Tuesday, 22 December 2015

A few words of gratitude

Today’s post is a short thank you from one of our beneficiaries, Keith, who has been following the Gerson Therapy protocol with support from Yes to Life.

May I offer a few words of gratitude to Yes To Life and of course it’s fundraisers for the incredible self-less consideration being paid to others like myself. I was diagnosed over two years ago with an advanced stage blood cancer, which can only be treated conventionally but not cured.
My body was literally riddled with disease both visibly on the surface and within. Immediately after my diagnosis I embarked on the Gerson Therapy in order to rebuild my immune system. Gerson is well established as an answer to cancer but of course the costs are not borne by drug companies or governments. Thanks in no small part to the kindness of Yes to Life and others I have been able to maintain the rather demanding cost of the full Gerson protocol alongside other adjunct therapies which combined have put me into an advanced state of recovery.

Friday, 18 December 2015

My change in direction after a cancer recurrance

Today’s post is from one of our beneficiaries who has kindly agreed to share her story. Claire, 47, from Devon took an integrative approach after suffering a recurrence of cancer. 

I was diagnosed with stage 3b inflammatory breast cancer in October 2012. This is a rare form of breast cancer where there is not a lump, but a swelling and redness. I was completely in shock after my diagnosis, as it was also found that the cancer had spread to lymph nodes under my arm. My children were five and seven at the time, and I was so worried and scared that I would not be around to see them grow up.

I had seven rounds of chemotherapy soon after diagnosis, followed by a mastectomy and three weeks of radiotherapy. I then had herceptin every three weeks for two years.

Unfortunately this was not the end of the story. I had a recurrence in my neck two years later in October 2014, which was treated with six months of Kadcyla chemotherapy.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

An introduction to Bach Flower Remedies

Today our post comes from Sara, a Bach Flower Remedies Practitioner, who talks about the impact of stress on the body and the benefits of using these remedies are for those diagnosed with cancer. 

Hello everybody, my name is Sara and I am a Bach Flower Remedies Practitioner. I am writing this post because I believe the Bach Flower Remedies (BFR) can be a big help for people with cancer. When your Doctor diagnoses you with cancer, a wave of emotion will hit you. These emotions have a deep effect that cannot be underestimated or ignored.

A diagnosis of cancer is undoubtedly a trigger for a lot of emotions and a very stressful situation to deal with. Everybody reacts in their own way. Shock, fear of death, worry about the outcome, concern for our beloved, panic, despair, anger towards this invader, self-pity… there isn’t a right or wrong way to feel about having cancer.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Seeking alternatives in Mexico

Today’s post is from one of our beneficiaries who has kindly agreed to share his story. Kent, 56, from Devon has travelled annually to Mexico for the past seven years to seek alternative approaches.

After about six months of investigative tests and treatment for a non-existent ulcer, I was diagnosed in September 2007 with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. My first response was to either go for a trial drug or chemotherapy and radiation. But after a little research I realized how naïve I was and choose to discount previous orthodox options that had not yet been offered to me. I was told that when I got worse those options would become available to me but for the time being my treatment would be 'watchful waiting'.

The only orthodox treatment I had was diagnostic, some surgery to biopsy two lymph nodes and determine if I indeed had cancer. The biopsies confirmed that I did.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Five Years On: My Reflection

Today's blog post is from our intern, Olivia Tilton talking about her experience of grief having lost her own mother 5 years ago to breast cancer. 

We all knew it was going to happen. 

After all, everyone has to die. 

I just wasn’t prepared for it. In any way, shape or form. 

She had been in a hospice for around two months. She had litres of fluid surrounding her lungs and heart. She was so, so exhausted. It was staring us right in the face. But still, at midday on the 10th of November 2010, my whole world seemed to collapse in around me when my mum died. 

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Pablo's journey through a brain tumour

Today’s post is from one of our younger beneficiaries who has kindly agreed to share his story. Pablo, 26, from Wrangaton in Devon is living with a brain tumour.

It started out in August 2014 with some migraines and nausea. I was working as a garden centre assistant in mid-summer and one day after work I had what I thought was a stroke. My GP said that it may well be a migrainous aura. I went back to work and carried on as normal thinking I was okay and just needed to hydrate more.

A week or so later I had another episode at the end of work, with continuous headaches and distorted vision occurrences throughout the week. Turns out they were seizures.

I returned again to my doctor and explained that I felt there was something very wrong with me and that I would like to go to the hospital for a scan. I had the CT scan and was told by the attending Neuro-Doctor that it was all clear. I went home feeling grateful. The next day though, I got a phone call from the doctor explaining that he had spoken with a neuro-surgeon and that there was an abnormality within my brain and that I would need to come back in for a MRI scan.

This shattered my whole world really. I felt as though I was dying. The fear I felt and anticipation of news that would change my life kept me in a state of despair for the whole day before the MRI. (What does abnormality mean?  Is it a tumour?)

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Flax Seed Crackers

Today's post comes from Jenny Phillips who specialises in aiding cancer patients with diet and lifestyle interventions. She herself recovered from breast cancer 10 years ago and wishes to pass on her wisdom to others. 

