The POWER THROUGH BREAST CANCER programme focusses on seven critical areas of health that I call your Seven Superpowers.
The seven areas we will focus on together are recognised risk factors for cancer. Improving the way they function can support your health and recovery and combine synergistically with other conventional and complementary treatment approaches.
1. Metabolic Mastery
Restoring healthy metabolic flexibility is possibly the most powerful step you can take to reverse the pro-cancer microenvironment. It will be a key focus of our work, and we may use metabolic approaches like fasting and ketosis to kick start your mitochondria (metabolic power houses) into functioning optimally again, exploiting the different benefits of ‘fed’ and ‘fasting’ metabolic states to restore blood sugar balance and insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, encourage cell repair and renewal, support cell breakdown via autophagy, turn on important survival enzymes and help you maintain a healthy weight.
2. Hormonal Harmony
Oestrogen management is important for breast cancer survival. Despite what you may have been told, oestrogen is not a carcinogen. It becomes dangerous only when we make too much, respond too strongly or fail to detoxify and eliminate spent hormones and xenoestrogens. We will explore natural ways to restore a safe and healthy balance. Nutrigenetic and functional testing can uncover oestrogen processing problems that haven’t come to light during conventional treatment. Understanding your personal hormonal fingerprint can also help you choose the right treatment and improve your quality of life after diagnosis.
3. Digestion Correction
Your digestive tract is a delicate and highly technical processing plant designed to break down food into tiny molecules, deliver nourishment to your cells and support immunity and elimination. Few people enjoy perfect digestion and the stress of diagnosis and treatment tends to make it worse. The gut wall is one of the most important immune structures in the body and your gut flora is a vast army of health-promoting organisms that play an important role in health and disease. We will focus on restoring healthy digestion and microbial balance as the foundation of recovery and future health.
4. Damage Limitation
Bodies go wrong when the rate of damage exceeds the rate of repair. Damage can come from many directions and the resulting inflammation and oxidative stress is clearly linked to cancer. Those of us with faulty repair genes (BRCA is one of these) or chronic high exposure, are at increased risk, but nutrition can help. Avoiding exposure is a sensible precaution, but you can also increase your ability to deal with the toxins before further damage occurs. We will focus on promoting repair mechanisms, supporting detoxification, calming inflammation and improving elimination of toxins.
5. Circadian Sensibility
Learning how to ‘live within your means’ on a physical and psychological level is a key survival skill. Our daily ‘circadian rhythm’ impacts many key cancer pathways, including hormone balance, cell repair, blood sugar, Vitamin D levels. Sleep is the body’s ultimate repair mechanism, while prolonged stress reduces immune response, raises inflammation and inhibits healing. Most of my clients have a history of pushing their bodies to the limit and ignoring the inner voices telling them to slow down. Learning to control the personality drivers that leave you depleted and exhausted is one of the most important elements of survival. We need to acknowledge that survival of the fittest doesn’t always mean survival of the fastest!
6. Nutrigenetic Knowledge
Adding nutrigenetic counselling to my practice is the single most powerful thing I’ve done as a practitioner; it explains so much about why we as individuals get cancer, and offers priceless insights into how to stay more healthy in future. I used to think that genetic behaviour was set in stone: something we were born with and would – sooner or later – die with. Not so! While your genes never change, they express themselves differently according to how much sleep, sunshine and spring greens you get. The healthy reputation of broccoli, for example, is linked to its ability to stimulate genes involved in liver detoxification and support safe oestrogen breakdown. We can commission DNA tests to help us understand the way your genes control hormone production and elimination, liver detoxification, antioxidant defences, and DNA repair and protection in response to different foods.
