Expert in dermatology, oncology, and naturopathic medicine, Dr. Michael Traub [IG @mtraubnd] shares about his career and his recent recovery from invasive skin cancer.
Michael explains how being a nonconformist led him to find the kind of medicine he always wanted to practice, which has allowed him to provide more time and support to his patients. He’s been practicing as a naturopathic physician on the island of Hawaii since 1985.
His own medical history includes acne and superficial radiation treatment, being a triathlete, and a lot of sun exposure. He has had 40 or 50 skin cancers over the years. Two years ago, when his dermatologist suggested treating a lesion on his face, he asked to first biopsy the lesion. The biopsy revealed basal squamous cell carcinoma with perineural invasion. That is an ominous diagnosis when a cancer that doesn’t usually invade, has invaded the nearby nerve.
In this episode, Michael describes the path he took from surgery to radiation therapy, and then immunotherapy, to treat the cancer.
- Don’t treat a lesion on the skin until you know what it is.
- How to navigate cancer treatment and fear of death
- How practitioners can help patients with the medical system
- Importance of getting a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opinion
- How informed consent should be prioritized in patient care
- How meditation helped him along the way
- Why it’s important for everyone to have an annual skin check
There is a lot of “un-caring” that we experience as patients when navigating the medical system. It’s time for practitioners to help their patients with this process. It’s also important for patients to know that implementing self-care during their treatment and recovery process is essential.
Michael says he is healthier now than he was at the time of his diagnosis with cancer because it was a wake-up call that motivated him to change the things in his lifestyle that were not conducive to his own health and well-being.
If you are in the process of treating cancer, or know you are at risk of cancer, this episode will be such an inspiration to you. And if you are a practitioner, this is a rare chance to learn from Dr. Traub’s experience about how you can better serve your patients.
Sidenote: In this episode Dr. Traub mentions that I was married at the time I met him. I was divorced several years later and remain single.
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