Issue 1 Editorial Volume 7

Integrative cancer and oncology news with articles and the latest news on cancer.

Originally published in icon Volume 7 issue 1

Chris Woollams

Celebrating 5 years.

Catherine one said to me, shortly after she had had her second operation on her glioblastoma, ’You read the books Dad, I’ll leave that all to you. I’m not interested in cancer, I’m interested in living’. It was her idea originally to have a magazine; I just made it happen with the help from my cousin Lindsey Fealey. Again, Catherine wanted to provide information, the latest news, titbits, anything and everything that could help patients when they were in Hospital. We started first with the magazine icon; then some Doctors (seeing Catherine had not passed away after 6 months as predicted) felt that I must have uncovered some helpful therapies and suggested I wrote it all down. ’Everything you Need to know to Help you Beat Cancer’ was launched - it sold out in three months. Then came the speaking invitations - America, Australia, Japan, Israel, Germany, Russia and all over the UK and Ireland. Some venues could not hold everyone - I had to go back to Melbourne for two further nights. 28,000 people in one audience in Japan. Then we set up the charity, so that the books could fund the magazine - and the new web site. The magazine is now in 320 cancer centres in the UK. The patients think it is wonderful - we receive so many lovely letters. We estimate 160,000 people read each issue. And now 50,000 people hit this web site each month.

Importantly, we’ve stuck to the original Catherine aim - of course, we have a ’mission’: Providing truthful, full and accurate information, not just on Orthodox therapies but on ALL therapies, so you can make more informed choices. But that really is just the start.

Empowerment

Just as Catherine hit the internet to find out all about her glioma, so now do more than half of all patients, according to several research studies. Judging by the letters, e mails etc that we receive this stems from a number of factors: Firstly, there is an innate desire, inherent in all of us, to have some control over our own destinies - our own lives. No longer can the majority of us accept that our lives should be merely handed into a Doctor’s total control. It doesn’t help when the British Medical hierarchy and the drugs companies appear, to any free-thinking person, to be firmly in each other’s pockets. Respect has been lost and continues to drain away. Couple this with a lack of time to see people, and then read my postbag: ’I’ve been given no information’. ’My Doctor has no interest in Complementary Therapies.’  ’My Doctor humours me.’ ’My Doctor thinks the therapies I do myself are a waste of time.’ ’ My Doctor will not discuss anything with me.’ ’My Doctor doesn’t have time.’
People know there are therapies out there that might just help. They have heard about someone who tried something and it helped a lot. They want ’self empowerment’ - we bring the facts to them - facts they can trust, on almost everything. You might enjoy reading our Living Proof on a lady, Janice Day, who has survived her breast cancer for more than eleven years - she had surgery, did her own research on the drugs on offer, and all the alternative complementary therapies, and made her personal choices. As she says, she wishes CANCERactive had existed 10 years ago - it could have saved her a lot of time!!!

Living Longer

But providing information - even if it is about the Complementary and Alternative Therapies your Doctor won’t mention (See our centrefold on Beneficial Bacteria), supporting it with research from other countries, or new Therapies that are working for a Japanese man or an American (See Cancer Watch) - this actually is just the mechanics of what we try to do.
We want to help you build programmes that will help you increase your odds of beating cancer. What do I mean by this? We all know that there is a 5-year survival statistic for the ordinary, or average, person treated by orthodox medicine with a particular cancer. (See the Eurocare-4 article in this issue).
We try to inspire you to make yourself extra-ordinary.
Better than the average. Just like our Living Proof lady did. But even this is not enough for us - we are not in the ’Survival’ business.

