Though a Cancer Guide may personally specialize in Mind/Body Therapy, Traditional Medical Oncology, or Alternative Oncology, what separates him or her from other Cancer practitioners is our determined belief that what lies at the center of treatment is not one of the many armaments that we throw at Cancer to destroy it, but rather it is a single beautiful unique evolving human being. In other words, whatever specialty a Cancer Guide might be practicing, the focus is not on their particular skill but on the complete panorama of possibilities they might confer upon a Cancer patient. Simply put a Cancer Guide is committed to THE INTEGRATIVE MEDICAL APPROACH TO CANCER.

Integrative medicine underscores the combination of both conventional and alternative approaches to address the biological, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of health and illness. It emphasizes respect for the human capacity for healing, the importance of the relationship between the practitioner and the patient, and a collaborative approach to patient care among practitioners. 

The treatment of Cancer particularly lends itself to an Integrative Approach for no condition on earth begs us to explore the whole person in quite the same way as our malignant metastasizing mutant paradox does. Once upon a much simpler time, along with his fellow miracle workers, Jonas Salk was heroically defeating every medical scourge as if he was general George Patton at The Battle of the Bulge. But as Cancer resisted this Medicinal Juggernaut and entrenched itself to become Medical Science’s Vietnam it painfully opened up for us a world that insisted that the patient become a major participant in their own healing.

This blessing in disguise is the heart and soul of our work here at Heroic Steps Integrative Cancer Institute.  What we help you uncover in yourself as your primary tool to use to evolve past your Cancer becomes a wellspring for the burgeoning core of the rest of your life.

At Heroic Steps, it is the foundational tenet of our practice that Cancer must not be perceived as millions of lonely, thankless, individual Waterloos, but rather must be approached as a collective, communal Darwinian phenomenon of Western Civilization.

According to Buddha, the First Noble Truth is that all humans will experience Dukkha. Dukkha is pain,  but it is only when it is resisted or personalized that it becomes suffering. It is through embracing the Dukkha that we transcend suffering and serve that which created us.

Whereas once most people viewed Cancer as an impersonal bad luck of the draw, and then more recently some saw it as a personal failure brought on by repressed feelings, stress and unresolved issues, HEROIC STEPS wants you to embrace your Cancer as a transpersonal opportunity to evolve human awareness of our universal purpose. We are all challenged to deal with the Dukkha that Buddha described in his First Noble Truth. If Cancer is our fear of Dukkha manifest in a physical form, then overcoming our fear not only heals our cancer but also launches us into our path of complete becoming.   


The following thoughts are quick philosophical musings that might help steer your mind towards the positive chemical manufacture of life affirming elements, shortcuts to using PNI to help you evolve past Cancer and become a more fulfilled person than you were before the terrifying words of your diagnosis fractured the ‘ignorance is bliss’ comfort of your former world.


 is the natural biological process of programmed cell suicide. Older cells automatically self-destruct so that newer cells can be formed to take their place. One of the newer theories of Cancer is that it is primarily caused by an interference with Apoptosis. As humans have grown more and more reticent about embracing any kind of suffering in their lives, it makes sense that as we became a species stressed out by the least interferences in our happy little lives, that we may have begun to unconsciously resist normal cell death. These zombie cells that refuse to die become mutants. These Cancer mutants are cells that resist Apoptosis, which makes our battle with them very difficult. The answer then is to LEARN TO ACCEPT THE DEATH THAT PRECEDES REBIRTH

2. E=mc2   

Albert Einstein’s iconic formula describes the relationship between energy and matter and amongst other things establishes the truth that these two forms of life can not be destroyed but can only be interchanged, one into the other. WE CAN NOT THEREFORE DESTROY CANCER, BUT WE ARE FREE TO INTERCHANGE IT INTO ENERGY.  If we can embrace the fervently teeming, ‘survival of the fittest’ energy of Cancer in our lives, we will have liberated that energy from the matter that had manifested into tumors and the like.


is a term coined by Freud and Jung which signifies a human’s unconscious attempt to re-play (as an adult) an extremely unpleasant scenario that transpired as a child. The hope is that the adult mind will solve the old pain that the child’s mind felt overwhelmed by. An example of this is a person who felt abandoned as a child will pick mates as an adult who will make them feel abandoned again. The unconscious believes that this adult will deal with the feelings in a better way, but of course we find that the patterns are rarely improved. As regards Cancer, most children experience the fear of death and feeling generally overwhelmed by all the life energy coursing through their little bodies. Their parents and most of the adults around them have numbed themselves to these primal fears and the child feels that he or she alone is plagued by the besieged feeling of the overwhelming energies. The child grows into an adult who through repetitive compulsion feels guilt and estrangement when life is at all out of control. With his or her constant need to tighten against heightened energies, the biological terrain rebels against the tightening and mutates into Cancer.


