Patient Testimonials

Here are just a few of the comments and Letters of Appreciation Doctor Castellanos has received from his wonderful patients.

Alicia and Craig


Listen to Alicia and Craig discuss their experience with the practice and the ideals of Sports Medicine in our golden years.
Both Alicia and Craig talk about the benefits of exercise and diet, as emphasized in the practice, to provide them a healthier state of mind and body, while reducing the risk of Cardiovascular Disease and its various risk factors.



Listen to what Joseph has to say about our practice.
Joseph talks about his overall experience, gives comments on exercise, weight & diabetes, and he lets us know his final opinions of Dr. Castellanos.
The material Joseph references is the movie: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, and the book: The China Study, both of which have helped Joseph adhere to Dr. Castellanos recommendations.

Sandra and James


Listen to Sandra and James, patients of the office, give their testimonials on our practice.
Sandra recalls her reasons for coming to the practice and discusses with James their experiences with stroke and vascular disease, and their reactions to Dr. Castellanos’ recommendations on exercise and nutrition. Sandra also shares her final comments on Dr. Castellanos and the practice.

Joann and Lorenzo


Listen to what Joann and Lorenzo have to say about our practice.
Joann states her reasons for coming to this practice, and shares her experiences with evaluations given in the practice. Lorenzo, in turn, talks about Cardiovascular Disease and its risk factors and gives his opinions on the office’s specialty, which is the vascular study. Lastly, Joann gives her viewpoint on Dr. Castellanos’ bedside manners.

Hilda and Catalindro


Listen to Hilda and Catalindro tell their story about Hilda’s past and current experiences.
Hilda shares her struggle with diabetes, being overweight and having a sedentary lifestyle. She talks about how she has not been given hope for the possibility of reversal of her dire situation until Dr. Castellanos worked with her. She shares Dr. Castellanos recommendations and how they have helped her tremendously.

It is not often, in society today, that a person has the privilege of being taken care of, head to toe, inside and out, by one physician. Finding Dr. Castellanos and his staff, has been a very good thing for me. I went to Dr. Castellanos with vascular problems. He is an expert in this field, and I have learned as I continued to go that he can take care of my skin, my gynecology needs, my blood work and any other concern I have walked in with.  I appreciate that he and his staff have kept a watchful eye on my progress, but have also helped improve my quality of life through education, provided right there in his office. The staff is friendly, and accommodating. The doctor is very straight forward, easy to talk to and takes the time to explain how and why some medical problems occur. I am now more confident about my own health choices. I sincerely believe that his “preventive” approach to health care may very well save my life.

Joni Dusi


Dr Castellanos is not only a doctor but a healer in the real sense of the word. What strikes you first as you meet him is his sincerity, attentiveness, and passion for the work he does. As you look more closely you are touched by his gentle yet objective presence. You feel his concern and care immediately. This focus has the affect of stimulating your own interest and desire to heal. There is a certain support and encouragement he transmits that becomes contagious. One of the qualities he embodies that is quite rare is a certain sense of maturity. He is not there to play around. He is direct with you concerning your place in the healing process. In other words, he expects you to show up and take responsibility for what you can do to make the changes you need to make in order to support your own health. Part of making these changes has to do with his encouragement but also with the wealth of knowledge he relays. He teaches and informs you of all the newest research available so you can take the lead and implement the strategies and changes you need to make. It really is a team effort. It’s hard not to show up for yourself when the other side of the team is so inspiring, supportive and truly cares.

The impact on my professional and personal life has been truly miraculous since working with Dr Castellanos. In my line of work I occasionally found it difficult to stay awake. Since making the changes around diet, exercise and supplements that he suggested I can honestly say I have not fallen asleep on the job since I made these changes. It’s so nice to go to work with energy and leave with the same energy – to be able to go for a bike ride or a walk after work. It’s wonderful to have the energy to enjoy life! Thanks Dr C. Guide- Teacher – Doctor – translates into healer.



I’m grateful for Dr. Castellanos for helping me clear up my acne without medications. Because of our conversations, he helped me piece together the cause: coffee. Unfortunately, my coffee consumption is very limited now, but with Dr. Castellanos’ encouragement I’ve had the willpower to only occasionally indulge.


Andi is self employed in real estate, an artist, mother, wife, daughter, horse enthusiast, and a patient of Dr. Castellanos who brightens up the lobby when she enters. Dr. Castellanos was recommended to Andi several years ago by a patient. She was looking for a doctor who she could trust, and one she could see for a variety of needs. Andi expressed that she was really excited when she finally found Dr. Castellanos, because he specializes in several of the areas that she was looking for, and she trusts him with her healthcare completely.

Although Andi did not personally have a health issue coming into the practice, she was acutely aware that cervical screening is a vital part of women’s healthcare. She had been disappointed by the healthcare industry in general, and finds that her friends often are not given the standard of care from their doctors which Andi receives in Dr. Castellanos’ office. She is concerned for her friends and suggests to them that if they want to continue with their current doctor, they should at least ask if their doctor will perform a colposcopy so she can feel better about them being treated properly. Colposcopy is done in Dr. Castellanos’ office with a standard gynecological visit, as a screening for cervical, endocervical cancer, and atypical findings which might lead to cancer.

