Ask The Doctor: Dr. Lucas Tims
Traditional Oncology versus Integrative Oncology
Understanding How They Can Work Together!
Story by Ann Butenas
While chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are typically the mainstays of treatment for cancer patients, there is also another therapeutic approach that deserves respectful consideration: integrative oncology (IO).
Dr. Lucas Tims, affectionately known as Dr. Lucas to his patients, serves as the Medical Director at the Riordan Clinic in Overland Park, Kansas. He is an expert on naturopathic oncology and integrative cancer care, specializing in IV vitamin C, mistletoe, ozone therapy, the immune system, and more. As a practitioner who focuses on “whole person” care, Dr. Lucas seeks to determine the underlying causes of illness and correct them through the application of natural, non-toxic modalities.
Exactly what is integrative oncology (IO)?
Integrated oncology can best be described as combining the wisdom of nature with the rigors of science. Its focus is on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. These treatments help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment.
“It is important for people to know integrative oncology is not an alternative to traditional treatments but rather it plays a supportive or complementary role. The two are not mutually exclusive,” emphasized Dr. Lucas. “Integrated oncology is more patient-focused rather than disease-focused medicine. There is a large umbrella of non-traditional approaches to support patients before, during and after traditional treatments. IO can help reduce risk factors and manage the side effects often associated with those traditional treatments.”
What are some of the therapies offered by the Riordan Clinic for cancer patients?
Among the therapies Dr. Lucas offers are IV Vitamin C and Mistletoe, both of which assist the immune system, which often gets hit hard during traditional treatments, leaving the patient susceptible to subsequent illness and infection.
“Vitamin C has a multitude of benefits with cancer and more,” said Dr. Lucas. “It is one of the best antiviral agents available, with the ability to neutralize and eliminate a wide range of toxins. Intravenous Vitamin C is complementary to oncologic care, so patients may continue their conventional cancer therapies if they choose to do so.”
Used by Dr. Lucas for eight years, Mistletoe therapy is offered through a subcutaneous injection and is designed to simulate an immune response. It involves extracts from the mistletoe plant and has shown to have tumor-inhibiting properties as well as support to the immune system. This therapy has few side effects and can mitigate the ill effects of chemotherapy, such as fatigue, depression, nausea and vomiting. It also helps improve emotional well-being and concentration.
“This treatment, which underwent a large-scale study at Johns Hopkins, helps harness the immune system,” indicated Dr. Lucas.
Am I genetically predisposed to cancer?
Dr. Lucas prefers to do a deep dive when it comes to the assessment of his patients, understanding the root causes and contributing factors of disease.
“Cancer is not just a matter of bad luck,” he indicated. “Genetics plays a very small part of it. We look at a patient’s diet, sleep patterns, emotions, nutrient deficiencies and toxin overload, all of which can play a part in disease. As we determine what the factors are for each patient, then we can figure out how to correct them.”
Dr. Lucas also referenced exercise as an integral player to wellness.
“This falls under the lifestyle umbrella,” he said. “Exercise is probably the best drug ever invented, yet it tends to get pushed aside first as patients get busy with their treatments. There is no pill or supplement you can take to replace the benefits of exercise.”
Are more cancer patients considering the benefits of integrated oncology?
As Dr. Lucas indicated, patients are demanding more information, wondering what they can do to control and support themselves through their illness to achieve a better outcome and to prevent toxicity. As more and more research is conducted on IO, more traditional-leaning doctors are supporting this approach.
“The support and demand are growing,” emphasized Dr. Lucas. “And there is a lot of need for it in Kansas City and the surrounding areas.”
But what about the results?
“Success can be measured in many different ways,” noted Dr. Lucas. “Do patients want to be cured? Yes. However, what the focus is on with IO is a better quality of life. All evidence for therapies we use suggest an improved quality of life. While this is not always the case, it is often also equated with a longer life.”
Working with patients is highly rewarding for Dr. Lucas, as it helps him to keep things in perspective.
“Patients are enjoying better outcomes and they feel better. Their quality of life is improved, giving them more time to spend with loved ones,” he reflected. “Also, because many patients experience a better response, they do not have to deal with setbacks or delays with their traditional therapies.”
Dr. Lucas Tims, known as Dr. Lucas to his patients, is an expert on naturopathic oncology and integrative cancer care and specializes in IV vitamin C, mistletoe, ozone therapy, the immune system, and more. He serves as the Medical Director at the Riordan Clinic in Overland Park, Kansas. Originally from Northwest Arkansas, Dr. Lucas is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, where he majored in microbiology. He completed his medical training at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona before moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma for an oncology-focused residency program at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). In 2013, he passed his specialty boards designating him as a Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO). He is a member, and board member, of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians and the Society for Integrative Oncology. Dr. Lucas is a 2020 recipient of the Excellence in Healthcare for Cancer Care recognition by the Wichita Business Journal.
For more information on Integrative Oncology, the Riordan Clinic and Dr. Lucas, visit them online at riordanclinic.org or call 913-745-4757.
The main campus is located in Wichita, Kansas with an additional clinic in Hays, Kansas.