Volume 3 Issue 2 - Dr. Julian Kenyon

Originally published in July-August 2004 icon

Julian Kenyon

Dr Kenyon can also be reached directly, via www.doveclinic.com

Telephone: 020 7486 5588 or 01962 718 000

July & August 2004

My father (75) has recently been diagnosed with Stage 2 oesophageal cancer. He has just finished his first week of chemotherapy - cisplatin (1 day) and SFU (4 continuous days). It is planned that he will have a two week break followed by a second cycle. This plan was chosen following a review of recent trials which indicated that chemotherapy before surgery could improve his chances of survival by up to 10%. He is generally in good health and has always been physically active although he has been tired since the chemotherapy.

We have changed his diet to include garlic tablets, soya milk, berries, watercress, porridge and around six cups of green tea a day. Can you tell me if there are any prohibited foods for the drugs listed and are you aware of any conflicts? The doctors have told him to eat what he likes! Also any advice about improving his mental outlook - he appears to have become less optimistic since chemotherapy.

From a clinical point of view there’s nothing proven that changing his diet essentially away from animal proteins, will improve survival. Having said that my own clinical observations over many years have led me to believe that this is a simple thing that can be done and does benefit the patient. I would therefore recommend that you stick to the diet you have mentioned and, with regard to prohibited foods, try and keep away from animal protein - fish would be fine.

Improving his mental outlook is important. There is work that shows a positive mental outlook leads to better outcomes in cancer At our clinic, we try and work on this area with people suffering from cancer and the results from this approach are encouraging.

After 10 years I have recently come off the pill (Dianette) because of all the risks (including the fact that my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago - the HRT she took for 12 years probably being a factor). However by Christmas my skin was starting to look like a teenage acne case and now eight months on it is worse than it has ever been. Although I consider myself a strong person I am finding it really difficult to face the world with my skin this bad. Its taken me right back to the age of 14 when first suffered from acne and spent two years trying various antibiotics and topical creams, all to no avail.

Dianette is the only thing that worked and my dilemma is whether to go back onto the pill or not. I know it’s detrimental to my health but is there much point having a long life if it’s not a happy one?

I eat a pretty healthy diet and take the following supplements: combined B vitamins with C. calcium, vitamin E. rinc and Agnus Castus.

You say ’Is there much point having a long life if its not a happy one?’ My observation has been that when people have to make that kind of decision, they would generally choose a long life. Clearly there is some hormonal imbalance that is affecting your skin. If conventional approaches don’t work for your acne, I suggest you go to a complementary practitioner who can advise you in detail as to bow you can be helped.

For the last few weeks I hove had a lump on the top of my left thigh - there is nothing to be seen externally but I can feel it when I bend the leg - it seems to be on top of the muscle. My GP said it’s just a "fatty lump" and as it wasn’t in a dangerous place near a lymph gland I should forget about it and come back in six months if it gets bigger. I dont feel happy with this because I thought all lumps should be investigated for malignancy. Should I go back and insist on a biopsy or try to get another opinion?

From what you say your GP had diagnosed a Lipoma, which is a benign tumour of fatty tissue. His or her advice to go away and come back in six months to see If it has got bigger is good clinical advice. However, if you don’t feel happy, it’s perfectly reasonable for you to go back to your GP and ask for it to be investigated further. A simple biopsy would suffice.

Increasingly, helicobacter pylori is being implicated in cancers of the stomach and possibly in renal and colon cancers. It is also, I understand, being linked to all manner of other cancers. Are there accurate tests for it? Can anything be done to avoid getting it? And if it does show up. what exactly can we do to get rid of it?

Helicobacter pylori has been implicated in a number of cancers. There is a simple blood test for it and also a hydrogen breath test. If worried, it’s worth going along to your GP and asking for these tests. As far as we know there is nothing that can be done to avoid getting it, but if you’ve got it, it can be treated effectively using conventional approaches.

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