When asked how Dr. Castellanos differs from her previous doctors, Andi responded that “he is thorough, he makes sure I pay attention to my own body, he asks questions during my visits and any questions that I have he thoroughly answers. I feel very confident when I leave that I have had quality care and I’m in good hands.” Dr. Castellanos holds us accountable for our own responsibilities when it comes to our healthcare. When it comes down to it, Dr. Castellanos cannot change the way we live for us, we have to make the lifestyle changes ourselves, and he is good to remind us of it.

Andi’s favorite part of the program is the vascular study. With a family history of heart disease, she is cautious of the contributors toward high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and takes heed of the warnings that come along with the vascular study when it reveals the true state of her arteries. She also appreciates the blood panels that are run routinely on an annual basis, and otherwise as needed. These blood panels give us crucial insight as to what’s going on inside our bodies when everything might look fine outside.

“You have got to see Dr. Castellanos!” is what Andi tells her friends, especially when she hears they are struggling with a health issue. When she reflects on her personal experiences at Dr. Castellanos’ office, Andi sees a better approach from the start with ordering of blood tests and in listening to the patient in order to pinpoint the issues. She will continue to recommend Dr. Castellanos’ office to all of her friends. She loves the office, and all of the staff, and she says, “I feel like I’m taken care of…and that’s one thing off my list!”

Eric’s history lends itself to a life of proactive health. He has always made his health a priority in his life. His profession in the past as a personal trainer kept him acutely aware of his need and the need of others to maintain a healthy lifestyle for longevity. After his mother was diagnosed with colon cancer, the need to include health screenings into his healthy lifestyle was brought to his attention.

About a year and a half ago, while working out at the gym, Eric was talking with a nurse he’d just met there about who she’d recommend as a physician. The nurse recommended Dr. Castellanos and as Eric puts it, “that got the ball rolling.”

The conversation Eric had with Dr. Castellanos at his consult was memorable for him because as Eric says, typical “Western Medicine – here take your pill and go away; let’s treat the symptoms and not the causes” is like being at the wrong end of the train, whereas Dr. Castellanos is like being at the front of the train and hitting things head on, preventing them from happening in the first place whenever possible. This is the kind of philosophy Eric shares and had not personally encountered a physician previously who shared this philosophy.

It is refreshing, and that is why he so enthusiastically endorses the practice to other people. Eric has referred several co-workers to Dr. Castellanos who have become patients also, and are following the program wholeheartedly. He says that there are people who are searching for the same thing and they don’t really know that someone like Dr. Castellanos exists. They believe that healthcare operates the way we’ve been programmed to understand how it operates where you go to a doctor when you are ill, he or she writes you a prescription, and sends you on your way, and you may or may not be back. And the unidentifiable searching is exactly why Eric believes that so many people have taken him up on his challenge to meet Dr. Castellanos.

Eric values the peace of mind he gets from having Dr. Castellanos as his physician. It’s the whole process, the beginning to the end impact of overall better healthcare and screening that gives that peace of mind…it’s knowing that if there is some abnormality to be found, that it will show up because there are tests being done to find it as early as it is detectable. And that gives him peace of mind.

For people who may be considering Dr. Castellanos as their primary care physician, Eric has some advice: 1. If you are serious about your health, then this practice is something you should consider. 2. Please go in to your consult with a very open mind. Dr. Castellanos will be upfront with you about issues in your lifestyle that may require change in order to increase better health and longevity. We don’t always like to hear these things, but with an open mind, you will see that it is for your best interest he will say these things. 3. Think about the long term. Keep in mind how you intend to live a functional, long term lifestyle with the goal being: for as long as you can.

Interview With A Patient

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Stan, a patient who has been committed to better health since April 2003.  When Stan’s wife came to see us in February 2003, she came home and told Stan all about the philosophy of care practiced in Dr. Castellanos’ office.  It made sense to him, so he made an appointment for himself.  Stan’s claim to fame ever since is that he now has “FRIENDS in the medical world.”

Did you have a health complaint when you first came to us?

No.  I was looking for a new doctor.

How does Dr. Castellanos’ approach to medicine differ from your experience with previous doctors?

It is a lot more personal.  He indicates that he is not only concerned about your health during the visit but he is concerned about the overall health in diet and, exercise-just a life philosophy that I found different from most doctors.  Most doctors say, “Don’t eat fat.  See you later.  Bye.”  And Dr. Castellanos says, “Let me show you some things.”  It makes it easier to lose a few pounds or to get other positive health results.  The thing that really impressed me the most is my vascular study.  When I’ve gone back and had subsequent studies done, looked back at where I started and the progress I’ve made, it really drives home the fact that diet, exercise, and life style really do have a big impact on overall health.

What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a patient of Dr. Castellanos?

I would encourage them to do it because I believe it will not be a decision that they will regret.  When I am recommending him to my friends, I will often mention my past history with skin lesions and how I had to be really proactive, pushing to have my lesions removed, because doctors wouldn’t remove any suspicious lesions until they were full-on cancer problems, where Dr. Castellanos believes that, when possible, we need to remove them before they can become a problem.