If you sometimes crave the comfort of carbiness, these are a delicious low carb and wheat free alternative to regular crackers. They are full of protein, fibre and minerals, and are ideal with dips and spreads. Check out the previous recipe for raw beetroot dip (link here) or spread with lashings of hummus.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Wheatgrass Juice – Nature’s Finest Medicine?

Today’s blog post comes from Dr. Britt Cordi from Live Wheatgrass Limited, talking on Wheatgrass juice and its many, many benefits. 

Wheatgrass juice has become more and more popular over the past years with many juice bars and raw food cafes now serving it in smoothies and various juices.

But what is it that makes wheatgrass juice so popular? And why is it that nutritionists think so highly of it as an immune and energy booster, as a healer of digestive problems and as a blood cleanser?

Friday, 13 November 2015

Another One Bites the Dust: The Demise of the Off-Patent Drugs Bill

Today's article is from our chairman Robin Daly highlighting some important issues and his views surrounding the Off-Patents Drugs Bill.

 Last Friday, Tory Health Minister Alistair Burt used a blatantly unethical tactic - filibustering -  to deliberately block a bill with massive potential to help a wide range of chronic disease and to slash NHS costs. The human cost alone of the suffering that is the direct consequence of this action is sufficient to brand it as callous, inhumane and inexcusable. The description levelled at Alistair Burt was disgraceful. His assurancethat there is another pathwaysurely is a way of saying that there is another pathway that wont have any negative impact on the bottom line of the partys influential friends - the pharmaceutical giants? For what other plausible explanation can be imagined for blocking such a common-sense, practical and direct path to relieving human suffering.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

'Eat to Outsmart Cancer' by Jenny Phillips

Today’s blog post, from our intern Olivia Tilton, is a review of Jenny Phillips’ Book, ‘Eat to Outsmart Cancer: How to create optimal health for prevention and recovery’.

I have a confession to make. Scratch that... I have two confessions to make. Firstly, I have only recently come across the wonderful nutrition marvel that is Jenny Phillips. Bit late on the band wagon, wasn’t I? The second confession is, I found her by accident. Back in Leicester, before I started my internship at Yes To life, I dragged my Auntie to a nutrition talk one evening and Jenny Phillips was a speaker. Long story short, I am now fully onboard with the oracle that is Jenny. Her book was a great place for me to start to enter into her world of nutrition and fighting cancer.

Jenny’s journey started at 39 when diagnosed with grade 4 breast cancer. At the time, she was working part time in a management training company for which she would often work in the evenings and running training workshops and presentations away from home. Cheese and onion toasties were a firm favourite along with a few glasses of wine come dinner time. 

Monday, 26 October 2015

Navigating Breast Cancer at 24

Today’s post is from one of our younger beneficiaries who has kindly agreed to share her story. Josephine, 26, from London suffered awful reactions to nearly all the treatments she underwent but has since found many complementary approaches to support her recovery.

I was diagnosed at 24 years old in the spring of 2014, May to be exact, following an operation to remove what they thought was something called an “Intraductal Papilloma”.

I initially found the lump on Valentine’s Day, or rather my partner did. It was a very small pea-size lump under my nipple. I made a GP appointment soon after and got referred to the breast unit at The Royal Free Hospital. They did a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy and told me that I didn't have cancer but they wanted to remove the lump.

They told me I should celebrate! How wrong they were… and how sad it was, because I did celebrate and thought that would be the end of it.

On the surgery day I was then told they needed to “re-check the tissue”. Low and behold, two weeks later I was called in early and told that it was cancer; grade 2, invasive lobular carcinoma, highly oestrogen and progesterone positive.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Finding the Support I Needed - My Breast Cancer Story

Today’s post is from one of our beneficiaries who kindly agreed to share her story. Lorraine, 49, from the South East was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and found much needed support in Yes to Life.

One morning in June 2011 I looked in the mirror and noticed that my breast had an indentation running from under my arm towards the centre. I felt around and found a hard lump, then made an appointment to see my GP. After having a scan and biopsy at the local hospital I was called back to the consultant’s office.

He told me that it was cancer. My world suddenly collapsed, I was devastated and in complete shock. I was told that it was grade 3 and an aggressive cancer that needed to be removed the following week by a small operation. They also wanted to remove some lymph nodes to assess the prognosis.

I can’t tell you the fear and helplessness you feel when you are diagnosed with cancer. I had to try and explain it to my daughters, an 18 year old and a 10 year old. At 45 I considered myself still fairly young and I lived on my own with my 10 year old. My wider family were unsupportive and I felt very alone.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Breast Cancer, Metamorphosis and Me

Today’s post is from one of our beneficiaries who kindly agreed to share her story. Amanda, 43, from East Sussex has found a range of complementary approaches really beneficial and wants to share her experiences with others.

I was diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer in March 2014, the day after my birthday.

I was alone when I got the biopsy results. Afterwards I remember walking past my husband and mum and their faces glaring at me, waiting for a response. I calmly got dressed and told them very rationally that I had breast cancer and it was at a fairly late stage.

Looking back at that time now I remember being so numb and shocked. I felt so sorry for my body. I remember looking myself in the eye as I was getting dressed and feeling it so vividly.  I joked around with the staff as my biopsy was taken, they told me I was a ‘tough cookie.’

I told my family I was under no circumstances having chemotherapy or radiotherapy but they thought I should pursue both natural and conventional medicine. I had heard the positive stories of Kylie Minogue and Olivia Newton-John from my mum (bless her) but deep inside I had already made my decisions.

