Lifelines to cancer survival with Mark Roby

Episode 17: Lifelines to Cancer Survival with Mark Roby, PA-C, ND

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What do you do when you are faced with the impossible?

Mark Roby created his own lifelines for cancer survival relying on doctors, scientists, family, friends, scientific research, new screenings and emerging therapies, and anything else he had at his disposal.

Mark was a runner, a physician assistant, a naturopathic doctor and at the behest of a friend had started the Center for Attitudinal Healing in Michigan. In his own words, Mark described himself as a workaholic.

But in one instant, his world came to a screeching halt.

In 2003, Mark was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma. The advice he received from oncologists around him was, “get your affairs in order.” But Mark refused to believe that was the end of the road for him.

In the weeks after his diagnosis he proceeded to get multiple “second” opinions and made it his life mission to survive.

As it turns out, setting the intention to survive, became one of Mark’s lifelines to cancer survival.

After he had exceeded the expected “expiration date” of most of the people around him, they began to implore him to write down what was working for him and how he had managed to survive against all odds.

Subsequently, Mark wrote the book Lifelines to Cancer Survival: A New Approach to Personalized Care to share with other cancer patients the steps he took to survive and also give hope to others so they didn’t fall prey to negative advice.

“The best advice I ever got was from a scientist at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He said, you will have to keep yourself alive, be cautious about the guidance you get from oncologists, and study the biomarkers and microenvironment of your tumor.”

One of Mark’s other lifelines to cancer survival was stress reduction. On this podcast I have interviewed two professionals who have shared practical advice on how to meditate and build resilience to adversity. Stress reduction is something I used in my own healing process and talk about it in my first podcast episode where I tell my story.

My biggest take away from the book and this interview (and two important lifelines to cancer survival) is to take responsibility for yourself and your health. If you can’t do the research, for whatever reason, find someone who will do it for you.

Surround yourself with the best people.

Highlights from the episode and a link to the whole episode are below.

Here are some highlights from our conversation:

  • 1:48 Becoming a physician assitant and a naturopathic doctor.
  • 4:26 Being a workaholic and feeling stressed.
  • 5:39 Mark’s BIG life event.
  • 8:45 The best advice Mark ever got.
  • 12:30 Inspiration for writing the book.
  • 17:09 Not all doctors are created equal. Nor are all patients.
  • 24:40 Personal activism – taking responsibility for your health.
  • 29:23 Rituals and record-keeping.
  • 36:10 Finding people to help you with research.
  • 38:55 Personalized precision medicine.
  • 42:50 Reflections/Recommendations for an anticancer diet.
  • 49:39 Thoughts about soy products.
  • 51:42 Metaphysical connection to health – spirit, heart, mind, and body.

Links mentioned in today’s podcast:

A new podcast will be released every second and fourth Thursday of each month.

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