It is not new news that continuous stress, emotional repression, smoking, poor eating, and certain environmental issues are contributing to weakening our cellular structures. And yet, we often continue to damage ourselves through refusing to improve our conditions. For those of us who believe in a God, imagine how he must feel, watching us slowly destroying these beautiful bodies he so perfectly created. Can we imagine Him creating something in our bodies that forces us to pay attention. Or for those who see things more through scientific eyes, there is a law of physics that states for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every action we take that slowly destroys our bodies an equal and opposite genetic reaction occurs in an attempt to create genes that can not be so easily destroyed. Study the properties of Cancer for a moment and you will find that Cancer is the Fitter biological entity that Darwin would have predicted would replace our chronically damaged and disregarded DNA.


In high school everyone thought that the ‘jocks’ were generally less bright than the intellectual crowd. But look here who created the seminal maxim for our species. It is our very rejection of pain in all its forms that has weakened and degraded our genetic biology. It has become counter-intuitive to do or feel anything that is painful. Therefore the brilliance of the athletes to realize that only after the burning sensation will muscles grow, can be life altering for us all. If you can allow your soul to burn with the responsibility to feel life fully, the soul will grow and replace Cancer with a healthy genetic mutation.


While adrenalin and other stress hormones respond to fear by stimulating the body to react to danger and are supposed to relent when their job is finished, it is often very difficult for the body to get back to a post-fear state of tranquilizing endorphins and immune system power. Because, once upon a time, survival was the predominant need of our species, the biological hierarchy allows the stress hormones to thoroughly override the gentler healing internal chemicals. We thus find ourselves at a BILOGICAL CROSSROADS. We must work to reverse the enslaving mentality of our Fight Fright and Flight stress reactions while learning to encourage our bodies towards the immune system building and tranquilizing effects of endorphins. Simply put, if we react to every physical and emotional pain with fear instead of acceptance, we will block the endorphins(endogenous morphine) which otherwise could have relieved the pain. This depresses our immune systems and helps Cancers to flourish.


Well, it’s the athletes again!! When a marathon runner hits the ‘wall’ and hurts so bad that every fiber of her being says that the pain means she should stop running, another voice in her head tells her to keep going. When she succeeds in facing the pain of continuing she is rewarded by what is called the ‘runner’s high’. This state of endorphin release proves once again that to train our minds to reject the notion that all pain is to be avoided, is to significantly evolve our species. Since perhaps Cancer is now the wall tempting you to stop your participation in the Human Race, just imagine the ‘Cancer survivor’s high’ awaiting you a little ways ahead. Go for it, dear angels.


In ancient Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a brilliant rascal who sometimes played tricks on the gods which eventually got him condemned to eternal hard labor: rolling a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down to the bottom each time he finally gets it to the top. The toil of Sisyphus is a metaphor for all such labor that is frustrating and unrewarding.
But, in 1940 Albert Camus wrote the famous "The Myth of Sisyphus", implying that Sisyphus' fate and his endless toil is not futile.  He says: "If returning to the bottom of the mountain to start pushing the rock upward all over again is sometimes performed in sorrow, it can also take place in joy. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart."

Your struggle towards the heights makes the boulder of Cancer, which you are lifting, a heroic mission. Do not measure your noble efforts on the minor scale of human successes and failures. Rather, know that you push this boulder skyward on behalf of all of us. Again, I repeat, we can not thank you enough.


And here is a modern myth that I hope can help you as well. Once upon a time all the caterpillars temporarily lost their archetypal memories and FORGOT that after their horrible existence as creepy, crawly, disdained beings, that they would be rewarded by becoming butterflies. The caterpillars developed a death wish, so sorrowful were they for their horrid existence. This trans-species defeat caused the caterpillars’ genetic code to weaken and countless of the crawly beings succumbed before ever reaching the threshold of their butterflydom. Finally, some caterpillars suspected that their struggles were not meant to be experienced in vain, and they broke through to ancient memories in which they saw themselves winged. They helped the rest of their brethren to remember the PATH, and henceforth it was never again forgotten that God would never make one a caterpillar if he did not intend to reward that struggle with the winged flight of the Butterfly.