Is there anything you’d like to add to the interview today?

Just that I use the term “Family Practice” and it feels more like a family.  And I’m sure you feel that way working here.  I know the staff, and the doctor here better than I’ve known any medical professionals I’ve ever visited in my life.  It is a very friendly and a very caring practice.

Dear Future Patients of Dr. Castellanos,

I first started coming to see Alexander F. Castellanos about a year and a half ago. Having started an exercise program that had reached a jogging routine of six miles everyday and a weight loss of 35 pounds over six months, I was anxious to increase my running speed. Since I was in my late 40’s, I was concerned about the strength of my heart. The running book I read was a great source of motivation for me but I learned that the author and long-time runner died because he had a heart attack while running.

I had heard from a co-worker that Dr. Castellanos was a “preventive, total-health care” doctor, who took the time to explain each test he performed and how our bodies operate. I found this to be true in his “partnership” approach to medicine. He has a very thorough list of tests and inspections in his preventive program, which he progresses through step by step. My share of the partnership is to use this information to create a healthier me. We covered diet, tested cholesterol, had a treadmill stress test, blood tests and many other exams.

The doctor is on the cutting edge of the latest medical research and is constantly learning the newest procedures. This is the type of benefit one normally has to go to a university hospital to be privy to and certainly not common in a small town like Templeton, CA. I am very confident that he is doing the very best for me that is available.

Dr. Castellanos’ motivation seems to come from his years working in the trauma center of a large city, where, by the time he saw the patient, it was too late to help many of them repair the damage done to their bodies; many with self-inflicted conditions resulting from years of over-weight or stress or unhealthy practices. His early detection methods are constantly present when he is seeing a patient.
Three other areas he is strong in are dermatology, laser medicine, and gynecology. Having a fair complexion and lots of moles, he is currently removing and testing any skin irregularities.

Since I hit the big birthday last year, it’s a comfort to know as I go through all these changes that the doctor and his concerned staff are there to assist. I quit going to my regular gynecologist all together because Dr. Castellanos is doing colposcopies in addition to Pap Smears and does not depend solely on mammograms, either.

Since I am a person who would more likely take extra vitamins or herbs if I was not feeling well before I would take an aspirin, I like that prescriptions to antibiotics is not his main or only recourse, like so many doctors. He offers lots of information on many health concerns, from pamphlets to videos to hands on displays.

I know that I can go to him for anything from my annual flu shot to much more serious concerns. Both my husband and teenage son also see Dr. Castellanos.
So as I grow older, I have a well-trained medical professional to partnership with on all my health issues, as long as I am willing to take responsibility for my own body and put into application, the information he is providing me with. If you would like to talk to me about any of my experiences with the doctor and his staff, please contact, the office and they well make the necessary arrangements.

Lona L. Christensen

There are many doctors available, just look in the yellow pages. However, very few, if any, take an interest in practicing preventative medicine. More times than not, you walk into your doctor’s office with a problem, they ask you what is wrong, take your blood pressure, look in your ears and in your throat and then promptly prescribe a pill. We are instructed that if we do not feel any better in two weeks to return for a further check up.
By the time you reach 50, you are well on your way to filling your medicine chest with a supply of pills for whatever ails you.

When we moved to Paso Robles, one of our concerns was to find a doctor with whom we were comfortable. We were not impressed with our first two choices. It was a relief and a blessing to find Dr. Castellanos who is truly concerned about you and your overall health. We were impressed with his proactive approach to health care. Most doctors will have your records transferred and then pick up where your last doctor left off. His practice of starting from scratch and learning about your health history and then working to reverse some of the damage we may have already done to our bodies is certainly a unique way of practicing medicine. His expertise and knowledge combined with his enthusiasm is encouraging to patients who want to live a happy healthy life. All we need to do is practice what we have learned. We are given the information and then given the opportunity to participate in managing our own health. Our eating habits may have to change and we may have to incorporate exercise in our daily routine, but the end result, a healthy life, will be worth the effort.
We have lost family members to cancer and heart disease and presently dealing with our dad who is in and out of the hospital with clogged arteries requiring surgery and mom who is a diabetic and does not take care of herself. She has just undergone surgery to remove a portion of her leg because of infection. Neither of them would have considered changing their diet or going for a walk. So, the end result, continued poor health and a mound of doctor and prescription bills. It is hard to see this happening to our loved ones, but it should also be a lesson to us.

Thank you Dr. Castellanos for caring about us.

Craig and Alicia

Dear Dr. Castellanos and Staff,

It is the intent of this letter to communicate how happy and grateful I am as it relates to the exceptional medical care and advice I’ve received from your practice.

In November of 2001, I was involved in a serious multiple roll over vehicle accident. Throughout the following four years, I received care from several doctors, specialists, etc., but my symptoms remained unchanged. My symptoms included; difficulty hearing and comprehending noise, anxiety, unable to sleep, choking, no sense of smell and some loss of motor skills and strength. Basically, I had accepted the fact that these symptoms would be with me for the rest of my life. I even took “lip reading” classes to help improve my verbal speech comprehension.

After moving to this area, I chose Dr. Castellanos’ practice for medical attention. I was simply looking for a doctor to monitor my symptoms and general health. I received so much more! Dr. Castellanos immediately acquired my medical history and we began several months of testing and treatment. He focused on my symptoms as well as my overall health. He recommended changes to medications, diet and vitamins. He provided guidance every step of the way. The results exceeded my expectations in every way.

My sleeping has improved to a point where I require no medication, I haven’t consumed any prescription medication in the past three months (for the first time since the accident), my ability to comprehend noise has improved to a point where I’m less reliant on reading lips, I haven’t choked in over eight months, my motor skills and general strength has improved dramatically (and I lost a few pounds), I have very little anxiety, my sense of smell gradually improved over the past several months, and generally speaking I feel the best I have since the accident.

I’m grateful for the professional, courteous and quality care I received from Dr. Castellanos’ nursing staff. It’s obvious to me that the nursing staff enjoys what they do and they really care about their patients. This is the best quality of nursing care I have ever received.

My current quality of life has greatly exceeded my expectations as a result of the care I received from Dr. Castellanos’ practice and I’m confident that this will continue to improve.

Thanks so much!


For the past six years Dr. Castellanos has been our family doctor. The care my husband and I have received from him has always been excellent. I feel very fortunate to have Dr. Castellanos in our community, as well as his wonderful staff.


Marla Clay

Here’s a letter from a patient who is moving out of the area:

Dear Dr. Castellanos,

I took these pictures of Grace a couple of weeks ago. She was playing doctor. The second picture is a close up of her name tag. The spelling is a little off but it is clear she was pretending to be “Dr. Castellanos”.

I hope all is well in your office. Please tell the ladies “Hello”. We hope you all have a Merry Christmas.

Thank you for all you have done for us. You have certainly raised our expectation for future doctors. We have not yet found a doctor, but we have a good lead on one which we hope to pursue soon.


Terry, Katrina and Grace

Orlando Gallegos

Templeton, CA

December 18, 2023

Testimonial: Doctor Alexander Castellanos

I am pleased to endorse Dr. Castellanos (aka Dr. C) as the most qualified family physician in SLO County, whose major interest is to provide the best medical care to his patients. I’ve had the benefit of 20 years of the very best medical care under Dr.C. His education at the Stanford University School of Medicine has prepared him to provide state-of-the-art high-quality care. To this education, Dr. C. brings an amazing knowledge of many, many causes of illness and how to heal them. He is always both patient and thorough in his care of his patients. Further, Dr. C’s office staff of nurses and clerical support are friendly, polite and thorough in support and care of patients. I personally can attest that all other doctors whose services I’ve required during the past 20 years consider Dr. C a great asset in helping them make correct diagnosis and procedures. Most recently, Dr. C proposed an alternative approach to the surgery proposed by my surgeon. Upon receiving the detailed suggestion made by Dr. C, my surgeon readily accepted Dr. C’s recommendation. A correct selection of an antibiotic quickly resolved the medical condition, and high-risk surgery was eliminated.

I became a Dr. C patient after I and my wife moved to North County from Silicon Valley. My wife dropped her physician(s) here in Templeton and San Luis Obispo and chooses to have Dr. C provide and direct her medical care. We both are certain Dr. C provides the best and most up-to-date medical care.


Orlando Gallegos

Pat Graybill has been our patient since February 2003.  Last year, she had a couple of her friends diagnosed with cancer.  Through this difficult time with her friends, she has learned that early detection would have made a vast difference in dealing with the cancers, and that there are blood tests that actually detect abnormalities in the blood, which may indicate early onset of cancer.  She also learned that Medicare currently will only pay for a woman to have a CA125 (cancer antigen blood test) if she has currently, or personally, in the past had cancer relating to female organs.  She also learned that the equivalent men’s cancer detection, PSA, has a much broader allowable diagnosis range, so a man does not necessarily have to currently have or have had cancer, but does require a symptom to substantiate the need for such test.

With Pat’s newfound knowledge, she decided to write to Senator Boxer, Senator Feinstein, and Congressman Kevin McCarthy.  We are proud of Pat and her efforts to have her voice be heard and to change Medicare, as we encourage all of our patients to be proactive in their healthcare, including dealing with insurance matters.  With Pat’s permission, we would like to share with you some of her letters

January 10, 2007

Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Congressman Kevin McCarthy

Dear Senator Boxer, 

I am writing to you concerning an important blood test for cancer that women are being denied by Medicare.  It is called CA125 and is a test that shows up ovarian cancer, but fortunately it also detects other kinds of cancer.  The only time Medicare allows this test is in cases where a woman already has cancer or had it in the past.  Of course, the test is too late in this case.

I would like to give you an example of this problem.  My friend, Marie had been suffering with back pain for months.  Many trips to doctors had given her no relief or reason for the pain.  I told her about my doctor, Dr. Castellanos in Templeton, Ca. who is very pro-active and believes in keeping his patients well and catching illness early.  She went to him, and he ordered the CA125 blood test.  For him, this is a routine test for his women patients.  The test revealed cancer.  It turned out that her hip was eaten through with a cancer tumor, and she had two spots of cancer on her lung.  Now it has spread to her spine.  She has stage four cancer and it is rapidly spreading even after radiation, hip removal, and chemo therapy.  A simple blood test done early could have saved her all this pain.  At this point only God knows the outcome.

I would also like to point out that men are given a blood test to test for PSA by the doctor which can alert them to prostate cancer.  My husband was saved by this test.  There are multiple reasons that Medicare will cover the expense for men while to take the blood test for women, the criteria seems to be very narrow.  You must have cancer already, a history of cancer, or a mass on the genital organs.  Something should be done about this so that women will have a chance at early detection.

I hope that you can help us with this situation.
Thanks in advance for your help.

Sincerely Yours,
Patricia Graybill

February 5, 2007

Dear Patricia:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your concern about CA 125 tests not currently covered by Medicare.

As you are already aware, CA 125, a cancer antigen, is a protein that is a tumor marker or biomarker, which is a substance that is found in greater concentration in tumor cells than in other cells of the body. In particular, CA 125 is present in greater concentration in ovarian cancer cells than in other cells, and thus, its presence in testing may help diagnose this cancer quickly so it can be properly treated.

Currently, CA 125 has been deemed reasonable and necessary for surveillance of primary peritoneal carcinoma in Medicare beneficiaries following treatment. While coverage is not currently offered in the testing of ovarian cancer, I will forward your letter and my intent in this issue, to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services which continually studies medical research and trials to see if its coverage policies should be changed or updated.

I appreciate you voicing your concern on this matter and will be keeping my eye on the issue for any updates during the 110th congress.

Member of Congress

March 30, 2007

Dear Mrs. Graybill:

Thank you for writing to express your views on the high costs of health care. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

I am pleased to tell you that Congress recently approved $1.9 billion to provide healthcare coverage to 1.2 million new patients and build or expand health centers across the country. The funding for public health programs was increased $207 million from last year and was included in the Continuing Resolution for fiscal year 2007. This legislation was signed into law on February 15, 2007.

For the past six years, the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress have failed to respond effectively to rising health costs. As you know, healthcare costs and insurance premiums have soared in recent years, putting heavy strains on employers, workers, and families who are struggling to keep up. The average annual premium for family coverage has skyrocketed 81 percent since the year 2000 to over $11,000 a year. Currently, over 46 million Americans have no type of health insurance at all.

President Bush recently proposed a healthcare initiative that would use tax subsidies to encourage more people to purchase their own health insurance while imposing additional taxes on those who have comprehensive health policies. The President’s proposal, if implemented, would do little to help the uninsured, most of whom have limited incomes and are in low tax brackets.

I believe the healthcare crisis demands a comprehensive solution that lowers the costs of medical care and makes health coverage available to all Americans. I am hopeful that the new Congress will move beyond the President’s inadequate proposal and continue to effectively work to meet the health care needs of hardworking Americans.

Thank you again for writing to me. Please do not hesitate to contact me again about this or any other issue.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

July 16, 2007

Dear Mrs. Graybill:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding Medicare coverage of the CA125 blood test. I appreciate the time you took to write and apologize for the delay in my response.

Like you, I strongly believe that preventative measures should be taken to prevent, detect and treat illnesses. I understand your concern that Medicare does not cover the CA125 blood tests to help detect ovarian cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, the CA125 blood test is currently not considered to be an effective general screening test for ovarian cancer. This is due to the high number of false positives and false negatives the test yields. You can find more information on the CA125 blood test by visiting the American Cancer Society’s web site at Be assured, I will keep your comments in mind should the Senate consider legislation related to this matter.

I believe the early detection of cancer is essential. I was a cosponsor of the Gynecologic Cancer and Education Awareness Act of 2005, also known as Johanna’s Law, to provide funding for programs to increase the awareness and knowledge of women and health care providers of gynecologic cancers. This legislation was signed into law on January 12, 2007.

As co-chair of the Senate Cancer Coalition, the study, treatment, early detection and prevention of cancer has been among my highest priorities since coming to the Senate. Preventative medicine is a cost-effective and life-saving way to improve the health of citizens. I have been active in efforts to increase public awareness about cancer and access to preventive health screenings to detect health problems early so that they may be appropriately treated. In addition, I have been a strong supporter of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which helps low-income, uninsured women receive screening for early detection of breast and cervical cancer.

Again, thank you for writing. If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841 or visit . Best regards.

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

September 21, 2007

Dear Congressman McCarthy:


Thank you for responding to our patient’s concerns regarding Medicare and the current lack of benefits for the CA125 tests.  We certainly agree with Mrs. Graybill and are pleased that she has brought to you, an awareness that it is imperative that early cancer detection becomes a priority for Medicare.

Our practice strives to encourage our patients to take a proactive approach to their healthcare and have established a website where we have posted Mrs. Graybill’s story, your response, and others, in hopes that citizens will become aware of the importance of this test, and that they will voice their opinions, and that we will in the near future see a change that will save lives.


Alexander Castellanos, M.D.

My name is Marisela and I have been a patient of Dr. Alexander Castellanos since he first opened his practice in Atascadero, CA. Both my husband and I feel very fortunate to have found him because he has such a passion for medicine and for keeping his patients healthy. His thoroughness in his exams and the patience to teach us how to take care of ourselves is stellar. There is one area of his practice that I would like to focus on in this letter, and that is the breast exam.

In my family, we have a history of breast cancer and I lost a cousin at the age of 24 yrs old. I also lost a very dear friend of mine to cancer about 8 years ago. I am very aware of the pain and needless suffering that misdiagnosis can cause. Both my cousin and good friend had their yearly check ups and in my cousins case she was good about checking her breasts every month, since her mom, my aunt, had breast cancer too. My girlfriend, who was older, had mammograms and breast exams routinely too. They both found lumps and went to their doctors for follow-up; both were told the same thing — “Let’s keep an eye on it and check it again in 3 months.” Mind you, my cousin lived in Guadalajara, Mexico and my girlfriend lived in Ventura County. My cousin’s cancer spread so quickly that three months later cancer was found in her lymph nodes and she was dead within the year. My girlfriend followed the usual course of care which is mammogram, then ultra-sound, then biopsy. A total of 6 months lapsed from the time she felt the lump to the time she got the biopsy. She had cancer and for 4 years underwent chemo and radiation off and on. She lost her fight.
Just recently, I was having some discomfort in my right breast. I tried to ignore it at first because I was “too busy.” My daughters and my husband insisted that I get it checked. After my exam, Doctor Castellanos did pinpoint an area where he could feel something that didn’t seem right. He then went on to explain his philosophy of immediately doing a breast biopsy, rather than following the usual medical practices. I agreed to the procedure. Later that night, I received an email from a colleague who was sharing the news that she had breast cancer. She wrote in detail how months earlier she had found the lump and she was told the now infamous, “Let’s keep an eye on it.” Almost 6 months later, and only because her husband insisted, she got the biopsy and they found she had cancer. I was so grateful to have Doctor Castellanos on my team. I couldn’t wait to share that story with him and now I couldn’t wait to get the biopsy. I was still nervous about the procedure, and wasn’t looking forward to the possible discomfort afterwards, but Dr. has magical hands. I felt no pain during or after the procedure. His practice truly thinks about the patients’ state of mind as well. When I went into the room where the biopsy was going to be performed, there was some soft music on and the temperature was perfect. This all helped to calm me down and while we went through the procedure, Dr. Castellanos kept my mind off the “cutting” and on his great conversation. It was like visiting with a friend!

I am sharing this in hopes that you trust that this experience will be very comfortable and most importantly, can save your life. I received a phone call with the results, which by the way Dr. insisted on giving me himself. How’s that for service! The biopsy proved to be cancer free!

Dear Dr. Castellanos:

First, I want to thank you for your professionalism and “bedside manner.” (Is that term still used?) It is very refreshing!

When you first examined my breast and felt a very small lump, I was not overly concerned. I knew I was healthy. You carefully explained the different options for treatment and let me know the decision was mine to make. When I mentioned a comment my sister (a very competent registered nurse) made regarding seeing a “breast specialist,” you offered to give me a referral if that was what I wanted. Personally, I felt I could go to six different doctors and get six different recommendations. Since I started my overall health care with you, I decided to follow through with your recommendation for treatment which was the excisional biopsy.

You were very patient and thorough in your explanation and readily answered all my questions. As I mentioned to you, two years ago I had a Mohs procedure on my nose — the excisional biopsy was much easier compared to that. Even having the stitches removed was not a big deal. Restrictions were minimal which was important for this horse owner. The procedure was a lot less invasive than I had anticipated so recovery was very fast. I want you to know that if it is ever necessary to have this procedure again, I would not hesitate to do so.


A Poem about Dr. Castellanos by Tink Stanco

The doctor where I lived before
Really should have checked for more…

You thoroughly checked out all of me
And found some things he did not see…

Tests said something’s gone awry…
You quickly found the reason why…

Wouldn’t you know…just my luck…
Parathyroid had gone amok…

Let’s get it done and not avoid
The surgery on this parathyroid…

You found the surgeon… got things set…
You even assisted…I won’t forget…

Your thorough “hands on” breast exam…
Found lump MISSED by the mammogram…

Your quick removal… oh so precise…
No lasting scar…it looks quite nice…

No nasty after treatments needed…
Years passed… and cancer not repeated…

The generations of my clan
Have one and all become your fan…

We know you went that extra mile…
Dropped by on “old” just to chat awhile…

You’ve also made us more aware
Of simple health preventative care…

Another thing I did observe…
You’re always there before the curve…

The “newest” health things that I read…
You’ve already brought us up to speed…

You’re there through all these things I’ve faced…
Your calm advice with humor laced…

Thank You Dr. C!

Tink Stanco

Hi. My name is Melanie and I just completed 1 year under Dr. Castellanos’ care. After an initial nutrition consultation and some blood work, it was diagnosed I had the start of arteries beginning to clog from cholesterol buildup. Dr. Castellanos showed me a picture of how bad he thought they were clogged based on a cardiovascular study he did. That opened my eyes (but not my clogged arteries); that was only going to take place if I changed my eating habits, so i did. Dr. Castellanos said that if I followed his course of action I could have at least 50% correction after 6 months, and I had better than 50% correction in that time! I got a gold star for being a good patient.

