Volume 5 Issue 1 - Nurse Patricia Peat

Originally published in Issue 1 2006 icon

Nurse Patricia Peat

Patricia Peat is a registered nurse. Following years of experience in oncology, combined with research into natural approaches to cancer she now runs Cancer Options.

Cancer Options is a specialised team of practitioners who provide individual consultancy and coaching into treatment and making decisions for all approaches to cancer.

Details of their services are available at www.canceroptions.co.uk or by calling 0845 009 2041.

Q:
I have just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and have recently read that there is a new method of giving chemotherapy for this. Can you tell me more about it?

A:
The method you are referring to is called intraperitoneal chemotherapy. This differs from the currently offered chemotherapy in that it is injected directly into the peritoneal cavity (the pelvic area). The advantage is that doctors are able to administer a higher concentration of drug, using the same dose, to an area where most of the cancer develops and is likely to recur.

This is not a new method of administration; it has been practised in America for some years where it is considered an optimum method of treatment.

It is also used in Europe for later stages of ovarian cancer, where some hospitals combine it with hyperthermia treatments so they can use lower doses of chemotherapy to get a similar result.

The latest research you refer to is the results of several trials which show a significant improvement when used with newly diagnosed ovarian cancer, in combination with surgery, and delivering chemotherapy intravenously.

As clinical trials are ongoing, it will be some time before we see this method emerge as a treatment in this country. There are one or two specialised units who offer intraperitoneal chemotherapy in late stage ovarian cancer, but it is not widely available.

Q:
I am trying to follow a cancer diet, and am a bit confused. Can you please tell me why red meat is not good for you, I know white meat is better, but is organic red meat okay?

A:
Yes I appreciate your confusion. Research on nutrition and its effects on cancer is growing as a specialist subject so fast that I find it difficult to keep up sometimes.

The latest research, which is from Imperial College, London, supports the theory that red meat is bad for cancer as it is rich in arichidonic acid, which is a pre-cursor of the pro-inflammatory prostaglandins.

One thing everybody agrees on in the world of cancer is that chronic inflammatory states in tissues are a major risk factor in developing cancer. What this research shows is that eating red meat means a large intake of arichidonic acid, which in turn leads to inflammation in the bowel.

Chronic inflammation in the bowel tissue greatly increases the risk of developing cancer. Once you have cancer, the continued intake of arichidonic acid may prove to be instrumental in sustaining the growth of cancer cells (not yet proven).

This is unfortunately as true for organic meat as non-organic, but so far there is no evidence of this being present in white meat. This latest development does help to show why high red meat/saturated fat diets increase the risk of colorectal and also prostate, breast and other cancers.

Q:
It looks as if we have the BRCA gene in the family, which puts us more at risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Already five family members have developed cancer, although I think it is slightly removed from me.

Do you know how close one has to be for it to be a risk for developing cancer, and is there anything in the complementary field I might do to minimise my risk?

A:
I am not sure what the parameters are for being at risk from the BRCA gene. I think you should speak to a genetic counsellor to get a specific viewpoint on your particular risk.

What may be of help from the supplement area are the recent findings published in the British Journal of Cancer showing early indications that the supplements indole 3 Carbinole and genistein may play a role in interrupting the development pathway of these genetically related cancers.

We have been recommending these supplements for a long time for those with hormone related cancers; it is great to see the orthodox medical profession supporting the findings.

Advice from The Cancer Experts - your questions answered
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