Integrative Oncology and the Riordan Clinic Approach: Fighting Cancer Care
The Riordan Clinic specializes in evidence-based, natural treatments for complex chronic conditions, including cancer.
Story by Ann Butenas
If ever there was a place where nature and modern science could co-exist, it would be at the Riordan Clinic. With decades of experience helping people restore, improve and maintain health, the Riordan Clinic specializes in nutritional testing and holistic/natural treatments for complex illnesses. Patients from all over the country come to Riordan Clinic, which stands as the Midwest hub for integrative oncology.
A truly integrative approach to cancer
“As we were just beginning our cancer journey (not even 100% sure yet if it was a cancer journey), we had consulted with a couple of different traditional doctors/surgeons at the recommendation of my breast cancer conqueror coach. She knew our heart was to pursue a natural approach but also knew it sounded like I was going to need a more rapid response (i.e. surgery) given the growth speed of my tumor. She also recommended we meet with Dr. Lucas. I’ll admit, I was about eight months pregnant and felt pretty discouraged after the other consults, so I didn’t really want to come here either. But we trusted my coach’s recommendation and set up a consult. What a blissfully different consult! We felt listened to and understood and supported – like now we had a team member who could help us sort through all the traditional and natural options before us. I came away with a smile and a lightened heart; my husband and I both looked at each other and said we liked Dr. Lucas and the whole way the consult went. That was January, I believe. Since then I’ve had an induced delivery of our healthy, precious baby; a mastectomy; metronomic chemo; and through it all Riordan Clinic staff and Dr. Lucas have provided the natural support and care I need to help me through it. I genuinely missed “my” nurses when I was in Washington for chemotherapy, and it felt like a second homecoming the first time I came back after being away for three months. I know this journey isn’t over yet, and I’m so thankful that God brought us to the Riordan Clinic so we could have the help and naturally-minded, integrative knowledge to help guide us on this path.” ~ Anna M. (Nov 2020)
World experts in oncology care
Dr. Lucas Tims, a board-certified Naturopathic Oncologist, serves as the Medical Director of the Overland Park office. He is one of only a few Integrative Oncology experts in the Midwest. He has supported thousands of patients through their cancer journeys, incorporating natural therapies along with conventional cancer treatment.
As a graduate from the University of Arkansas with a degree in microbiology, Dr. Lucas completed his medical training at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona, and subsequently completed his residency at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dr. Lucas is a Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO).
What exactly is naturopathic oncology?
Simply put, Naturopathic Doctors combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. They view health and disease from a holistic perspective, identifying any barriers to achieving optimal health and helping the patient overcome them. Naturopathy recognizes the body’s innate ability to heal itself when there is an environment, both internal and external, to support the process. When applied to cancer, the aim is to create a healthy person while also combating the cancer itself. As a naturopathic physician, Dr. Lucas works extensively with cancer patients.
“We treat the whole person through many approaches often unaddressed in the conventional system,” explained Dr. Lucas. “We can support patients through all phases of care. We do, however, like to be involved as early in the process as possible.”
Dr. Lucas noted that in each phase of care, integrative oncology plays a unique role. Early on, the purpose is to get the body ready for treatments so it is strong and nutritionally balanced. This enables patients to withstand conventional therapies in a superior way. The results speak for themselves.
“We see patients undergoing chemotherapy who have almost zero side effects (from that treatment),” said Dr. Lucas. “The research bears that out, too. Many integrative oncology therapies have well-established benefits, including decreasing the side effects of conventional treatments that could potentially deter patients from completing those treatments. And, they don’t interfere with the efficacy of those treatments.”
Various integrative oncology treatments may also decrease long-term toxicity and can result in better outcomes with fewer setbacks for patients as they continue with their treatments.
“We look at integrative oncology as not only a support role to the patient but also as potential stand-alone therapies,” said Dr. Lucas, who indicated he has seen on a daily basis how the Riordan Clinic’s treatments lead to overall improved survival and extraordinary cases. In many cases, patients can even reduce their intake of prescription medication.
“I never take patients off their medication just to take them off,” said Dr. Lucas. “However, some have been able to reduce their prescriptions significantly in just a few months of treatment.”
A closer look at Integrative Oncology treatments
Dr. Lucas and the medical providers at Riordan Clinic utilize many different therapies for oncology patients depending on their individual needs. One such therapy is Intravenous Vitamin C.
“Intravenous Vitamin C,” Dr. Lucas explains, “helps to optimize the immune system. We use IV Vitamin C with all patients in some way, shape, or form for its wide array of benefits. It is usually tolerated well and bears no safety concerns.” Riordan Clinic is known worldwide for the research studies and protocol used for IV Vitamin C in the adjunctive treatment of cancer. These studies and protocol can be found on their website.
