Choose to Challenge Cancer

Cancer touches virtually all of us in some way. International World Cancer Day was launched in 2011 to encourage awareness of how to prevent, detect and treat cancer.

Here, Dr Angus Dalgleish, Professor of Oncology at St George’s University of London, shares some simple practical tips, both to help prevent cancer and to maximise treatment.

Dr Dalgleish is a leader in the emerging and hopeful field of cancer immunotherapy, where the patient’s immune system is stimulated to step up its natural fight against the damaging cells.

Since 2000, Dr Dalgleish’s research has been funded by the Institute for Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapy, the only national charity in the UK that exclusively funds research into fighting cancer with vaccines and immunotherapy (icvi.org.uk). He is now Principal of ICVI. Read More…

Audrey Hepburn

audrey hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

Born in 1929, Audrey Hepburn, actress and humanitarian, would have been 86 this year and no doubt would have been as graceful, elegant and relevant as she was in her short life.

Her health story begins during the war years and ends when Audrey died, from a very rare form of cancer, in 1993, aged 63. This article is a respectful examination of her life in health, as researched via numerous biographies.

Audrey Hepburn and General health

The war left some lingering effects on Audrey, such as disheartening memories and ongoing health problems that would include anaemia and respiratory problems. She is said too, to have suffered with anxiety and stress.

Audrey Hepburn and Weight issues

Growing up during the war in Nazi occupied Holland, Audrey and her family had suffered extreme food shortages. She had experienced near starvation, and witnessed worse, and had never forgotten it. She said that “I actually got angry with it for being so difficult to come by and tasting so awful. I decided to master food; I told myself I didn’t need it.” She said that she ‘resented’ food. For most of her adult life she weight around 100lb (approx 7st) and at 5ft 7in was painfully thin. Read More…

Aspirin: the research behind the headlines

aspirin

Q: Should I take aspirin every day? It seems to have a lot of benefits but I gather there are risks.

A: Research suggests that a daily low dose (75mg, or a quarter of the usual dose) of aspirin may help prevent or mitigate heart disease, clot-related strokes and, most recently, cancer. But this data is not conclusive overall – in fact, some studies do not show benefits – and there are potentially serious side effects, such as internal bleeding, gastric ulcers and an increased risk of haemorrhagic stroke.

Do not take – or discontinue taking – aspirin without specific advice from your doctor. Because the benefits and risks vary so much in individuals, it is vital that your doctor assesses the balance in your situation.

Aspirin may prevent heart attacks in people who have already had one, and be appropriate for patients with a history of heart disease and after bypass surgery. This is because it reduces the risk of clots forming in blood vessels. But the British Heart Foundation (bhf.org.uk) advises that while ‘this group should continue to take aspirin as prescribed, people who don’t have heart disease shouldn’t take aspirin because the risks may outweigh the benefits’. Read More…