Adjunctive Cancer Treatment at Pacific Naturopathic

Photo: Thanks to Artem Kovalev on Unsplash

by Connie Hernandez, ND

When Dr. Marcel and I started our practice in the early 1990s, most of our patients were the earthy folk you would expect to find in rural Brattleboro, Vermont.

We treated their respiratory ailments, high cholesterol, wounds, and gynecologic complaints. We saw lots of pregnant mothers, babies, and young children, and we drew blood and ran tests. We were generally doing what the old-time satchel-carrying rural doctor used to do.

Dr. Connie Hernandez, ND

But that all changed in the mid-1990s when we moved to California, and found ourselves treating a completely different host of ailments. Now, the issues were cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal complaints, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Because naturopathic medicine wasn’t legal in California at the time, and our physical and gynecological exams weren’t insurance-eligible, we moved away from a hands-on approach and became health consultants who could offer well-informed advice based on solid research and long experience.

Today, many of our patients come to us with autoimmune issues and un-diagnosable constellations of symptoms for which conventional medicine has no answers; also, environmentally sourced illnesses, and concerns that might be treatable with “lifestyle medicine.”

We’ve always seen cancer patients, especially since the early 2000s when we began offering breast thermography exams. These days, the cancer patients’ numbers are increasing, not only because cancer on the rise, but because cancer patients today are actively seeking alternatives to conventional approaches.

It’s not simply that they’re resisting the “cut-burn-poison” bias of modern medicine; there’s a growing awareness that conventional treatments do not address the underlying causes that create cancer.

Also, the terrible side-effects of traditional therapies, which may even include the formation of new cancers, are anathema to our patients. Not to mention that these draconian treatments are effective consistently for only a small number of cancers.

This is why our patients have chosen naturopathy to play an increasingly prominent role in their treatment.

The Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP) is growing. Its members are sharing cutting-edge alternative treatments, and a small group of committed OncANP doctors have partnered with conventional oncologists to encourage ongoing research on natural therapies, to expand the growing database of alternative treatments, and to find effective ways to integrate naturopathic protocols with the usual medical therapies.

It is illegal in the U.S. for anyone other than an oncologist to be a cancer patient’s primary treatment specialist. Naturopathic doctors are licensed only to offer “adjunctive” care.

What does this mean? How do we help our patients?

We work with the dietary and other lifestyle factors that may have contributed to the cancer, and we offer support for the emotional issues our patients face when they’re diagnosed.

Our protocols help to lighten or drastically reduce the side-effects of conventional treatment while increasing the effectiveness of traditional care.

A thoroughly tested and proven example is our adjunctive intravenous therapies that help cancer patients better tolerate medical treatment while raising their energy and enhancing their bodies’ ability to fight the disease.

We feel it’s tremendously important to offer our patients a team that will help them clearly understand their options and provide them with a strong network of communal support.

Our cancer patients support each other and share upbeat conversation and much laughter in our IV treatment rooms. Our experience tells us that these clinical and humane aspects of cancer care greatly enhance our patients’ quality of life while increasing their odds of survival.

Read more about the medical services Dr. Connie offers: