There’s no such thing as bad weather… only the wrong clothes

Yes to Life Interview – Spring Congress 2021 – Dawn Waldron and Robin Daly

Talk Description

Based on Billy Connolly’s insightful observation, Dawn and Robin will explore the idea that poor diet and lifestyle choices are the most important factor in fending off carcinogens. Referencing Michael Fenech’s work on the ’nutriome’ which shows that micronutrient deficiencies and macronutrient imbalances are major causes of genomic instability – one of the recognised hallmarks of cancer, rivalling the impact of X-rays. The discussion will look at how we can better protect ourselves against our toxic inner and outer world.

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Using genes to prevent disease

When the Human Genome Project was launched it was hoped that we would identify signature genes for each of the many types of cancer that would in turn lead to targeted treatments. By the time the project was wound up those hopes were dashed. Cancer mutations are diverse and confusing and have not led to the solutions we were hoping for. Cancer, it turns out, is a multifactorial disease that cannot be explained by a single gene.

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Your genes = my genes

In the second post in our mini-series leading up to my talk with Emma Beswick for Your Life and Cancer 2020 we look at how our genes differ from each other. 

In fact they don’t! We all have the same gene set containing around 20000 genes and we all have the same genes in the same place (locus) on the same chromosomes, though boys have a bit missing.

Differences between people occur when they have another variant of the same gene.

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Getting into your Genes

I’m thrilled to be part of the YOUR LIFE AND CANCER 2020 conference that has already provided so much hope and information to cancer patients all over the world. I was delighted to be invited to talk on one of my favourite topics, Nutrigenetics, along with one of my favourite colleagues, Emma Beswick, founder of Lifecode Gx.

When preparing for my talk the question that was going around in my head was: ‘What is the most important message that people need to understand about their genes?”

Easy…

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Nutritional therapy: protecting the parts Tamoxifen cannot reach

If you are diagnosed with hormone receptor positive breast cancer before menopause you will most likely be prescribed Tamoxifen, a selective oestrogen receptor modulator (SERM) that has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence. The key benefit of this drug is that it protects hormone sensitive breast tissue and tumour cells from the effects of growth-promoting oestrogen – without completely suppressing oestrogen in the rest of the body. It’s a win-win! 

There’s no doubt that Tamoxifen saves lives, but leaving oestrogen in circulation has been shown to increase the risk of other hormone-mediated cancers, and a proportion of women find that Tamoxifen adversely impacts their quality of life with increased pain, depression, headaches and mood changes – which can be severe. In my experience most women show tremendous courage in dealing with the balance of risks and benefits of breast cancer treatment and accept the downs with the ups. But in this case you don’t need to settle for the downside: nutritional therapy can help you mitigate the extra risk that Tamoxifen poses and minimise the mood and menopause effect that some women experience, without diminishing the benefits of the drug: a win-win-win! 

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How to have a Happy New Year

As I fell into bed after a very enjoyable celebration of New Year 2017 with some of my nearest and dearest, I read with despair that there had been another mass shooting with many lives lost. So the worries of 2016 have already infected 2017 and it’s not always easy to look on the bright side of life.

With that in mind, I ditched plans to write about how to make resolutions that stick, deciding it might be more helpful to share some nutrition and coaching ideas around how to stay upbeat when the world seems determined to drag you down.

Here are my suggestions: Continue reading

Help when it gets complicated

Honestly, I know a lot of people think I make my living by telling people to eat more broccoli and oily fish – and they know that already so they think they don’t need any help.

Well, to quote the wonderful Ben Goldacre, “I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that”.

I’ve spent the last couple of months with my head in the Cloud in an attempt to pin down some of the many, specific ways that diet and genes interact to change our risk for breast cancer and other diseases. I’ve learned a lot.

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