Friday, 26 January 2018

Eighteen and Cancer - by Tamás Vincze

This week's post is written by Tamás Vincze, a former cancer patient and the author of Eighteen and Cancer; a recently published book about his experience with the illness.

Cancer ran in my family, just as I think it might have in yours or others you know. I have unfortunately lost grandparents to it but never thought that it was something waiting for me in life.

I’ll take you back a few years to 2003 when I was eighteen. Life couldn’t have been any better. School was out and the summer was in full swing. It was amazing. More importantly I also planned what I wanted to achieve in the next few years of my life (overachieving too runs in the family). The main goal was moving abroad to live and study (I’m originally from Hungary). I felt everything was aligning nicely in my life.

But something happened after the summer. I’d feel more tired by the day, had difficulties concentrating in school, experienced severe night sweats and so on. It was like a bad case of the flu so I mostly ignored it. But one day I woke up to a pain in my neck and chest, like two hands gradually suffocating me. I felt my neck with my own hands and immediately rushed to the mirror. Standing in front of it was one of those “what do I do now?” moments. Two big lumps about the size of a golf ball. What the…? Could it…?

It was. Stage II Hodgkin lymphoma. I started chemotherapy in late 2003. Cancer turned my life upside down but I was very fortunate to have had the patience and presence to pay attention to what was happening inside and around me. Treatment lasted until the summer of 2004 and by that autumn I was in full remission fortunately. I’m skipping the middle part as I don’t want to bore you. It’s all in the book.

Why write a book about my cancer story? Especially well after 10 years? Good question. Not to play it down but I always thought that it was just as much of a part of my life as where I grew up or went to school. Perhaps I felt this way because it happened so early in my life. I also asked myself why would anyone care about someone else’s cancer story. If you’ve been through it already why would you want to read about it and if you are not touched by it then why bother?

During the early part of 2016, I read a very moving book called Not Fade Away. It tells the story of a businessman who after retiring in 1997 at the age of 46, to spend more time with his family, unfortunately passed away in 2002 after a battle with stomach cancer. It is a gem of a book about the shortness of life and inspired me to start thinking about my own story and how would I share that.

After reading that book it was time to take action. I let go of all this fear in my head and started writing. Turning my old notes and journals into this book and reflecting more on this episode in my life, with more than a decade of hindsight, was a very long process but I’m glad no one told me that before. Writing out and sharing all those memories, emotions and experiences from this journey was therapy.

Most cancer books inadvertently turn into a misery memoir and not too many talk about what happens in your mind when facing such adversity. How do you process the news? How do you get out of that feeling of hopelessness that’s initially there? These, amongst others, were some of the questions I was trying to answer in this short book.

If you are a kindred spirit, have an inspiring story, have any questions or just want to chat please feel free to reach out on

My book is also available on Amazon.

Perhaps the best part about publishing this book is the foundation I was fortunate enough to partner with. 10% of the net proceeds from the book sales will go to support the amazing mission of Bátor Tábor (“Camp Courage” in English), a philanthropic organisation in Hungary, that runs therapeutic recreation camps for cancer-afflicted and chronically ill children and their families.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Quantum Clinic’s Cancer Programme - by Dr Aryan Tavakkoli, Founder of Quantum Clinic

This week's blog post is written by Dr Aryan Tavakkoli who is Founder of Quantum Clinic, a Functional Medicine clinic based in East Sussex. She shares with us why she made the transition from conventional to Functional Medicine and what she believes to be the root causes of cancer...

That Was Then

Going to medical school was a dream come true for me. I had, for as long as I can remember wanted to become a doctor, and medical training, rigorous though it was, stimulated my mind and made me look forward to the day I would finally qualify and start working as a doctor.

Things got a bit disappointing after that. Leaving aside the 70-100 working week that was the norm in those days for junior doctors (my weekend shift would start at 9am Saturday morning and end 5pm Monday afternoon with no formal breaks and, if I was lucky, three hours of broken sleep at night), I soon found that my interventions were almost completely limited to the use of pharmaceutical drugs, and whilst in many cases they did result in a rapid improvement in symptoms, I intuitively felt that I was only scratching the surface of the problem, putting a plaster on the wound, as it were.

A couple of years into my working life as a doctor, the longing to find a more meaningful way to address illness led me to explore other systems of Medicine. I read, with an insatiable appetite, subjects ranging from Chinese acupuncture energetics to western herbal therapy to the use of different forms of waves and frequencies to treat infections and cancer. During the day, I worked as a medical registrar in busy London hospitals, and in the evenings and weekends I studied and gained qualifications in different medical approaches including TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) acupuncture and phytotherapy.

I seriously considered leaving conventional medicine to pursue a path in holistic health, but somehow that never happened and I continued in my very traditional and conventional doctor’s role, eventually obtaining a consultant post and working for over another decade as a respiratory physician.

During that time, I diagnosed countless people with cancer. In accordance with recommended protocols, I discussed all the cases in the Cancer Multidisciplinary Meeting and referred to the appropriate specialists for further management – surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or palliative care, depending on each individual scenario.

I used to be the doctor that said: “I’m sorry Mrs X, there’s nothing else we can offer you, I recommend that I refer you to the Palliative Care Team who will look after you and ensure that your symptoms are kept under control.”

That was then.

What Changed?

When you look at doctors or other health practitioners who have drastically shifted their perspective and changed their medical approach to a more integrative and holistic one, the turning point was often a personal tragedy, whether it was personal ill health or the loss of a loved one. So it was with me.