I had a lumpectomy in May 2014, then a mastectomy at the beginning of August.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Regaining Control - My Breast Cancer Journey

Today’s post is from one of our beneficiaries who kindly agreed to share her story. Laurence, 53, from South East London underwent extensive treatment after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. Whilst suffering gruelling side effects, she began to explore other options that could support her recovery.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2014. I had noticed a thickening of the skin in my breast, but no lump as such just a change of texture. I had been having yearly mammograms for the past 20 years due to family history but they had always been clear. Both my mum and her sister had breast cancer and their mother, my grandmother, died of colon cancer aged 54.

My GP referred me for tests immediately. At the hospital, I noted that I was being processed completely differently. Previously when I was given a mammogram, I would be sent home and told to wait for a letter. On this day, I had a mammogram, a scan and four biopsies, followed by a meeting with the consultant and breast cancer nurse who invited me to the Macmillan unit the following week to talk about the results. It was obvious there was something wrong.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

'The C Word - Your questions answered' at Camexpo 2015

Today's post is from our chairman Robin Daly introducing the expert panel 'The C Word - Your questions answered' that he is hosting at this years Camexpo at 3pm on Saturday 26th September. If you are interesting in registering to come along this weekend you can do so here.

Autumn is drawing in and it’s coming round to Camexpo time again. Yes to Life has been generously supported in having a stand at the show for many years, but this year, as a part of our 10th birthday celebrations, the charity is camexpo Charity of the Year...woohoo! We will also be hosting a panel Q&A on the subject of cancer and complementary therapies called 'The C Word - Your questions answered'.

Camexpo is a professional event, targeting the complete spectrum of complementary therapists, many of whom will have had some degree of contact with those with cancer and probably also many questions regarding supporting them. With this in mind, we have assembled a formidable team of experts who share between them a vast range of expertise and experience, with the aim of being able to give an authoritative answer to any question on the subject that a therapist may have.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Embracing Natural Beauty after Cancer with Etie'no

This weeks post is from Precious Jason who founded her own natural skin care brand Etie'no after undergoing treatment for cancer. Precious has been kind enough to donate some of her lovely products for goody bags for our events, and take it from us - they smell good enough to eat.

My dream is to make people feel good about themselves. Cancer is not a full stop.

On 2 June 2012, I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia and had to go through several doses of chemotherapy, total body radiation and a bone marrow transplant on 16 May 2013. My skin was damaged; my hair and nails fell out. I found myself with very dry, sensitive and itchy skin and nothing safe enough to use. Some companies used the natural ingredients all right but added artificial preservatives to increase the shelf life. The problem I found was that the preservatives were harsh on my already damaged skin and came with a long list of side effects.

That was when I decided to put my knowledge of natural ingredients to use.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Raw Beetroot Dip

Today's post is a recipe from Jenny Phillips who specialises in supporting cancer patients with diet & lifestyle interventions. She herself recovered from breast cancer 10 years ago and now helps others to improve their health through nutrition.

‘Keep it simple, and keep it colourful’ is my mantra in the kitchen. This is a typical meal – delicious, nutritious and fast to prepare - chicken with sweet potato & thyme chips, steamed broccoli and a beetroot dip.

Beetroot nourishes the blood, supports the liver and is heart healthy. The phytonutrients which give the characteristic strong red colour have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This is very desirable from an anti-cancer point of view, and in-vitro studies have shown a cytotoxic effect when beetroot extract is administered to breast, pancreatic and prostate cell lines.[1]

Beetroot can be juiced, grated raw and added to salads, or baked in the oven with olive oil, apple and garlic. Here it is transformed into a dip that can be spread onto crackers or served on the side.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Top 10 Tips for Abundant Energy!

Today's post is from Sophie at Igennus, who gives us her top 10 tips for getting back that energy we all remember from our youth.

At this time of year, we may want nothing more than to feel healthy, vibrant and full of beans. Sadly, the reality, for many of us, is a bit more sluggish than we’d like, with that abundant energy we remember from our youth seemingly gone forever.

This needn’t be the case!

A few simple changes can make a tremendous difference to our energy levels and sense of wellbeing. Once you start feeling better you’ll be able to do more, move more and enjoy more and so you’ll feel even better - a huge, positive snowball effect.

Here are my top 10 tips on how to regain vibrant energy and feel like your younger self again.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Puyssentut - un refuge holistique en France

Today's blog was written by Jane Fior, who recently visited Puyssentut, a retreat near Toulouse in France. Read on to hear about the amazing experience Jane had, and to see if you might fancy it yourself!

A while ago, Yes to Life drew attention to Puyssentut, a centre in France. A young couple with two small children were restoring a chateau near Toulouse, with the intention of hosting holistic retreats for people who had been diagnosed and treated for cancer. At that point they were looking for volunteers to help with the renovation.

I noticed this and kept it in mind, now and then having a look at their website and the progress of the venture but at that point having no idea that I would turn out to be an appropriate candidate.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Seeds of Change - Our Recent Linseed Workshop

Today's post is about our recent well-being workshop special at The Linseed Farm, where we were hosted by lovely owner Durwin Banks and got to hear some fantastic talks from Yvette Jordan and Pete Cohen.