Inspiring Lives

We don’t just report on information - we try to provide ideas. Inspiring ideas.
Read our letters page and you will see that a couple of Hospitals kicked out our magazine last issue because we dared to say that certain supplements/compounds/etc could improve their radiotherapy. In previous months we have angered certain drugs companies because we wouldn’t print their Press releases verbatim. Why? The headline said, ’Drug x increases Survival.’ When I read the research detail it explained that the mean period had increased from about 8.6 months to 10.3. Now I do not wish to decry the scientists work. But these people are missing the point.
People, ordinary people, with cancer care about the simple things in life. ’If I take this drug, will my hair fall out?’ ’Will I be too tired to play with my grand children at the week end.’ ’Can I afford to get to the hospital everyday for six weeks to have the radiotherapy?’ ’Will I be able to go out on Friday night or will the burns hurt too much?’ ’Will I be able to make love to my wife after having the Prostate operation?’ I could go on.
And that’s why we report on research that tells them to take vitamin E because they need 25 per cent less Tamoxifen, to use aloe vera gel to calm radiotherapy burns, to look into HIFU instead of prostate surgery, to take selenium and isoflavones because it makes the radiotherapy more effective, to try meditation before surgery because it reduces blood loss and will get you out of hospital faster to play with the grandchildren. We don’t make these things up - there is always research, and often clinical trials.
Having cancer is not just about ’survival’ - Catherine went diving, snow boarding, swimming, to parties etc for nearly 4 years, and to the South of France and Prague only weeks before she passed away. Our aim is to inspire you to give yourself a real quality of life, while helping you fight the fight.
And this is where energy therapies, massage, EFT and a myriad of other complementary therapies can all play a part. Read our article about The former Bristol Cancer Centre - now renamed Penny Brohn. They probably understand this desire to ’lead a normal life’ more than anyone.
Or, you can also read Carl Stonier’s excellent article on ’The Power of the Mind to Heal’. Did you know that Mental State is not even a contributor to cancer according to the World Health Organisation? Yet the facts on depression, lowered oxygen and increased cancer rates; or stress and cortical levels are well researched. Do these people in authority really understand what people go through when they have cancer?’ I wonder.

Balance

We make no apologies - CANCERactive is different. For example, our web site is written as a magazine on the web; you can print whole articles off and read them at your leisure - try our two samples in this issue - one on Prostate, the other on Womb cancer. They really are everything you need to know.
But we also cover the parts other charities cannot reach. So, without a clinical trial in site, we have also an article on Angels in this edition. Who else could bring you this?
We have learned a lot over the last 5 years - we have included an article where a number of people involved in cancer in the UK, including the ’boss’ of it all, Professor Mike Richards, tell you what they have learned too.
We have our critics, of course. Certain people will not have us in their hospitals ’because we go on about vitamins’. Actually we ’go on’ about Herceptin and Temozolomide too. We ’go on’ about new ways of targeting radiotherapy, or new screening techniques. But the patients already can get enough of that information in their hospital. We simply try to bring Balance. For example, in this issue - after a constant stream of requests from readers - we have included a short piece on Spagyric Medicine.
And that’s our main difference really. In the world of cancer, dominated by Drugs companies and Doctors, scientists etc, we do try to bring a little balance. We are sorry but we do not put the interests of Pharmaceutical companies first, nor the Government, nor Doctors. And perhaps that upsets a few of them.
And if the truth be known, we don’t really worry about how the radiotherapy machine works, or getting more drugs into clinical trials. But then, we are not interested in cancer - we are interested in living. Inspiring, people with cancer to live their lives to the fullest. To genuinely believe they have a realistic hope of beating this disease. And that’s how this all started.

Thank you

To finish, let me just say a big thank you - to all our Patrons and Regional Executives, to all our supporters and those who have jumped, run, shaved, walked, whatever, to all our donors, to all the people who have said nice things about what we do, to all the people who have organised speeches etc etc etc. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
To every body, ’Enjoy the magazine, I hope you find it inspiring, not merely helpful’.
Chris Woollams

PS And to the unscrupulous people going round homes in South London selling icon to people to raise monies for cancer research - I say, ’Shame on you’. This magazine is from CANCER active - and it’s free.

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