And speaking of trans-species amnesia, let us visit the forgotten land of Shangri-la that exists at the top of our inner mountains that remain to be climbed.. As previously stated, it is an intensely established criterion of human existence that pain is to be avoided whenever possible. And yet there is a mysterious and deeper calling that occasionally awakens one to experience the instinct to (for instance) climb Mt Everest. Knowing that there will be immense physical and psychic discomfort, countless people still heroically defy the common current aversion to struggle, and set off up their literal and proverbial mountains. In truth, the soul of our species has forgotten that one way or another, we must all embrace the heroic path up our own individual mountain. I praise you for your climb up and out of the morass that Cancer initially throws one into. I pray that you are in the process of remembering what you are gaining from this integral ascension, the Shangri-la you are earning through your time with Cancer.


For those of you who know me you have probably groaned when you heard my joke about Bud Light, (Buddhism Light) the type of American, fast food styled, Pollyanna Buddhism that is practiced here in the States. When Buddha hesitantly agreed to become a Teacher and share his dark-tinged Enlightenment, he insisted that his teaching was to be followed step by step. These steps consisted of Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path. Unfortunately, since the First Noble Truth states that life means the experience of Dukkha(which roughly translates to suffering) it is easy to see why many humans bypass this inconvenient truth and head straight to the Om and other fun parts. But, despite the fact that Buddhism is too often maligned as the ‘Pessimistic Religion’, poor Buddha was just calling a spade a spade, Everything, he pointed out, is impermanent, and thus that which he called Dukkha and we experience as something to feel victimized by, is nothing more than the cosmic Labor Pains that are the tools from which God births this world. Yes, just as a woman experiences contractions before she gives birth, every experience of Dukkha or pain that we humans go through, is a moment of experiencing the contracted YIN essence of life that eternally gives birth to the expanded feeling YANG essence of life. And, as we are all(men and women alike) prone to be Male Chauvinists, we tend to love the expansion and hate the contraction. That is why Buddha attempted with his First Noble Truth to free us from our fatal aversion to reality.   OUR CANCER IS THE PHYSICAL MATTER OF DUKKHA MANIFEST. WHEN WE LEARN TO ACCEPT DUKKHA ENERGETICALLY, IT WILL NO LONGER BE A DANGER TO US.


No matter what kind of fool he has made of himself more recently, Mel Gibson was extremely daring to expose us to the immense pain that Christ suffered before his soul was free to ascend towards God and immortality. Now, whether you are a devout Christian who takes the entire Story of Christ literally or you just see the Myth of Christ as a series of symbols that we can use as profound teaching, let us examine the relationship this has to Dukkha. Christ chose to experience the Crucifixion and thus be cleansed of the normal human resentment that people felt towards God for the pain and suffering that was at the core of human life. Near the end he had his moment of doubt, wondering if the immensity of the pain was a sign that God had forsaken him. When God answered Jesus, and assured him that his only begotten son would be the First human allowed to know what the Gods knew, and be freed from the Ignorance is Bliss denial of the Primal Pain(Dukkha), Christ’s soul arose.


Dr Cooper’s latest lecture occurred on January 8th in West Palm Beach, Florida when he presented for the

Dr Cooper is available for lectures and can be contacted by e-mail at:

or by phone:  530-925-4059            

Some of the last lecture follows:

The title of his lecture is PSYCHONEUROIMMUNOLOGY: FIRST THINGS FIRST. The thrust of the talk is based on the premise that for the optimum prognosis, PNI can not just be thrown in as one of the sixteen modalities you use to combat your Cancer, but must become the foundation upon which all the steps of your healing journey are derived from.

This self soul-centered PNI journey becomes an expedition of Heroic Steps as opposed to a panic-driven, passive, deflated, victimized, fingers-crossed hope for healing.

The journey of Heroic Steps means that every move you choreograph in your interplay with Cancer begins in your core, that place where archetypal human instinct replaces the human ego. There will be no wisdom greater than what arises from this demand for you to follow only the voice that speaks from within you. And while Dr Cooper attempts to never diminish the immensity of the challenge that you are facing, it will eventually become apparent that even as you suffer PAIN in your experience with Cancer, that you are concurrently GAINING what Hippocrates intended from being forced to be at the center of healing one of Life’s Great Barriers.