The sun was shining and the day started with a fascinating tour around The Linseed Farm. As well as generally enjoying the country air, we also got to see the entire process of production from seed to oil.

'The linseed farm aspect was fascinating, we saw them milling the meal and pressing the oil. It was amazing to actually watch this happening in real time.' - Simone  

Durwin grows linseed/flax in all its forms and supplies direct to individuals across the country and was happy to share all kinds of facts.

Linseed contains a high source of omega 3 fatty acids ALA (alpha linolenic acid), as well as protein, fibre and vitamins and minerals such as  Zinc, Iron, Magnesium & Calcium.

The Linseed (Flaxseed) Oil produced on Durwin's farm contains 60% omega 3 making it one of the richest sources and because it’s plant based, it’s a great vegetarian and vegan source. Omega 3 is well documented for it's health benefits, and is particularity important for people with cancer so it was great to discover such a rich source.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Re-purposing old drugs for cancer: sometimes old ‘uns can be good ‘uns

Today's post is from our chairman Robin Daly who discusses how the re-purposing of drugs could unlock new potentials for treating cancer.

The re-purposing of old drugs for cancer is making headline news this year. So is this really ‘new’? Is it even ‘newsworthy’? Or is it simply yet another of those endless ‘cancer breakthrough’ stories so beloved of the media?

To answer the first question: this is far from a new idea. The incidental positive effects of some old, safe, tried and tested drugs on cancer has been noted for many years. For example, metformin, given to people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels, has the striking effect of transforming their risk of developing cancer from higher than normal healthy people to lower. The thing that is new is the level of interest around this phenomenon.

Friday, 31 July 2015

'I'm gonna love you through it'

Today's post is about a video that has gone viral and why it has a very important message for us all.

Last week a class in Staten Island NYC marked the end of term with a special tribute to their teacher, who has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She struggled to hold back tears (and so did I) as their moving rendition of 'I'm gonna love you through it' filled the room with hope and solidarity. The teachers response? 'It's not easy but I will get through it because I have wonderful friends in this school'. (Watch the video here)

This got me to thinking as to how important loving support really is. My name is Tash and I have been working at Yes to Life for over a year. In this time I have had the honour to meet and talk with many people who are facing up to cancer with incredible courage. I am continuously humbled by these individuals, but also by the people around them who are the ears that listen, the shoulders to cry on, the hands that help and the ones to say 'I am with you, no matter what'.

From all I have seen and heard so far, it is this kind of love and support which in so many ways makes all the difference.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Like, Comment, Share: Top posts

Today's blog is a round up of your favourite posts from our Facebook page over the past three months. We love sharing the latest news, research and all the inspiring stories which come our way. Please 'like' us if you are interested in joining the conversation.

In case you missed them here are the top 5 posts which got you all talking over the past few months.

1. Why I'm saying no to a smear

An interesting, and in many ways controversial article from GP Dr Margaret McCartney explaining the reasons why she will not be taking parting in cervical and breast screening. She says 'I'm not against screening, but I am against unthinking screening' and presents a strong case for rethinking our current approach to screening for cancer.

2. I ate 40 teaspoons of sugar a day. This is what happened

A shocking (and hilarious) article from Damon Gameau, who after giving up sugar for three years, reintroduced 40 hidden teaspoons a day for 60 days to see how would it affect his health. No prizes for guessing that it wasn't an improvement...  His story features in the documentary 'That Sugar Film', a huge hit across Australia.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

The Final Furlong, into the Centre of Africa - Part 4

Today’s post is our fourth and final instalment from Mike ‘the Bike’ McLellan, cycling enthusiast and long-time supporter of Yes to Life who just completed his mammoth trip from Italy to West Africa to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and raise lots of money to help us support people with cancer along the way.

For most of the journey through Europe then North and West Africa I had been travelling on the coast with its moderating effect on the climate, so it was rarely too hot or too cold. After reaching Casamance in Southern Senegal I headed inland rather than continue into the Ebola ridden countries along the coast and from here it got just got hotter and hotter.

As I said goodbye to my English fellow cyclists Zak and Alice who were taking a different route I crossed the border from Mali to Burkina Faso. I stopped for a long time at the border settling into a comfy chair under a mango tree and chatting to the very friendly Burkina border police. Stopping and resting in the shade during the day had already become a necessity as temperatures soared. I didn't  think it could get any hotter, but it did!

The hardest part of the whole journey was the few days from the Burkina border to the capital, Ougadougou. It had become too hot at night to camp so I planned a route that would bring me to a town, which meant a room in a hotel or guest house each evening. The thought of being under a cooling ceiling fan was enough to give me the strength to keep going.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Broccoli & Sundried Tomato Frittata

Today's post is a recipe from Jenny Phillips who specialises in supporting cancer patients with diet & lifestyle interventions. She herself recovered from breast cancer 10 years ago and is about to release her first recipe book called 'Eat to OUTSMART Cancer', watch this space! You can catch Jenny in person at our Cooks and Cancer Workshop on Saturday (4th July), the last few tickets are available here.

Broccoli is indeed a star of the vegetable world. It contains a host of anti-cancer nutrients including sulfurophane and indole-3-carbinol, which support detoxification and healthy oestrogen metabolism. One study found that four servings of broccoli a week could protect men from prostate cancer.

