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My experience as a medical oncologist, epidemiologist, and cancer geneticist has provided me with a deep understanding of cancer risk factors. Over two decades I have a breadth of experience helping individuals understand their personal cancer risk and minimize their risk for developing cancer. Because cancer cells grow exponentially, there is a long period of time that pre-cancer cells live within us before they present as a clinical diagnosis of cancer. During that time there are many opportunities to adopt behaviors that could keep them at bay, thus avoiding a cancer diagnosis altogether, or at least catching them in a pre-cancerous state. High-risk individuals, for instance those who carry mutations in high-susceptibility cancer genes (often called "cancer previvors"), are prescribed preventive regimens and high-risk screening. Average individuals are carefully evaluated to determine if genetic analysis is recommended. Finally, for cancer survivors, our health coaching programs not only help minimize risk of their known cancer from recurring, but also help reduce the risk of new cancers during cancer survivorship.
Please see the Cancer Prevention Movement website for an abbreviated curriculum vitae, which details my post-graduate training and board certifications:
After nearly 20 years of working in cancer center settings, I witnessed the trials and triumphs of many patients and their families. But when I lost a grandmother and an uncle to cancer, it really became personal. That is when I decided to go back to graduate school during my medical oncology fellowship to study epidemiology and subsequently genetics to pursue a career as a preventive oncologist. However, when I experienced my own life-altering tragedy, I was able to see first-hand the cost of sacrificing self-care while taking care of others. It was during my own journey back to health that I became exposed to lifestyle medicine and transformational health coaching. The role as a coach-partner is very different from that of a doctor-advisor, yet the skills for each compliment each other quite well. I have been able to successfully marry the two to meet clients where they are and guide them to where they would like to be in their health.
Individuals may come to see me for an Outsmart Cancer Consultation or a Discover Your 360-Wellness Session as their first visit.
For those who come to me for an Outsmart Cancer Consultation, they are often quite surprised to hear how common cancer is, how many cancers are preventable, and what their personal risk factors are and are not. They leave the consultation feeling empowered, with a comprehensive risk assessment report that includes personalized risk-based recommendations for screening and prevention.
For those who come to me for a Discover Your 360-Wellness Session, people are often struck by how approachable and down to earth that I am. I listen to both what they say and what they don't say (through nonverbal communication), until I fully understand their health goals and the obstacles encountered up until the time of evaluation. And as a coach, which is my role for this service, I always emphasize choice, which often surprises people who are used to the more paternalistic style of most physicians. Finally, a huge emphasis of my health coaching relies on mindset and mindfulness, integrating alternative modalities in with lifestyle medicine.
It is a fallacy to think that all adults, with all of our diversity, would benefit from the same preventive recommendations or cancer screening protocols. The basis of any effective screening and prevention program is cancer risk assessment, as that will allow recommendations to apply to your specific scenario. This is why I say that the first step to No cancer is the Know your risk. I designed our Know4No quiz to help you see if you could benefit from a full cancer risk assessment. Take the Know4No quiz for free at