Interview with Beth DuPree, MD, Breast Cancer Surgeon and Author

Beth DuPree, a breast cancer expert and author, finds a balance between new medical technology like digital mammograms, and alternative therapies that can help beat breast cancer.

By Bari Nan Cohen
Among my patients, the ones that are the best at changing their lifestyles are the ones that are diagnosed with precancerous changes because they know that they dodged a bullet. That’s the group of patients that will lose weight. They exercise, they eat well, they quit the bad jobs, they leave bad marriages, they don’t tolerate abusive relationships. That is the group of women that really make a change in their lives and do really, really well. MORE: That’s amazing. DuPree: That’s why I wrote my book, The Healing Consciousness: A Doctor’s Journey to Healing. It is about awakening to the fact that we are all interconnected, and that what we see in front of us is way greater than the human being beside you. We are all spiritual beings connected, and the sooner you realize that the better you treat the earth and mankind. The people who you may not think are friendly to you, or they may be your enemies, you need to look at them in terms of, ‘Okay what am I learning about that? What am I learning through that process?’ They seem bad to begin with, but I am learning something through that process. I am developing as a spiritual being. Even though I may hurt as a human being, I am evolving as a spiritual being. So as I teach other doctors about the latest and greatest technology in Western medicine, I also get the opportunity to get them to open up a little bit to the big picture.Being a breast cancer surgeon allows me to help patients to heal. I can operate on them, I can remove their cancer. Yeah, we can cure patients of cancer, but I can’t make them heal if they don’t have the tools. If they don’t understand what healing is. And if someone is cured of breast cancer but they sit in their house afraid to live, waiting for the cancer to come back, what have I done for that person? Not a lot. But if I have a patient that I can’t cure of cancer, but I can help them get to a safe place so that when they pass over out of this body they feel complete, and they feel as though their life has not been useless. They really feel as though they are in a safe place and that they can transition and move on, then I have helped them to heal. And educating other doctors about that is a big deal. When someone’s dying and they’re transitioning, that is when the family needs the doctor the most because they are scared, and they don’t know what to do. They’re looking for guidance. Being there or being present for them is another huge thing that we physicians have stopped doing. We have stopped helping patients become comfortable with death. It’s one of the guaranteed things in life. You know, birth, death, and taxes. I mean hello! You know, there is nothing else that is guaranteed in life. So I’m at a great place in my life, but you know what, I had to create it myself. I didn’t just go to my kitchen cupboard and open up the door and find time and find balance. They weren’t sitting there on my shelf waiting for me to pick them off. I have had to carve out time for me and carve out time for my family. I had to carve out time to write a book, but do you know what? It happened. Now I’m getting ready to open a hospital. A first of its kind, state-of-the-art hospital, which will do everything from digital mammos to diagnosis, ultrasound, MRI, etc., plus a 4,000-square-foot holistic spa. I’m a reiki master myself, so I do reiki with meditations in the OR. I work with acupuncturists, I work with healers of all varieties.Learn more about Comprehensive Breast Care Associates Purchase The Healing Consciousness Originally published on MORE.com, October 2006.

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