This oven baked frittata is simple to make and makes a convenient lunch, supper or picnic item. The miso adds a deeper flavour and is a source of B vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics.

This is just one of the recipes we are featuring at the cookery workshop on Saturday 4 July – click here for more info.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

‘How to be a Cancer Maverick’ by Nina Joy – a Review

This post is a review of Nina Joy's new book 'How to be a Cancer Maverick', a follow up to the highly successful ‘The Adventures of a Cancer Maverick’. Nina has spent the last two years defying predictions on her cancer prognosis by taking control of the management of her health. Since the publication of her first book Nina has taken daily calls on ‘how she is managing to live so successfully with cancer’, in this book she sets out to offer some answers. To purchase a copy please click here

Sometimes you pick up a book, and you know within a few pages that the person who sat down to write it is a truly remarkable individual. This is one of those books, and Nina Joy is one of those people. In August 2012 Nina was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, she was labelled ‘incurable’ and offered systematic chemotherapy as her last and only option.

‘In the blink of an eye, your life changes beyond comprehension. Everything you have held dear, and have taken for granted, is blown into smithereens. The future you thought you had – gone. The events and experiences you thought were yet to come – gone. Have you had you last birthday, your last Christmas? And bizarrely, I wondered if I would get to see the next series of Downton Abbey.’

The prognosis didn't sit well with Nina, who instinctively felt that she did have other options and it was just a case of finding them. Now almost three years later, Nina is enjoying good health and living life to the full. Having already shared her personal story in ‘The Adventures of a Cancer Maverick’ this follow up book is her guide to dealing with a cancer diagnosis and coming through it stronger than ever:

‘It has been said that what has happened to me is nothing short of a miracle. It feels like it to me! But the good news is that this miracle didn't just land on me from heaven. It’s one which I have had to figure out and work for, which makes it all the sweeter. More importantly it means that I can share the steps that I have taken, so that you may be able to create your own miracle too.’

As Nina would say, ‘hang on to your hats, let’s go Maverick!’

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

10 Great Things about Yes to Life's First 10 Years

In case you didn't already know, this month Yes to Life is celebrating its 10th birthday. In today's post our founder and chairman Robin Daly shares his top 10 great things about Yes to Life's first 10 years. Find out more about how you can get involved here.

1. Well number one has to be people: I have met so many extraordinary and lovely people on this journey. Before we even started to run any services, warm, resourceful, passionate and caring people started to get on board to help make Yes to Life into a reality. And that has only accelerated over the years, as more and more fantastic people are working in the charity and volunteering their skills, time and passion in an enormous variety of ways.

2. And number two - people: Once we had the bare bones of a service in place, we started interacting with, and supporting the most courageous, determined, creative people who came to us for help. It is an absolute privilege to be able to share a little part of their extraordinary lives - the immense challenges, the joys, the tears, the losses and the triumphs.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Robin hits the Airwaves - Watch out UK Health Radio!

Today's post is about a really exciting new development - Robin is hosting our very own show on UK Health Radio. The brand new 'Yes to Life Show' will be launching tomorrow at 9am (repeated at 9pm) with an interview with health journalist Jerome Burne, so don't miss it! 

As any of our followers will know, a few months ago we let our Founder and Chairman Robin Daly loose on the blog. His page 'Words from our Founder' has proved to be a big hit with Robin taking on many contentious topics and giving a wealth of insight and evidence as to why we need to rethink the way we approach cancer in the UK.

But Robin, never one to rest on his laurels, decided this platform was not enough. Now he has convinced the good people of UK Health Radio to give him his very own show! The 'Yes to Life Show' will be your weekly dose of everything that is moving forward in the world of cancer. Robin will be interviewing a diverse mix of scientists, oncologists, practitioners and extraordinary survivors who have exceeded all expectations by thinking outside of 'the box'.

Robin is planning on interrogating this 'box' and we are looking forward to hearing about all he may discover.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Top 10 Tips for a Personal Spring Clean

In today's post, the Igennus team give us their top ten tips for giving your body a Spring cleanse.

Now that spring has well and truly sprung, many of us are starting to get that nagging sensation that it’s time to get down to some serious spring cleaning, and this doesn't just apply to our homes!

With the improving weather and longer daylight hours, the desire to be outside and generally be more sociable and active is growing. Unfortunately, many ailments and illnesses and comfort-food eating, all too common during the cold dark winter months, can heavily impact our energy levels and can make the thought of venturing too far from home or engaging in active outdoor fun quite daunting.

The organ responsible for processing and purifying/removing toxins in the body is the liver, so any strategy to clean from the inside out should focus on foods that support liver function and the detoxification processes that occur in the liver.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Embracing Better Health through 'Coffee with a Purpose'

Today's post is from founder of Loveursoul and creator of 'Coffee with a Purpose', Lucy Batham-Read. 'Coffee with a Purpose' is a support group scheme designed to bring together practitioners and those interested in taking control of their health holistically to share knowledge, experiences and of course coffee! Lucy is working in partnership with us to win funding to start a 'Yes to Life Coffee with a Purpose' scheme specifically run by, and for, people who have or have had cancer. To find out more and vote for us to win please click here it is free and takes a few minutes, thank you!

