Frequently Asked Questions – Cancer Care and Integrative Oncology
Below are some frequently asked questions we receive on a regular basis regarding our integrative cancer treatments; please read below and if you have any additional questions, please contact us at (949) 916-0089.
What can LifeSource Wellness Care do to help patients with a diagnosis of cancer or to help them recover from their Cancer Treatment?
How does LifeSource Wellness Care help patients with cancer?
LifeSource Wellness Care strives to find the very best treatment options to support our patients during the treatment of their cancer diagnosis. We look for answers and options we’d insist on for our own care or for the care of our loved ones. We ‘dig’ for answers where others do not. We coordinate our care with your oncologist, surgeons and radiation oncologists so we may optimize your treatment outcomes – including providing treatment to circumvent the complications and side effects often associated with chemotherapy treatment.
We also help patients that have completed their treatments and successfully beat cancer but need help with the resulting complications that we refer to as Post-Treatment Gap in Cancer Care. After surviving cancer, residual problems often plague these patients, and we have a variety of treatments that can help. Most traditional and integrative cancer treatment centers cannot and do not address this important group of patients.
Why is that important? Don’t other offices do the same?
Certainly many would strive to do so – but are burdened with insurance companies, hospital policies, and pharmaceutical distributors. The time pressures resulting from those reimbursement models prevent most clinics that treat patients with cancer care issues from spending more than a few minutes pondering a patient’s case. Many clinics rely on ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatment protocols just to get through the day. Patients typically spend extended time with the nursing staff or ‘physician extenders’ (nurse practitioners or physician assistants) rather than the doctor treating them. In our office, it is just the opposite. Your Physician, Dr. Thermos is the main point of care with all treatment and treatment decisions.
At LSWC, we work for you! We are not paid by the insurance company, employed by the local hospital, or supported by large corporate pharmaceutical companies. This freedom allows us to delve into the smallest details of your case, and search the literature for cutting edge breakthroughs all over the world. We do not use ‘physician extenders’ for your care. Any professionals we invite to become involved in our patients care are there because of the expertise that they bring to improve the health and clinical outcomes of our patients.
Is Dr. Thermos an Oncologist?
While not an oncologist Dr. Thermos has been providing alternative care for patients with cancer diagnoses since 1996. He has doctoral degrees in Chiropractic care, Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, and has completed an American Medical Association Family Medicine Residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where he was Chief Family Medicine Resident in 1996.
Dr. Thermos has been searching out additional treatment approaches long before the term ‘Integrative Oncology’ had even been utilized in approximately 2006. These treatments can significantly augment the treatment (improving the response to treatment) process, and rectify the negative symptoms and complications that often accompany traditional treatment.
Thermos has been practicing alternative therapies since 1983, and has taken additional extensive postgraduate work in nutrition, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, acupuncture, integrative oncology therapeutics, and has continually been involved with Oasis of Hope Hospital in Tijuana Mexico since 1996, opening their first US Clinic in 2012-2013. He has served as their consultant for detoxification therapies and helped formulate the treatment program that they currently are using in Mexico.
What treatments are used – do they have any scientific proof of their efficacy?
All treatments are utilized are backed up by extensive literature reviews and outcome studies. For example, the treatments utilized by Oasis of Hope Hospital and Dr. Thermos have displayed statistically positive significant outcomes, improving survival rates in the more common cancers (Colon, Breast, Prostate, Lung) by 25 – 35 percent.
All treatment provided is also geared to what is often not addressed in traditional therapies – improving the quality in addition to the quantity of life. Quality of life is of immeasurable value for our patients, and a top priority in our care of them.
For example, the University of Kansas Integrative Medicine Program has collected extensive data on the benefit of IV nutritional therapies (notably IV Vitamin C) in their treatment of patients – and is currently being funded with a National Institute of Health grant. In all situations, the treatment was found to be beneficial – and improve the success of treatment, longevity of the patient’s lives, and most importantly – the quality of their lives. Even more important to the researchers involved, none of the therapy had shown any detrimental effects of the conventional therapy.
Additionally, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown to reduce the negative side effects of treatment (radiation to the bladder, GI tract, etc.) – and is even used (often too late in the process) in traditional medical practice. We are pro-active, and many therapies we use are meant to address and try and prevent the side effects of traditional therapies.
My Oncologist has given up on me. Can this treatment help?
We have had many patients in the past that were given up upon by their traditional oncologist. Our goal of treatment is to improve their quality of life – which can also result in an increase in the quantity of life. We make no claims to provide false hope, but to provide real hope, real improvement in the patient’s current physical problems – and leave the outcomes of longevity in the hands of God alone.
We can make no promises (ever) of a cure, but we can promise to search far and wide – and deep – for real solutions for you. We will not give up on anyone – as that is not an option for us in the care of patients that God sends to us. We will not provide care however that we have determined to be of no further help for you.
