Feeling inspired and connected to the strong, international community of integrative oncologists after the Integrative Medicine Meeting, I set off on a 10-day tour of cancer clinics in Europe. I hope you enjoy this roundup about three of the clinics I visited as well as images of their gorgeous and healing spaces.
Chemothermia Oncology Center
My first stop with the Chemothermia Oncology Center in Istanbul, Turkey. The founder of this clinic, Professor Bulent Berkarda, was the first EVER licensed oncologist in the country of Turkey. Professor Berkarda rounded the Oncology Department at Istanbul University, the Turkish Society of Oncology, and the Turkish Society of Chemotherapy. For the last 45 years, this man has been the backbone of cancer care in Turkey and the one to sign off on all of the graduating oncologists. Professor Berkarda works with two other doctors in his center: Dr. Iyikesici and Dr. Slocum.
The Chemothermia Oncology Center has historically been very conventional, relying on standard chemotherapy, radiation, and surgical protocols to treat cancer. Then in 2010, they had a colleague who was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and died in 20 days. At that point, they did some soul-searching. They thought about how far cancer research had come and yet how it still fell short. They stumbled upon the works of Seyfried (Cancer as a Metabolic Disease), Travis Christofferson (Tripping Over the Truth), and me (The Metabolic Approach to Cancer).
I then met Dr. Slocum at a conference in the US and began referring patients to their clinic. Now that the doctors at the Chemothermia clinic have started to include integrative therapies into their practice, they have some pretty amazing patient success stories—like patients with stage 4 disease who were initially sent home to die and now have no evidence of disease. In their published patient stories, there are a handful of patients who were shared clients of mine at Optimal Terrain Consulting, and it is so uplifting to see how they have thrived despite all odds.
I then met with Dr. Henning Saupe and Dr. Hatim Nour at the Arcadia Klinik in Bad Emstal, Germany. This is another clinic where I have referred patients and have shared client care. The Arcadia Klinik is a hospital setting that offers an integrative and metabolic approach, including thoughtful eating plans and a beautiful, healing environment.
The Arcadia Klinik is located at a natural, thermal spring, which the Germans refer to as a “bath” (Bad Emstal). These hot springs have healing waters, which are so integral to the history of hydrotherapy, nature cure, and naturopathic medicine. Visiting this clinic, as well as the Hufeland Klinik described next, really grounded me in the roots of my medicine.
Like the two clinics described above, I have also referred and shared patients with the doctors at the Hufeland Klinik. The Hufeland Klinik is located at another thermal bath in Germany (Bad Mergentheim). The clinic was founded by the late Wolfgang Woeppel, and it was his daughter who gave me a personal tour. It is a beautiful healing space, including a therapeutic painting room and views of the beautiful town that surrounds it.
The Hufeland Klinik is where one of the forefathers of naturopathic medicine, Sebastian Kneipp, sought care when he fell ill in the 1880s. Sebastian Kneipp wrote “My Water Cure,” which lay the foundation for the hydrotherapy treatments we still use today in naturopathic practice. It was an incredible feeling to walk the halls of a clinic with so much history and where so much healing has taken place.
Many of the clinics in Europe offer the best of both worlds—conventional and integrative. Their clinics incorporate chemotherapy at much lower dosages than their standard usage in the US, off-label drugs, and the metabolic therapies as well. As if it couldn’t get any better than the Integrative Medicine Meeting I had just attended at the Helixor campus in Rosenfeld, Germany, I rounded up my tour of cancer clinics feeling more grounded and inspired than ever.