A cancer diagnosis is surely one of the most disempowering things that can happen to anyone. It’s not only the difficulty of hearing those words, but also the rigid medical system that you become a part of as soon as your diagnosis is confirmed. The conventional approach to cancer is almost as feared as the disease itself and, while treatment protocols are set in stone, results are entirely random. It’s like entering a parallel universe.
“People don’t decide their futures, they decide their habits, and their habits decide their futures.” – F.M. Alexander
No one can deny the power of cancer to turn your life upside down, but it’s also a good opportunity to rebuild your life in ways that are healthier and happier than before. When I was diagnosed with Grade 3, Stage 3, receptor negative breast cancer in August 1997 my prognosis was poor but my instincts were spot on. I somehow ‘knew’ that it wasn’t enough to follow the treatment and go back to life as I had been living it. I needed a life makeover! During the intervening years, our understanding of cancer has accelerated rapidly and with it the certainty that diet and lifestyle changes are fundamental to improving recovery and reducing recurrence.
After going back to college and retraining both as a nutritional therapist and then as a life coach, I have spent the past sixteen years helping individuals to emerge from their cancer experience healthier and happier than ever, and now I feel it’s time to use what I’ve learned to reach a wider audience. I want to help you take a more holistic view of your recovery, to understand why you were at risk, what recovery entails, how your medical treatment will help (and how you can help your medical treatment) and, crucially, what remains to be done to restore your health after treatment is over.
Transforming your life after breast cancer
The Power Through Breast Cancer one-day workshops provide essential survival information delivered in a small-group environment (maximum 5 people and me) that has the potential to help you to live stronger and longer after breast cancer.
We know that cancer thrives in a very specific ‘microenvironment’ and that changing that environment can change outcomes. In my view this information should be available to everyone, and included in conventional treatment protocols: it’s not complementary, it’s fundamental. Any effort you make to improve your health after diagnosis is likely to improve treatment outcomes and shift you further towards the right end of the survival statistics. In fact, in July 2019 several respected healthcare institutions called for changes to the delivery of cancer care across the UK with greater focus on ‘prehabilitation’, including nutrition, exercise and psychological support’ to improve treatment options, side effects and recovery.
If you’ve been recently diagnosed you probably haven’t got time to wait for the NHS to find the budget and the people to deliver the quality of information you need. Luckily, I’m uniquely qualified to bridge the gap and I’ve developed a small-group one-day workshop to do exactly that.
Empowering recovery and survival
The workshop will focus on five key areas where you can make a real difference to your health and impact your future. I will share practical and evidence-based information to show how changes to your diet and lifestyle habits can make a difference to your risk and support your recovery. It will also help you to understand your treatment options more thoroughly, to reduce side effects and improve outcomes as well as avoiding common nutritional misunderstandings that can diminish the effectiveness of chemo and radiotherapy.
The day will focus on five key areas that have been shown to impact breast cancer risk and recovery – I call them the “Five Frontiers” – and in each case you’ll learn how to make healthier decisions to support recovery and reduce recurrence. Our discussion will dig into each area, highlighting the importance of metabolic flexibility, hormonal regulation, immune balance, circadian ‘sensibility’ and the vital role of the microbiome in cancer. We’ll cover key cancer concepts like the ketogenic diet, repurposed drugs, the importance of exercise, nutrigenetics, and a whole lot more. We’ll also look at how your breast cancer receptor status might impact your choices and discuss how you can further personalise your diet and lifestyle with functional and genetic testing. There’ll be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and I hope you’ll leave with a totally new way to think about cancer and a new vision for a healthy future.
Supporting innate healing
The workshop day will arm you with practical and actionable knowledge as well as providing areas for further research and personal exploration. It has taken me more than twenty years of continuous study to build my knowledge to a point where I can share safe, powerful and evidence-based advice about this complex and multi-faceted disease. I want to be clear that there are no guaranteed outcomes when it comes to breast cancer, but there’s a lot you can do to steer your prognosis in the right direction.
I look forward to meeting you and helping to inspire your recovery!
Registered Nutritional Therapist, Nutrigenetic Counsellor and Life Coach
PG Cert. BSc.(Hons) Dip ION | mBANT CNHC NTC AFMCP
Dawn is a registered nutritional therapist and nutrigenetic counsellor and a highly experienced life coach. She is not an oncologist or a qualified medical doctor.