7. Personal Empowerment
Cancer occurrence is widely thought to be a random event, and survival statistics seem to echo that. But survival appears to be random because the only intervention we track is medical treatment. Once you start to track other factors like diet, lifestyle, supplements, yoga, gardening, stress… you discover that the vast majority of exceptional survivors have made radical changes that are far from random. Radical Remission – a site dedicated to documenting stories of exceptional survivors who beat the odds – lists the top survival factors as
- radically changing your diet
- taking control of your health
- following your intuition
- using herbs and supplements
- releasing suppressed emotions
- increasing positive emotions
- embracing social support
- deepening your spiritual connection
- having strong reasons for living
It’s a list that I personally find deeply confirming and inspiring. It helps me to see, in retrospect, why I’m still here despite a 30% chance of survival. I hope it helps you to see that you are not just a number on your recurrence score. Every single thing you do to improve your health has the potential to change your odds for the better.
The lack of information and support around natural health for breast cancer patients is the main reason I changed career after my own diagnosis. I didn’t need clinical trials and cast-iron proof: I ‘knew’ with every cell of my body that I had to change my life if I wanted to survive. Even when there’s nothing more that medicine can do, we must remember that our bodies are more powerful, intricate and intelligent than the whole of the NHS put together. I encourage clients to see themselves as CEO of their own survival plan. Taking control of your cancer experience is the first important step in changing your biochemistry for the better. We can build on that in our work together so that your mind and body can work together for healing.
I hope you’re feeling much more positive about your situation and ready to do some serious work together to transform your health.
I look forward to meeting you!
- Book a free exploratory session with Dawn
- Will we work well together?
- What can nutritional therapy do?
- My cancer recovery programme
- How your genes can boost recovery
- The evidence for nutrition and cancer
- What do other people say about Dawn?
- Further reading around the subject
Allen, B.G. et al., 2014. Ketogenic diets as an adjuvant cancer therapy: History and potential mechanism. Redox Biology, 2, pp.963–970.
Aragón, F., 2014. Modification in the diet can induce beneficial effects against breast cancer. World Journal of Clinical Oncology, 5(3), p.455.
Azrad, M., Turgeon, C. & Demark-Wahnefried, W., 2013. Current evidence linking polyunsaturated fatty acids with cancer risk and progression. Frontiers in oncology, 3(September), p.224.
Boon, H.S., Olatunde, F. & Zick, S.M., 2007. Trends in complementary/alternative medicine use by breast cancer survivors: comparing survey data from 1998 and 2005. BMC women’s health, 7(1), p.4.
Bozzetti, F. & Zupec-Kania, B., 2016. Toward a cancer-specific diet. Clinical Nutrition, 35(5), pp.1188–1195.
Cangemi, A et al., (2016). Dietary restriction: could it be considered as speed bump on tumour progression road? Tumour Biology, 37(6) 7109-18
Cornelius, C. et al., 2013. Stress responses, vitagenes and hormesis as critical determinants in aging and longevity: Mitochondria as a “ chi.” Immunity and Ageing, 10(1), p.15.
Hanahan, D. & Weinberg, R.A., 2011. Hallmarks of cancer: The next generation. Cell, 144(5), pp.646–674.
Iyikesici, M.S. et al., 2017. Efficacy of Metabolically Supported Chemotherapy Combined with Ketogenic Diet, Hyperthermia, and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Stage IV Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. Cureus.
Lee, C. & Longo, V.D., 2011. Fasting vs dietary restriction in cellular protection and cancer treatment: from model organisms to patients. Oncogene, 30(30), pp.3305–3316.
Noakes, T.D. & Windt, J., 2017. Evidence that supports the prescription of low-carbohydrate high-fat diets: A narrative review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51(2), pp.133–139.
Persad, Michelle, 2016. The Average Woman Puts 515 Chemicals on Her Body Every Day Without Knowing. Huffington Post.
Schwabe, R.F. & Jobin, C., 2013. The microbiome and cancer. Nature reviews. Cancer, 13(11), pp.800–12.
Toledo, E. et al., 2015. Mediterranean Diet and Invasive Breast Cancer Risk Among Women at High Cardiovascular Risk in the PREDIMED Trial. JAMA Internal Medicine, 175(11), p.1. (Erratum registered.)