuthor of Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds
Kelly Turner, PhD
is the New York Times bestselling author of Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, now in 20 languages, which summarizes her research into the radical remission of cancer—when someone heals from cancer without Western medicine or after Western medicine has failed. Over the past decade, she has conducted research in 10 different countries and analyzed over 1,500 cases of radical remission. She is also the founder of the Radical Remission Project website, which continues to collect new cases of Radical Remission and offers online courses, in-person workshops, and one-on-one health coaching.
Fredi Kronenberg, PhDFounding advisor of BCCT/CancerChoices
Fredi Kronenberg, PhD
was a founding advisor of BCCTBeyond Conventional Cancer Therapies (predecessor website to CancerChoices)/CancerChoices. Dr. Kronenberg was founding director of the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine, one of the first 10 Centers funded by the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Her affiliations were with The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine, and the New York Botanical Garden. Dr. Kronenberg initiated CME courses including “Botanical Medicine in Modern Clinical Practice” (1996-2005) and “Integrative Pain Medicine” (2002-2006), and is co-director with Dr. Andrew Weil of “Nutrition and Health: State of the Science and Clinical Applications.” Dr. Kronenberg was a founding editor of the Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine: Research on Paradigm, Practice and Policy. She was a founding member of the Consortium of Academic Medical Centers for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and on the Board of Trustees of the American Botanical Council. Dr. Kronenberg lived for a decade with a lung cancer that had a typical life expectancy of one year. She worked intensively with BCCT/CancerChoices advisors Donald Abrams, MD; Keith Block, MD; Dwight McKee, MD; and Mark Renneker, MD; as well as with gifted mainstream oncologists.