One of the reasons I even went to see Dr. Castellanos was because I was feeling a bit depressed and I had very little energy. I was becoming irritable and difficult to live with. Just ask my husband! The very first question I had to answer in my consultation was if I was sleeping OK. I said, “absolutely not! I’m edgy all the time. I’m experiencing insomnia and my sleep patterns are all over the clock.” The Doctor suggested I start on a sleeping aide called Restoral three times a week. I am now down to once a week and very close to completely eliminating this from my regimen. I am getting normal amounts of sleep and sleeping more routinely. I’m not cranky. I’m amazed.

I have a lung disease that was diagnosed in 1975 and a hiatal hernia diagnosed in 1982 and stomach problems practically my whole life. Dr. Castellanos discovered an excessive amount of mucus in my sinus area that directly affects my lungs. I’ve started a humabid medication to begin to clear out this mucus over time and will hope to see improvement in this regard after my next checkup. I took a liquid band-aid type medicine for my stomach and it has improved dramatically. I thought I was going to have stomach problems forever!

I appreciate the degree of patient/doctor consultations. It’s more time spent than I’ve ever spent with a doctor before, but the results are phenomenal. I’ve never experienced such a thorough examination before. I fell that this doctor and his staff really care about me. I want to enjoy a long life and feel good the majority of the time and I can’t say enough about my experience with this group.

Melanie Logan

Retired: Realty
Education: Bacteriology & Hygiene

Our neighbor highly recommended Dr. Castellanos. My husband and I set up our appointments and found the office to be completely different from other doctors’ offices. Our initial exams were very thorough, and we found the philosophy of care to be exactly what we were looking for. We had not previously had a primary care physician. We’d always had Specialists for specific health issues. One specialist, I had seen, when we lived down south, went above and beyond the standard of care when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was afraid we would not find someone of that caliber when we moved to this area, but now I believe we have.

Through the tests that Dr. Castellanos routinely orders, I found that I, at some point in time, had experienced a heart attack. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. I had no idea I’d had a mild (or otherwise) heart attack. Yet my EKG indicated this fact. Because of the EKG, I really took Dr. Castellanos’ recommendations for diet and exercise seriously.

I have had other instances where the exams meant to prevent disease have discovered disease already at work in my body, such as with the skin evaluation.

In 2006, I experienced symptoms, which I believed to be sinus problems and I went to a local allergist. I was treated for my symptoms as if they were allergies, or sinus related issues, but I wasn’t improving. Then I had an appointment with Dr. Castellanos, and mentioned my situation. He did a general Ear/Nose/Throat exam, listened to my breathing, and sent me out for a chest x-ray. The x-ray showed that among other things, I had a mass in my lung. The mass turned out to be cancerous, and I have been through treatment for it, but I have to say that Dr. Castellanos’ intervention was crucial. I may not otherwise be here today.

Prospective Patient Advice: Now is when you change your lifestyle so that when you are older you will enjoy better health. Take responsibility for your healthcare – your medical records, your appointments, and your body.


I would like to thank Dr. Alexander Castellanos and his staff for providing simple but powerful
tools to improve my health and for regularly monitoring my progress. When I was referred to Dr.
Castellanos, I was concerned about the health history of my family, specifically heart issues.
Both of my grandfathers suddenly passed away from heart issues (my Dad’s father in his mid
fifties and Mom’s father at the age of seventy) and my own father had a quintuple bypass
surgery when he had just turned seventy. Dad had faithfully been taking heart medications to
limit his risks and walked six miles, round trip, everyday to work until he was fifty. I have myself
have been taking meds for about 15 years and have always been watchful for any opportunities
to be more proactive to improve my health. Along with medication, I was hiking a rigorous 5
miles, about twice a week. Then, as I approached my sixtieth birthday, a friend had
recommended Dr. Castellanos. Immediately, he and his staff began a careful process of
evaluating my condition and recommended a few very simple changes in lifestyle. The
implementation of these recommendations yielded very quick results, not the least of which
included a thirty pound weight loss in about three months and a very tangible increase in energy
and alertness throughout my days.

I could not believe these simple suggestions could make such a huge difference in my life. It
started with drinking more water (I didn’t drink much at all), walking leisurely for an hour every
day, greatly limiting the intake of dairy products (if not cutting them out completely) and flipping
my food consumption so that I started my day with the largest meal, ate smaller portions and a
small snack between meals.

I’ve never had a doctor be so thorough with data collection either. Along with the usual things,
Dr. Castellanos includes an annual treadmill and vascular evaluation. The idea being that if
your circulatory system is healthy, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard; the elasticity of your
circulatory system helps move your blood around your body. Water and leisurely walking
(keeping your heart rate under one hundred beats per minute) were the key.

Last summer, after a year and a half of faithfully executing Dr. Castellanos’ recommendations,
my wife and I took on an ambitious, ten mile, high elevation backpacking trip near Yellowstone
National Park in Montana. Our goal was a lake-littered basin at ten thousand feet. It’s our
favorite backcountry destination and our hope was to do it one more time while our bodies
would comply. I am happy to say that the hiking was seemingly effortless, relatively speaking,
and hugely gratifying. We were not only rewarded with peak season wildflowers, but also a
freak midsummer snow storm that gave the colorful wildflowers the appearance of being
Christmas lights! We have never seen anything so beautiful! Words quickly became
cumbersome and all I could do at the turn of a new scene was scream. I’m so glad I was fit
enough to enjoy this treasure so completely.