‘Coffee with a Purpose’ is all about bringing people together to find ways to boost well-being and define boundaries to remain healthy in mind, body and soul. These groups are supportive spaces where people can begin to work out what is right for their own health and start to make choices that will help them to live the life they want.

Living in the 21st century is tough at the best of times but living life to the full can be made much easier if you listen to your body, live from the heart, trust your instinct, and forgive yourself for being human. Sometimes it takes trauma for us to wake up and ‘smell the coffee ‘and whilst this may be an incredibly tough way to do it, for some it is the beginning of their freedom.

My own life has, in parts, been incredibly tough both physically and emotionally and I have learnt some hard lessons. Now it is time to put those lessons to good use.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

'Tripping Over the Truth' - a discussion on the origins of cancer

Today's post, from our chairman Robin Daly, is a review of the recently published 'Tripping Over the Truth: the Metabolic Theory of Cancer' by Travis Christofferson.

In 2012 Thomas Seyfried’s game-changing book ‘Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer’ hit the bookstore shelves with a thud. At £90 or so, this heavy duty science book was clearly not aimed at the ‘man in the street’, however strong his interest in cancer.

Seyfried wanted to make the scientific community aware that a fundamental feature of cancer, known about for almost a century, has been systematically ignored to the detriment of the growing number of people with cancer. He wanted to put forward the radical suggestion that simply targeting an ever increasing number of cancer causing genes was not going provide the long sought for solutions. He went on to put forward a plausible and novel strategy of targeting cancer’s energy supply, its metabolism, through a specialised dietary regime - the ketogenic diet.

The task of communicating Seyfried’s crucial messages to a wider audience was picked up by Travis Christofferson, who published ‘Tripping Over the Truth: the Metabolic Theory of Cancer’ late last year. Written, in the most part, in very accessible English, and priced at around £10 this new offering hits the spot for readers like me.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Welcome to Sub-saharan Africa - Senegal, The Gambia and Mali - Part 3

Today’s post is our third from Mike ‘the Bike’ McLellan, cycling enthusiast and long-time supporter of Yes to Life who is cycling from Italy to West Africa to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and raise lots of money to help us support people with cancer along the way.

The cultural differences between Mauritania and Senegal was probably the most striking of any of the border crossings. Senegal was colourful, noisy and much more in your face than any of the previous African countries.

St Louis is the first city you come to heading South, and was fascinating with its French colonial architecture and vibrant markets. A few kilometres south of St Louis at the popular over-landers destination of the Zebrabar camp site Annie and I met up with Belgium couple Antoine and Elizabeth who now live in the Gambia and were touring northern Senegal on their interestingly designed tandem, so we decided to continue together.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Satay Noodles

Today's post is a recipe from Jenny Phillips who specialises in supporting cancer patients with diet & lifestyle interventions. She herself recovered from breast cancer 10 years ago. This noodle dish is gluten and dairy free, packed full of nutrition and tastes as good as it looks! 

This is one of the most popular dishes we make at Yes to Life cookery workshops. It ticks all the boxes and is really easy and quick to prepare too. Just one essential gadget you may like to invest in, and that is a spiraliser.

If you haven’t yet met one of these, it’s a really fab gadget which in this recipe makes noodles from raw courgette. It’s also good for carrot, mooli and other hard veg, adding a different texture to raw food and salads.

Our next cookery workshop is being held in London on Saturday 4 July, so make sure you are on the Yes to Life mailing list to receive further information (you can sign up on the right hand side of the homepage)

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The London Marathon 2015 - The Countdown Begins

Today's post is by Nick Rose who will be taking on the London Marathon on Sunday to raise money for Yes to Life and help us continue to support people in the UK to take an integrative approach to cancer. Good luck Nick! If you would like to sponsor our marvellous Marathon man please click here.

So the count down has well and truly begun and I am less than 4 days away from running 26.2 miles around London!

I actually ran 20.3 miles on Easter Sunday – the thought of a tasty roast dinner cooked by my lovely Aunt Viv, whose house I was running to, I admit was a great incentive – but it's done and was a great mental and physical goal to achieve before the race!

But that’s my last long run as we are now in official Taper Down mode. This is where you slowly lower the intensity, frequency and distance of your running to give your body time to recover and to also refuel ready for the big day. So its all about preparation now, making sure I look after my tired legs and aching & blistered feet so I am as fit as I can be for the 26th April.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Mail on Sunday, Yes to Life and that ‘quack Vitamin C cancer therapy’

Today's post is from our founder Robin Daly challenging an article written about Yes to Life and Vitamin C. He shares the story of trying to hold the newspaper to account and gives us some the evidence as to why Vitamin C therapy is far from quackery.

Some of you may have seen the article published by the Mail on Sunday, in print and online, regarding Yes to Life and Vitamin C.
Despite giving Yes to Life the opportunity, prior to publication, to respond to the criticismsbeing levelled at the charity - which we did in spades - when it came to publication, the only nod to balanced reporting was
YTL founder Robin Daly said: The only thing we do is to provide interested people with information.
The term that comes to mind for this style of reporting is hatchet job.
We decided the article was so biased we were not content to just let it go by, and so approached IPSO, the regulator, with a view to getting some sort of redress. In this we have had some degree of success, which is heartening:

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

'Take Control and Live' by Gillian Gill - A Review

Today’s post is a review of the recently published ‘Take Control and Live – Surviving Ovarian Cancer’, an autobiography by Gillian Gill.

