There is no doubt that our mental state has a bearing on our physical health – few would argue with that point any more – so it’s ironic that a cancer diagnosis can trigger such a strong stress and fear response, the exact opposite of what our bodies need. But there’s something else I’ve noticed time and time again: a cancer diagnosis can trigger a strong rebellion too. As I was travelling home from the Yes to Life Conference on Sunday night I found myself reflecting on why that might happen.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
After twenty years of clinical practice as a nutritional therapist, I’m continually reminded that healing is not all about broccoli! No matter how much we would like to rely on randomised controlled trials, and base our advice on things that are irrefutably proven, there are elements of healing that are beyond our ken, and way beyond our ability to experiment with. Not everything that can be measured matters, and not everything that matters can be measured.Continue reading
Many of you must be weighing up the risks and benefits of spending time with loved ones over Christmas this year and wondering what’s best to do. There are no magic answers and the government is right to highlight the potential downside of celebrating together. But maybe there are things – over and above the current public health advice – that we can do to protect ourselves from infection and, more importantly, to ward off the worst case COVID scenario if the virus manages to get through our defences?Continue reading
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.Continue reading
“If you can keep your immune system while all around are losing theirs…”
I hesitated before using, or rather abusing, this Rudyard Kipling quote because there’s nothing funny or flippant about the state we and our loved ones find ourselves in. Nevertheless, with no medical treatments available for coronavirus, maintaining a strong immune system is the name of the game. Cancer patients will be all too familiar with this dilemma and, in many ways, the advice for coronavirus builds on what you already know. Natural medicine, as far as we know, cannot stop you becoming infected, nor can it offer a cure, but research suggests you maybe able to reduce your chances of hospitalisation by improving your metabolic status. Continue reading
As I write this, I am listening to Handel’s Messiah playing in the background – an age old Easter ritual for me. As well as calming my soul and lifting my heart, it reminds me of the underlying pagan theme of this time of year — the cycles of nature: spring and summer, flower and fruit, birth and death. It’s a message that all of us affected by cancer need to take to heart. Continue reading
When I cured myself of irreversible, pre-cancerous proliferative verrucous leukoplakia (PVL) my specialist surgeon was, I think it’s fair to say, gobsmacked. It’s something he had never seen before, and believed to be impossible. The five nasty white patches on my tongue melted away leaving a perfect pink patina, in five months flat.
Your weight is an especially sensitive subject after a cancer diagnosis. Everyone knows that being overweight is linked to a higher risk of cancer but after diagnosis we are also told that it’s not a good idea to lose too much weight. I have found that the science around weight and cancer is not well understood, giving rise to all sorts of unhealthy advice. So what are the facts? Continue reading
Have you ever had a period in your life where, despite the fact that everything looks the same on the outside, you know that everything has changed on the inside and will never be the same again?
Facing up to the statistics around your cancer diagnosis can be difficult, and a lot of people would rather not know. I don’t blame you. No one wants to hear that sort of news, especially when it’s unlikely to be correct.
On Friday, I got some great news: I’m officially recognised as being a trusted and trustable UK Health Professional. Continue reading
I wonder if you watched Panorama this week? It was a gently uplifting programme which explained some exciting new human cancer experiments which are yielding some impressive results. Continue reading
As I prepare for the first ‘Get Comfortable with Cancer’ workshop, I’m aware of a huge bubble of potential. The day already exists In my imagination and there’s a lot of work to do to translate that vision and excitement into the uplifting and inspiring day I want it to be. As well as making your more comfortable, I’d like to think that you will end the day with more confidence, and with more knowledge.
As I was writing the previous post, I triggered a memory. To be accurate, it was more of a feeling.
I sensed all over again the confusion and frustration Continue reading
Here’s what I notice… across a growing number of clients…
Patients who ask the oncology team if diet can make a difference invariably get the answer no.
Patients who tell the oncology team that they are trying to help themselves with diet often get told to be very careful, or to stop.
In 1971, president Richard Nixon declared war on cancer when he signed the National Cancer Act. At the time the scientific community was confident that we were no more than a decade away from a cure; their confidence based on a new understanding of DNA and the observation that cancer tumour cells all seemed to contain significant DNA, or gene, mutations. Continue reading
“We now have good evidence… If you overfeed somebody with fat you don’t increase their cancer risk at all. If you overfeed them with carbohydrates then you dramatically increase their cancer risk. And protein is half way in between”
We could hardly have got it more wrong. All these years you’ve been depriving yourself of butter on your bread when it’s the bread you should have been worrying about!
Twenty thirteen was the year when the volume of opinion in favour of low carbs for health (not just weight loss) was impossible to silence, and when the evidence started to stack up.
Those of you who have been following my progress over the past year will know that I’ve been following a diet that I knitted together after years of struggle. Many of you have tried it yourselves with amazing results. To date I’ve lost 36 pounds in 13 months. Continue reading