Thank you again, Dr. Castellanos, to you and your staff, for providing such a high standard of
care to your patients.

I am now 63 and just completed a backpacking trip of the last section of the John Muir Trail with my daughter, Jayne. We hiked 58 miles in four days; 32 miles in the first three days and 25 on the last day, all above 10,000 feet in elevation. We started out of Onion Valley at 9,200 feet, near Independence, and climbed Kearsarge Pass at nearly 12,000 feet, hiked 10 miles and camped at 10,000 feet the first day. We took it easy the second day, hiked 7 miles and camped at 11,200 feet, just below Forrester Pass. The third day, we climbed almost four miles to Forrester Pass at 13,200 feet. Then we hiked 11 more miles to Wallace Creek at 10,500 feet. The fourth day, we reached our destination for the day, Guitar Lake, just before lunch. Since we both felt good and the weather was clear and sunny, we decided to try and summit Mt. Whitney at 14,505 feet. We did so by late afternoon and decided that we felt good enough to hike the remaining 11 miles out. Another motivation for exiting early was that it was Jayne’s wedding (and dating) anniversary the following day. Since Jayne’s husband, Adrain, was unable to do the trip due to a last minute knee issue, we weren’t going to be able to celebrate their anniversary on top of Mt Whitney as planned. So this idea to finish early seemed like a good compromise for the unfortunate circumstances and besides, we were both feeling good. By the last 3 miles, however, both Jayne and I we feeling the effects of the massive, ambitious decision. We hiked the last two hours in the dark with headlamps and did the deed! We were both exhausted the next day, Jayne and Adrian’s anniversary, but they did get to spend the day together. After that marathon day of hiking, Jayne slept for just two hours and then drove the five hours to get home to her honey. I, needless to say, slept the whole night until sunrise and then I drove home. Even though we covered a lot of ground in a short period of time, the trip was delightful and everything I had hoped it would be; we were even relatively unaffected by the smoke from the raging California fires that closed Yosemite National Park for at least two weeks.

-Ron Poulos

Dear Dr. Castellanos ,

I just wanted to drop a note by to say thank you for your vascular program. My blood pressure has come down and my strength is improving. I still need to walk more – I continue to work on this. I am looking forward to my next echogram on the feet [vascular study] – hopefully there will be signs of improvement. Thanks again!

Respectfully Yours,

– K.C.


Dear Dr. Castellanos,

A little over three years ago I was hospitalized at Stanford. When I was released and returned home I was to get a primary physician as I did not have one. My daughter did some research and came up with your name. She made an appointment for me and you became my doctor.

When I came to you I had two aneurysms, had cholesterol, plaque build up in the arteries. sky high blood pressure and damaged lungs from years of smoking. You asked me what 1 wanted and expected from you. I said guidance and you agreed to treat me providing I followed your recommendations.

I have taken my medication. followed your dietary guidelines, and I walk over an hour everyday and feel better than I have in years.

Now my cholesterol and blood pressure are under control, my lungs are getting back to normal. and the plague in my arteries has been greatly reduced. This all helps my aneurysms from increasing in size.

You told me I was smarter than Albert Einstein as he died from an aneurysm because he did not take care of himself. That’s true I am smarter than Einstein.

Without you I am sure I would not be here today. Thank you Dr. Castellanos.


– Fay

“You have a long way to go, but we can reverse all this and get you back to optimal health.” This is what Dr. Castellanos, (Dr. C.), told me when I first started seeing him. I was ready and willing to do whatever he said, because I was feeling so badly. I was tired, stressed, pre-diabetic, had digestive problems, elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol, was a little over weight, and found out that my arteries were partially clogged.

The honesty and hope Dr. C. provided was the best medicine. The fact that I could reverse the damage and disease that had started to catch up with me was very motivating. I did the simple things that he, along with Bethany and the rest of his staff, advised, and quickly started feeling much better. Now, two years later, I am truly near optimal health. I have much more energy, feel great, am no longer pre-diabetic, my cholesterol has dropped over 100 points, blood pressure is 110/70 most of the time, the stomach problems have gone away, and best of all my arteries are almost perfectly
normal. Dr. C. Said that I have actually grown younger because of the much healthier vascular system. You can actually see and hear the difference during a vascular study. Along with all of this, Dr. C. regularly does blood work, skin and prostrate checks, etc., to make sure that he would catch anything before it became a big concern.

The success that Dr. C. and his team have brought to my health has motivated me, all the more, to live a healthy life style and try to help others. As an educator, I know that it takes both a qualified teacher and a committed student to achieve academic success. When it comes to preventing and reversing disease, it’s nice to know that we have possibly the most qualified doctor, in this field, right here in our neighborhood. To anyone who is ready to make a change for better health, I encourage you, to commit to Doctor Castellanos, with all of my heart, and arteries!


– Jay Turner