All Patients must have previously consulted with an Oncologist. We treat all patients that we think that we can provide some help and guidance in this difficult time of their lives. If you have done traditional therapy – and didn’t tolerate the therapies that were used in your situation – and have since quit utilizing them, or – if you have run the course of traditional therapy and your oncologists have no more to offer – we would be happy to investigate your situation and see if we have something to offer you.
Can I continue seeing my ‘regular’ Oncologist and still come to your office for input or care?
We welcome patients that are under the care of a traditional oncologist, and would be glad to coordinate a program of care with you.
Make no mistake, not all traditional oncologists are educated on the therapies that we can provide, and may even resist cooperation with us in your treatment. What is important for you to understand – is that this is your journey, and your treatment – and you must make the decisions that are best for you. We would be glad to see if we have anything to add to your treatment process to improve the quantity and quality of your life.
At LSWC, we recognize both traditional and integrative/complementary approaches to treatment and care, combining the approaches in various ways that make sense for each patient and their needs.
Can I arrange for a phone or web consultation?
Dr. Thermos can consult with patients long distance that are considering treatment, and for follow-up treatment.
Before the consultation, all medical records must be gathered and provided to the office (sent via mail, NOT FAXED – as we cannot accommodate 100 pages of faxes as is often the case).
Consultations range between 60 and 90 minutes in length, and must be scheduled in advance.
All consultations are geared toward evaluation and treatment options. If a patient has not pursued treatment with us, we cannot continue to comment on outside treatment(s) – and at some point they must become an official patient, or discontinue the consultation process.
Where is the clinic located?
LifeSource Wellness Care located in Laguna Hills, a Southern California suburb in Orange County. Our office is conveniently located minutes from Interstate 5, near Saddleback Hospital and 20 minutes from John Wayne Airport.
There are multiple hotels that we can help you to arrange for accommodations while you are with us for treatment.
Additionally, we are located across the street from Laguna Hills Mall and a five minute drive from the Irvine Spectrum Shopping Center – which both can provide a needed break for family members accompanying you for your treatment. Both centers offering shopping, dining and movie theaters.
What insurance plans do you accept?
We do not participate in the insurance process, and therefore do not accept any insurance. LSWC maintains no business relationships with insurance companies (PPO, HMO, etc.) Due to the difficulties with insurance – we accept payment from the patient, and provide a superbill with an itemized list of services for our patients to try to recoup from the insurance companies. In this way – we focus our time and energy on our patients – not on what the insurance company tells us that we can do.
We also do not accept Medicare or any governmental insurance programs.
Does LSWC sell any vitamins or supplements that patients use in their treatment?
We carry a limited line of supplements in our office – only those that would be difficult for our patients to obtain elsewhere. These include supplements where the quality that can be obtained over the counter would not suffice for treatment – this includes our use of pharmaceutical grade products.
We often direct patients to the local health food and nutritional stores that are here locally for supplements that they can obtain – specifically “Mother’s Market” and “Sprouts”.
Will my insurance plan reimburse me for using your services as an ‘out of network provider’?
Some indeed will. It is worth it for you to ask your health insurance provider with a phone call in advance of your office appointment.
Insurance companies, as a rule, will not reimburse for any phone consultations
What if Dr. Thermos orders blood tests or scans? Will my insurance pay for those?
PPO’s generally do cover these costs – unless the test is unusual or specifically not covered by your insurance plan. Our office can help you with this in advance, as we can generally say ‘based upon experience’ what has been paid for in the past.
If it is an HMO or government program (Medicare, etc.), then it will be necessary for you to have your primary care physician / provider order the tests that we are asking for – and once the results arrive, you will have to ask them to send the results to our office.
All CT Scans, MRI’s, and X-Rays must have not only the reports sent to our office, but also the images themselves (DVD or Hard Copy Films).
Will you dismiss me as a patient if I don’t follow your advice?
No, we respect any decisions you make regarding your care.
What if the patient wants to stop treatment?
We respect and honor any informed choice you make about your care. If you decide to stop cancer treatment at any time, we will still work to help you achieve as much comfort and joy in life as possible.
Does LSWC perform assisted suicide?
No, not in any capacity. If that is a choice our patients make, they seek it outside of our office with another provider.
What the future of oncology will look like for patients with a diagnosis of cancer?
Physicians like Dr. Alexander Thermos are doing tomorrow’s work in today’s US cancer clinics. The old paradigm of “Fighting Cancer with surgery, radiation and chemical poisons alone” is becoming obsolete, thanks to the growing body of research demonstrating the influences of diet, exercise, prayer, and other lifestyle factors on cancer survival.
Contact our office today at 949-916-0089 with any other questions you may have about our care or treatments. If you are coming to us from a distance, we can do an initial consultation over the phone prior to coming to us for treatment, and provide you directions in obtaining the necessary accommodations.