Another widely used treatment is mistletoe therapy. It was developed to support the immune system and is being researched as a potential cancer-killing treatment.
“This treatment stimulates the body’s immune cells to seek out, detect, and get rid of cancer cells,” emphasized Dr. Lucas. “This is done through subcutaneous injections or intravenously. It has been around for a long time and has been used in Europe for many years.”
Ozone therapy, another adjunct cancer therapy, produces an oxygenating effect in the body, preventing other infections that can potentially weaken the immune system.
“Tumors behave much like wounds,” explained Dr. Lucas. “Ozone therapy supports cancer patients in that it helps to decrease the risk of developing secondary infections that can further weaken the immune system by modifying the internal environment.”
All of the oncology treatments used at Riordan Clinic are safe, non-toxic, and produce minimal, if any, side effects.
The Riordan Clinic’s “whole-person” approach
“…going through both conventional and naturopathic cancer treatment[,] I can honestly say I would be in despair without Dr. Lucas and his team. They are the voices of hope and health that I need.” ~ Jill L. (Nov 2020)
Dr. Lucas emphasized his approach is not just about the treatments. It requires a deeper dive.
“We do a full evaluation of the patient,” he indicated. “We try to understand why people get cancer and put the pieces of that puzzle together.”
Although we all have cancer cells in our bodies, some people get cancer, and others do not. Why? It could result from high loads of environmental toxins; poor diet; an inactive lifestyle; chronic infections that go undiagnosed; and even hormonal imbalances.
“I call our approach ‘soil testing,’” said Dr. Lucas. “We look into the soil conditions and try to understand why the weeds grow there. We do a full immersion to reverse those adverse soil conditions, covering all aspects of integrated oncology: mind, body, and spirit. We are not just disease-focused but are also terrain-focused, supporting the entire body. Cancer is a normal response or compensatory reaction to an unhealthy environment. The key is to fix that environment.”
Dr. Lucas noted that one in two individuals will get cancer in their lifetimes. That does not sit well with him, and he seeks to change that trajectory.
“We need fundamental changes to move the needle with preventative measures,” he said. “There is so much that people can do on a daily basis to keep their bodies healthy. Prevention is hard, but the idea is to plant those seeds now so that you can have a payoff down the road.”
- Founded in 1975, Riordan Clinic is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
- Originally named “The Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning”.
- Three offices: Wichita, Hays, and Overland Park as well as telehealth options.
- Four full-time providers: Ron Hunninghake, MD, Lucas Tims, ND, FABNO, Dustin Moffitt, ND, and Mike Shaw, PA-C.
- Patients have traveled from all 50 states and over 54 countries for treatment.
- Approximately half of all patients seen are facing a cancer diagnosis.
- The Riordan Clinic published the research to develop the official protocol for using IV vitamin C as an adjunctive treatment for cancer. Approximately 4,000 infusions of Vitamin C are administered each year.
- The Nutrient Store at the Riordan Clinic is open to the public and offers more than 300 products from over 50 vendors.
- Nutrient Testing is provided through Bio-Center Laboratory as well as other laboratories specializing in this kind of testing.
- Education is a fundamental mission of the clinic. Hundreds of articles and videos are available at no cost by visiting riordanclinic.org.
On the horizon
“We are heavily driven by patient demand,” said Dr. Lucas. “Patients seek us out through word-of-mouth and researching alternative and adjunctive approaches to cancer. Our reach is growing exponentially.”
In response to that demand, the Riordan Clinic is expanding the menu of treatment offerings and creating flexible extended care programs that are designed to treat each person as an individual, partnering together to focus on the cancer journey and improve overall health.
The clinic is also expanding its Overland Park office to create a center dedicated to integrative oncology. The enhanced space will house an expanded supplement store, mindfulness space, enhanced treatment rooms, and new treatment offerings such as Infrared Sauna. The larger space enables Dr. Lucas and his team to serve more patients.
The providers at Riordan Clinic also encourage patients to educate themselves by utilizing a variety of resources focusing on nurturing a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise, sleep, environment, relationships, and communities, all of which can affect whether or not a person gets a disease.
“Our role is to provide the best care and hope, not false hope but true, tangible hope,” reflected Dr. Lucas. “As a result, our patients enjoy better outcomes, enjoy life, and are thriving – not just surviving. It is a game-changer for patients.”
For more information on Dr. Lucas and the Riordan Clinic, visit them online at riordanclinic.org or call (833) 985-7327
The Riordan Clinic is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) integrative medicine facility located in Overland Park with additional locations in Wichita and Hays.