In October 2000, Gillian Gill (or Gilly as she is known) was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Her prognosis was bleak, with her oncologist breaking the devastating news that she had only a few months left to live. Yet here we are 14 years later, reading a very different story. Gilly’s book is the story of her unique journey through cancer; it is a story full of painful truths but also an incredible account of hope and an indomitable will to live.

The book’s title, ‘Take Control and Live’, is a mantra which runs through Gilly’s whole experience of cancer and is what she sees as the fundamental tenet of her recovery:

‘I can sum up my story like this: although different therapies help in different ways, recovery is about trying to give oneself positive healing messages, by natural means and by becoming adept at listening and responding to your body’s needs. It’s a bit like driving a car and being personally responsible behind the steering wheel. Fundamentally, it’s about being empowered to do things for oneself, not about handing it over to others. They can help, yet ultimately it’s only you who can do it’

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The London Marathon 2015 – the highs and lows of a long distance runner

Today's post is by Nick Rose who will be taking on the London Marathon on the 26th April 2015 to raise money for Yes to Life and help us continue to support people in the UK to take an integrative approach to cancer. Good luck Nick! If you would like to sponsor our marvellous Marathon man please click here.

This will be my 7th London Marathon! 26.2 miles pounding around the streets of London with 30,000 other runners, cheering crowds, blisters, copious amounts of Vaseline, and being overtaken by runners dressed as rhinos, Elvis, fairies and the occasional superhero! There is certainly something very special about the London Marathon.

There is the crowd mentality of the runners at the start line with shots of “Ogi Ogi Ogi” belting out across Greenwich Park. Your nerves are buzzing and there is a certain amount of trepidation (some even say fear!) at what is to come. Then at 9.15 – you start!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Mindchoice: On silence

Today's post is from Clare McLusky who provides us with an insight into her experience with cancer and the popular practice of Mindfulness. 

Clare has a Masters degree in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy from University of Oxford and teaches Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy to people living with cancer. Clare is also a qualified Occupational Therapist, Yes to Life Helpline volunteer and one of the founding members and facilitators of Oxford Sangha, practising in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. 

Clare will be running a 'Mindfulness for Living Well with Cancer' Course in Oxford for 8 weeks starting on the 23rd April, for more information please see her website.

I am teaching MBCT or Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy to a group of 10 friends.  This has been a very rewarding and enjoyable experience.  Each week my friends arrive in a flurry of activity and chattiness and there is a real cocktail party atmosphere at 10 in the morning, with everybody chatting at once.

Last Thursday I led a silent day of practice and after we had come out of silence gently and slowly and reflected on the experience, the day was then drawn to a close with the bell.  However, we continued to sit and chat for a while.  The difference between the beginning of the day and the end of the day was striking – one person spoke at a time, people listened and then the next person spoke.  It was wonderfully calm and peaceful and nourishing.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Inspired Nutrition and Yes to Life take on Brighton

Today’s post is about our recent Cookery Well-being workshop which took place at Brighton Cookery School last Saturday. The morning was hosted by the wonderful Jenny Philips and Jeraldine Curran of Inspired Nutrition who brought a whole load of tasty recipes, years of expertise, a sunny vibe and plenty of jovial flair to the kitchen. If you missed it we are running two more workshops with Jenny and Jeraldine this year, keep up to date with our events calendar for more info.

Think of that person in your life who has cooked for you, gathered fresh ingredients, laboured over chopping boards and stoves with the passion of nurturing you: a mother, grandmother, sibling, friend, partner…then you have some impression of what it felt like to walk into Jenny and Jeraldine’s kitchen. These women are not professional chefs but they are something far more important, cooks who understand the power of food to heal, support and protect.

Although they are both qualified nutritional therapists, it is Jenny and Jeraldine’s personal experiences as much as any qualifications, which make them both such incredible fonts of knowledge.  Jenny recovered from breast cancer ten years ago and Jeraldine has been a close support for family members with cancer so they both understand the topic inside out and were happy to share their stories. The selection of dishes they prepared were designed to support the body through any stage of cancer diagnosis, and it was possible to tailor each to specific requirements…they were also delicious!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The Desert: Mike 'The Bike' cycles West Africa - Part 2

Today’s post is our second from Mike ‘the Bike’ McLellan, cycling enthusiast and long-time supporter of Yes to Life who is cycling from Italy to West Africa to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and raise lots of money to help us support people with cancer along the way.

The so called gateway to the Westernmost Sahara is Guelmim in Southern Morocco. As we approached it I could see a completely different landscape to anything I have seen before looming before me. Long barren mountains ran South from that city and were present for several days as we rode South-west to Tan Tan,  and then disappeared as we went on to Tarfaya and then to the border with Western Sahara.

Desert cycling is challenging in many ways, but probably mostly psychologically,  in that very little changes. To the mind this can be a big challenge, gone are the usual things that stimulate us; different landscapes, people, places to rest, cafes, shops. But changes there are. Hills appear and disappear,  the colour and texture of the sand changes, at times fine and almost white, at other times yellow or red, sandy or rocky. Sometimes huge dunes appear majestically in the distance and then are gone.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Flax Seed Focaccia

Today's post is written by Jenny Phillips who specialises in supporting cancer patients with diet & lifestyle interventions. She herself recovered from breast cancer 10 years ago. 

