Cancer is one of the most common life-threatening diseases of the modern world. We will all come into contact with cancer at some point in our lifetime, either personally or as a bystander to friends or family, who have been diagnosed with one of its many different forms.
Observations from decades of intensive research have clearly cemented that cancer is the result of cells acquiring abnormalities in their behaviour due to damage to our genes. Amongst the acquired abnormalities is the ability of cells to divide and replicate uncontrollably, become immortal and spread throughout the body. However, for a cell to become so abnormal as to be described as cancer, it must undergo many changes and escape the numerous control mechanisms, which make cells behave correctly. Hence, cancer development depends on both DNA damage and compromised defence mechanisms and a healthy body, in general, constitutes a difficult environment for cancer to develop and grow.
Our environment plays a major role in our chances of developing cancer. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, tobacco smoke, pollution, viruses, bacteria and other carcinogenic substances can all influence cancer development as can our diet and lifestyle. The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that 30-40% of all cancers worldwide are preventable by dietary measures and associated means. Nutrition therefore plays a significant role as part of a cancer prevention strategy as do other positive lifestyle measures such as adequate exercise and good emotional health.
Nutrition can also play an important supportive role in cancer recovery. Whilst conventional cancer treatments primarily aim to directly destroy cancer cells, the main objective of nutritional therapy is to support the functioning of the various body systems thus assisting the body’s own defence mechanisms and creating a hostile environment for cancer. Nutritional needs often increase in cancer and hence designing a protocol to help ensure these needs are met may be particularly important for individuals with cancer.
Any nutritional support offered will be designed to work safely alongside, and to complement any other conventional cancer treatment an individual may be undergoing. Potential contraindications, which may exist between certain supplements and conventional treatment will be taken into account.
I consider treatment choices for cancer to be a very personal matter and will work with clients who have chosen to pursue conventional and/or alternative options. However, I must emphasise that the support I offer does not treat cancer and is not an alternative to conventional treatment. I insist that your consultant/oncologist/GP is always consulted and informed of any support you receive through me.