The Five Facets of Recovery

The pioneering work of Otto Warburg in the 1930s showed that cancer cells need a highly specific set of biochemical conditions to thrive. In the 1990s, the brilliant biochemist, Mina Bissel, named it the tumour microenvironment, and showed that it is a key factor in breast cancer development. Unfortunately our modern lives, filled with high stress levels, environmental chemicals, uncontrolled inflammation, disregulated hormones and depleted diets are pretty good at creating that precise toxic bath, and some of us are genetically less suited to this brave new world. Nutrigenomics can target the areas which are more problematic for you. 

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Every Day for Every One

After twenty years of studying nutrition and breast cancer I firmly believe (and the evidence supports) that everyone should learn how to personalise their diet to their genes and lifestyle to improve survival outcomes. However, there are a few things that are more universal – ways that everyone can build into their everyday lives to improve their health and clean up the tumour microenvironment. Here’s my list: 

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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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How can we stress less about cancer?

Stress plays a significant role in cancer, impacting key cancer pathways, inhibiting important health processes and promoting invasion and metastasis. We know that stress and cancer feed off each other in a most unhealthy way, but the experience of cancer is so inherently stressful it’s difficult to see how to separate the two. 

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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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How does food affect your genes?

In the previous post we looked at the way epigenetics influences the way your genes work and introduced the idea of ‘single nucleotide polymorphisms’ or SNPs which may help to explain how even people with a healthy diet and lifestyle can become ill.  In this post we’ll take a closer look at how food can make a difference.

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Your genes are not your destiny

It’s hard to convey just how much my heart was in my mouth when I first looked at my own genetic results in 2015. With my horrible health history I was worried that I would have a long list of genetic mutations that could lead to my early demise. So imagine how I felt when I clicked on the results and found…

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Changing the way your genes work

Until fairly recently it was thought and taught that genetic outputs were irrevocably fixed. Which has led to a common perception that having unfavourable genes will lead to an unfavourable future. Luckily for us, that rather clunky early understanding has given way to a much more fluid and intelligent understanding of genetics and resulted in a new field of study called epigenetics.

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What do genes do?

When we talk about genes we are normally referring to the protein coding genes (rather than the somewhat more mysterious non-coding genes). In the simplest terms, these genes contain the instructions for building a protein that controls the way your body works, using a two stage process called transcription and translation.

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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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