By Feliciano Hernández, Hola America
Dr. José Reyes Ríos, a renowned doctor and medical researcher who was among Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in Mexico, treats patients in Houston and California, as well as Guanajuato, Michoacán, and Nuevo León in Mexico. He warns that cancer does not respect age, sex, or socioeconomic status, “we are all exposed and vulnerable to suffering from it,” he says. He is active in several professional associations and some political parties have even asked him to consider running for office. The distinguished young doctor was also recognized by Harvard University, as among the “Best Medical Practices” in regenerative medicine and immunotherapy, his areas of specialization.
Regenerative medicine is focused on regenerating organs, systems, or parts of the body that were damaged or injured or that are about to be damaged or injured due to autoimmune illnesses like cancer, viruses, bacteria, or sequelae. He focuses on regenerating at the cellular, tissue and organic level to achieve recovery at the systemic level in the organism. Immunotherapy is focused on stimulating the immune system that protects the body to stimulate or regulate defenses. “It is used for many diseases and is currently the best for various types of cancers because it helps the body find and destroy cancer cells.”
Dr. Reyes Ríos graduated as a surgeon from the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo. He describes himself as, “orgullosamente michoacano,” proudly from Michoacán; the son of a doctor (father) and teacher (mother), who was “forged with hardness, character, decisive and without fear of anything or anyone; with great morals and ethics, and the desire to continue helping more girls, boys, women, men, and older adults.”
As a physician and scientist, Dr. Reyes Ríos is constantly on the move caring for his patients and acquiring new knowledge in regenerative medicine and immunotherapy. The specialist counts with the support of a great medical-surgical and scientific team who help him develop his work and philanthropy. “Thank God I can travel all over the world, helping people with my own will and resources. It is necessary to continue expanding this field and help those who need it most.” He divides his time between clinical care and laboratory work, dealing with a mix of simple cases and terminally ill patients.
He uses the latest medical protocols and the newest innovation in medical care because combining this with existing knowledge in the areas of his scientific research creates the best results for his patients. “Thousands of patients have benefited from and been cured with my treatments. There are no days off; you work daily, day and night on occasions. ”
Dr. Reyes Ríos stays abreast of the major research centers in the United States like Texas, New York, Boston and Miami as benchmarks for his clinical and scientific work; likewise, he uses advancements from Spain, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and Japan, among others. He admits that in recent decades there has been a sharp rise in cancer diagnoses, “The increase is really multifactorial; this includes hereditary nature, foods processed with high contents of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons like those found in delicatessens, meat that has been genetically altered with substances unique to their natural diet, and other chemical compounds present in current foods regularly consumed.” He highlights that smoking, alcoholism, new variants of germs, mutant viruses, hormones, immunosuppressants, sunlight, obesity, radiation, and age can also lead to cancers. “All of these are risk factors that cause changes and mutations in the DNA within cells.”
Dr. Reyes Ríos works tirelessly in the lab, clinic and within the Mexican Republic that needs his help. He travels to other countries in Latin America, like Colombia to treat and cure patients. “I decided not to stay in my comfort zone and go out to help, to make a difference, to give away medicine, consultations, and treatments to those who need it most. I do it on my own time and with my own money.”
In his professional and social service efforts, he always tries to go further: “Well, if you want to get further than most, you need to do more than most.”
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and as Dr. Reyes Ríos points out, the highest are found in countries with populations that have a higher life expectancy, education, and standard of living. “The cancer mortality rate is higher in men than in women, prostate cancer being number one in men; then lung and then colorectal. In women, breast cancer is number one; then lung, and then colorectal.”
The specialist would like to see Mexico do more to combat these statistics, “It is not addressed as it should and they are based on absurd protocols that end up causing cancer to advance further, be more aggressive and end with the life of the patient. They do not have preventive medicine programs or treatments and specialized care; the appointments are very long and end up being a total failure where day by day people who can be cured continue to lose their lives.” Dr. Reyes Ríos emphasizes that access to preventive medicine must be strengthened, there must be more referral and guidance for patients towards prompt care, given that cancer in its initial stage is curable. He believes there should be more support for research centers, with agreements and alliances among the primary care medical community and colleagues trained to deal with cancer effectively, both surgically and medically.
“The disinterest of the government, the doctors who have the initial contact with the patient, the health personnel, and the misinformation shared with patients and their relatives will continue to claim more lives if the population and health personnel do not create consciousness among the public. For me, this is something of an urgent nature.”
He is on a mission to change healthcare. “I am an old soul, with well-placed values and principles, a person who helps from the heart because that is how it was instilled in me, with nothing in between, without bragging and often as an anonymous hero. We are on this wonderful journey that is life and we are passing through. The only sure thing we have is death.” This philosophy is why Dr. Reyes Ríos is never satisfied, no matter how many awards he receives. “I consider myself a successful doctor, but more than that a man of value, and I am proud to see so many people to whom I have been able to return their health, their will to live, their life back. I am in many associations that help children, single mothers, the elderly, homeless people, human rights, public hospitals, and all kinds of support for immigrants.” He makes no exceptions because health is the most valuable thing that human beings can possess. “Empathy is the medicine the world needs.” With this as his personal and professional motto, the world can expect to see Dr. Reyes Ríos make more waves in medicine that improve the lives of patients for generations to come.