Providing Complimentary Cancer Care With a Specialty in Culinary Nutrition. Meet Naturopathic Doctor & Author Dr. Lisa A. Price, MS, ND
Q: After you completed your education, where did you feel your career path would take you?
LP: I completed my education at Bastyr University with a degree in Naturopathic Medicine. I previously was a research scientist, a biochemist. My intent was to complete my naturopathic training and then apply it to research, to determine if natural therapies had any efficacy, and how they work.
In 2005, I was finally awarded a National Institute Health (NIH) Research Fellowship in immunology and oncology which spanned to 2010 and included both clinical research and bench science. We looked at the effect of an extract of Turkey tail mushroom on healthy immune systems, and those burdened with breast cancer. While I thought that I would be involved with research, I never guessed training in cancer when I first started.
Q: Can you share with our audience about your practice as a Naturopathic Physician?
LP: I provide complementary and integrative cancer care. What that means is that I work with cancer patients, their oncologists, and their oncology teams to help reduce side effects in a safe way that stays out of the way of treatment. My specialty is culinary nutrition during and after treatment.
After treatment, the focus with patients is to help their immune systems rebound, and to create a comprehensive plan that aids in remission and recovery. To do this, I pull on research done on two populations: Blue Zones – those places in the world where cancer and other chronic illnesses don’t exist, and those population where spontaneous remission of cancer have occurred. Plans for patients are tailored to vital characteristics found in both populations.
Q: Tell us about the book you co-authored, Cooking through Cancer Treatment to Recovery.
LP: Cooking through Cancer Treatment to Recovery was conceived in 2013 and published by Demos Health Inc., NYC in 2015. The motivation to write the book was because of needs expressed by my patients. I found that many of my patients wanted to talk about diet and how it can affect patient’s quality of life. I recruited a colleague who is a nutritionist and we wrote the book. The recipes are constructed to be directed at side effects and type of treatment patients are getting. Its extremely easy to use, recipes are user friendly and tasty. The book has been quite popular, even a pharmaceutical (chemotherapy company) vetted and purchased an enormous number to give to their patrons.
Q: Can you share a patent success story?
LP: In order to protect the confidentiality of patients, I can mention the general outcomes of my interventions. Many patients going through treatment experience decreased side effects, better quality of life, and better recovery. Certainly, they experience more feelings of self-control and self- determination during a time when they feel that they don’t.
Q: What other medical conditions can you assist patients with?
LP: I started my career in Women’s Health clinics, so I still treat women from pre to post-menopausal conditions. I also specialize in blood sugar regulation issues, and well as gastrointestinal conditions.
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
LP: Michelle Obama. I admire her grace and resilience. Most I admire her brilliance and humility.
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
LP: Access to opportunities. There are plenty of fully capable women in medicine and in research however these institutions are governed, lead and enculturated by men. While certainly these institutions have changed somewhat over time, men are still given more access to grants, and research positions. Their voices are somehow given priority over women’s. We competent women still persist; we are determined to make change. But its exhausting.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
LP: Be your authentic selves. Women listen, care and to connect deeply which translates to others, be they patients or otherwise. This applies to scientific research as well. We connect to an issue that we care about and commit to being curious about the answer, naturally.
Five Things About Dr. Lisa A. Price ND
1.If you could talk to one famous person past or present, who would it be and why?
Barbara McClintock (I had lunch with her as an undergraduate).
2. If money was no object, what would you do all day?
Forest Ranger/Conservation Biologist.
3. What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend?
Hiking or Mushroom Foraging.
4. Who is your favorite author and why?
Zora Neale Hurston; early anthropologist in the South.
5. What is your biggest fear?
Indifference and lack of curiosity.