Jenny is hosting a cookery workshop with Yes to Life in Brighton on Saturday March 7th, if you are interested in coming along please click here for more information.

In this recipe Jenny offers us an alternative to wheat that will have any bread lover fantasising...

Science is consistently showing that the dominance of grains and processed carbohydrates in our modern diet is potentially an issue for health. From a cancer point of view, cutting down or even excluding wheat from your diet is a positive move (read more here) But what to eat instead?

This recipe is really easy to make, and replaces traditional wheat flour with a blend of flax seeds (rich in omega 3) and oats. The addition of eggs too make it a good protein source, and it tastes delicious.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Why Panorama's 'Can You Cure my Cancer?' is missing the point

Today's post is from our chairman, Robin Daly, in response to the recent Panorama documentary 'Can you Cure my Cancer?

After hitting us with the ‘hard fact’ opener that half of us are going to get cancer, last week’s Panorama: Can You Cure My Cancer? left viewers without a second to take a breath, let alone give a moment’s thought to questions such as ‘why?’ before sweeping us all away on a tidal wave of ‘good news’. We were alternately reassured that ‘this is an unprecedented time of progress in the history of cancer medicine and cancer research’, and thrilled by the promise of ‘personalised medicine’, the much heralded result of cutting edge gene research. ‘In both young and old patients, targeted treatments are producing spectacular results’. There was even tentative mention of the ‘c’ word - ‘cure’!

Not once on our wonder-filled roller coaster ride did we step back and pause to consider where we are really headed. As we saw people being treated for their second and third cancers with eye-wateringly expensive drugs, it became clear that, as good consumers, cancer spin has thus far succeeded in distracting us from the reality of the crisis we are in. If we keep going, it would seem likely that, not that far ahead, is the prospect of new ‘baseline’ where we blithely accept that we will all get cancer - of course - and the newspaper statistics and ‘good news’ stories will then be all about how many times.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Science behind Medicinal Mushrooms

Today's post is an extract from 'Medicinal Mushrooms - The Essential Guide' by Martin Powell and describes their incredible healing properties.

Mushrooms are part of the fungal kingdom. As such they are more closely related to humans and other members of the animal kingdom than to plants and, partly because of this relative evolutionary closeness, a large number of the compounds they produce show physiological activity in humans as well as other animals.

Indeed many of the top-selling pharmaceutical products are derived from mushrooms and other fungi, including the major antibiotics as well as statin-class compounds such as Lovastatin and Simvastatin.

Of course mushrooms do not produce these compounds for our benefit but rather to give themselves an advantage in the competition with other micro-organisms for food and resources and as such many show anti-microbial activity, either as antibiotics or as anti-fungal agents4.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Top 10 Q&A's on the Importance of Essential Fats

In today's post, the Igennus team share their top 10 questions (and answers) for understanding the importance of essential fats in preventing cancer recurrence and enhancing recovery.

The right type and amount of fats in our diet is of vital importance for the health of every cell in the body. When we consume too much or not enough of any specific fat, this causes numerous problems in how our cells function and affects every organ of the body.

Specific fats, particularly the omega-3 fatty acids, are top of the list of nutrients needed for healthy cells and therefore for fighting and protecting against cancer. But why are they so important to our cells, how can they increase our risk or protect against cancer and how can you make sure you’ve got the right fats, in the right amounts in your cells, to keep them happy and healthy. The team of expert nutrition scientists from Igennus Healthcare Nutrition answer your top 10 fat based questions below.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Like, Comment, Share: Top posts from the past three months

Today's blog is a round up of your favourite posts from our Facebook page over the past three months. We love sharing the latest news, research and all the inspiring stories which come our way. Please 'like' us if you are interested in joining the conversation.

In case you missed them here are the top 5 posts which got you all talking over the past few months.

1. Vitamin C 'gives chemotherapy a boost' - article from the BBC

This article draws on research from the University of Kansas which suggests that high dose intravenous Vitamin C could contribute to healing from cancer. Find out more about Vitamin C Therapy in our 'Life Directory'

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Yes to Life Responds to the Latest Macmillan Report

Today's post is from our chairman, Robin Daly, in response to the recent Macmillan report which revealed that there are now a record 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK.

At Yes to Life, we welcome the ‘real world’ report put out by Macmillan this month. Amidst all the ‘good news’ stories that ‘more people are surviving cancer than ever’, this report hits the nail on the head when it comes to focussing on the grim reality behind the latest cancer statistics. The report talks about ‘a cancer crisis of unmanageable proportions’, and states that ‘progress is a double-edged sword’.

Yes it’s true that more people are surviving cancer, but far more importantly, many more people are getting cancer than ever. That means more people will have their lives totally uprooted by cancer, will have to face gruelling, increasingly unaffordable treatments, and then very possibly to live out their extended lives in pain, disabled, or with treatment side effects that severely erode their quality of life. Macmillan are a powerful voice of non-conformity amidst the stock hyped news of ‘progress’ that we have grown accustomed to. They clearly identify that ‘growing evidence shows that many cancer patients do not return to full health after gruelling treatments and many suffer from serious side effects of the disease.’ To this we would add ‘and of the treatment’.