I won’t recount that story here, only to say that the whole harrowing experience of watching my loved one disintegrate before my eyes, highlighted something very eye-opening to me – that despite having diagnosed many people with cancer, I had very little knowledge about the underlying causes of cancer and even less about what I could do about them.

What is it, for example, other than the commonly quoted (and overestimated) role of genetics, that determines if someone develops cancer? And why do they develop it at a particular age, say 65 – why not when they are 20, or 40, or 80? Why can someone smoke like a chimney for years without developing lung cancer, whilst others who have never smoked in their lives, do?

There were so many questions – questions which at the time, I had little idea how to answer, despite my so called expertise as a specialist.

The immediacy of the situation propelled me onto an acute learning curve where I voraciously consumed every piece of information I could glean in a perpetual race against time. I treated my relative with many of the treatments that you read about in the ‘alternative cancer clinics’ of Mexico and Germany. Our front room took on the appearance of a lived-in medical clinic, with IV equipment, ozone and biophotonic therapy devices, far infrared sauna for hyperthermia, relaxation and meditation CDs, and all manner of supplements. You name it, I tried it.

Unfortunately, despite everything I did, it was too late for him. Or at least, I didn’t succeed.  Looking back, and with the knowledge I have now, I recognise every factor that led to the development of this ‘sudden’ advanced cancer. It wasn’t so sudden, of course, the underlying issues were present for years beforehand, but only with the eye and wisdom of experience can I now see this. And with this same experience and the information I have learned since, what was invisible to me before, has become so clear.

The mire of desperation and the subsequent urgent quest for more knowledge led me to a clarity of understanding about cancer that I never possessed before.

The Causes Of Cancer

In most adult cancers, aside from the genetic component, which is strongly influenced by the person’s environment anyway, there are numerous factors which provide a favourable environment for cancer to develop in the body. These include:

-       Mental and emotional stress. This is number one on the list. The stress may be due to a sudden, acute trauma, or due to ongoing emotional issues;

-       Exposure to some form of cell-damaging toxin. This may be, for example, nicotine, chemicals, or heavy metals;

-       An infective agent. Usually a virus that propagates and spurs a cancer to spread. This has been confirmed in several types of cancer but I think the medical world has yet to fully understand the crucial part that viruses play in the role of cancer development and spread;

-       Nutritional deficiencies. Very common and almost universal in people with cancer, I would say, often coupled with poor diet.

The above factors are what I consider to be the leading underlying causes of cancer, and they almost always occur together – not all at once, but often one after another over a period of months to years, like adding links to a chain, until they are all in place to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting host.

Other factors also play a role in propagation of cancer, including exposure to cancer-propagating ‘foods’. This is very common again, and sugar is the leading culprit here. Also exposure to anything that suppresses the immune system – there are many possibilities, but frequent or continuous exposure to a cold environment is one.

The diagnosis may seem sudden, but the underlying factors have usually been around for years. The body’s change in terrain, over time, and often for the above reasons, becomes favourable for this condition we call ‘cancer’ to appear.

There is something important I want to say about all of the above factors.

   All of them are environmental.
   All of them are potentially treatable.
   All of them are potentially reversible.

So why don’t we hear this from conventional doctors?
Why is it that doctors in the fields of Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine know about these issues, yet you will rarely hear about them from your conventional doctor?
Is it because this information about root causes of cancer isn’t accessible through the usual medical databases?

Actually, it is. All this information has been verified and published in medical journals. The trials are all available to view online via different platforms, including Pubmed, a search engine commonly used by doctors that provides access to a database of medical literature.

All In The Medical Literature…

Mental and emotional stress
Stress-related hormones such as catacholamines and cortisol have been shown to influence cancer cells and their potential to proliferate and to migrate. There are numerous studies indicating that stress hormones are likely to be responsible for progression of malignancy.

Exposure to cell-damaging toxins
The carcinogenic action of many chemicals and certain heavy metals such as mercury and arsenic have been documented, but they are virtually ignored as possible aetiological factors in cancer formation, in contrast to the almost universal knowledge amongst doctors of the cancer-causing effects of other environmental toxins such as nicotine and asbestos.

Infective agents
Several viruses including human papilloma virus (HPV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and hepatitis B virus have all been implicated in numerous cancers.

Nutritional Deficiencies
It has been known for decades that diet is a major factor in the development of cancer and it is estimated that as much as 30% of all cancers worldwide have dietary factors as the main underlying cause.

Despite the fact that there are literally thousands of publications, including clinical trials and reviews, all published in peer-reviewed medical journals, for some baffling reason, much of this information has neither infiltrated routine medical practice, nor international guidelines and protocols.

How many doctors ask whether a person with cancer has been exposed to high doses of mercury in the past? How many address emotional and traumatic issues causing stress? How many seek out an underlying chronic viral infection, or perform detailed nutritional testing to identify micronutrient deficiencies?

Doctors will usually only search for information about these treatable causes of cancer if they have an interest in the area in the first place, because finding these studies would involve actively searching certain terms in medical databases, terms such as ‘heavy metals’ and ‘neoplasms-aetiology’. If there is no interest or knowledge in this area to begin with, then it is unlikely that any individual doctor would search for these terms and links, and subsequently it is unlikely that they would know about these studies.

The fact is, most doctors today would not even think about these underlying factors, let alone address them. To find someone with the knowledge to address root causes of cancer, currently one would need to search for a health professional who is knowledgeable in other approaches to Medicine, most likely in the areas of Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine.
There are many clinics around the world that offer a progressive approach to treating cancer. Organisations such as Yes To Life are invaluable sources of information about these clinics for
people whose lives have been affected by cancer, and especially at the time of diagnosis when the need for information is so crucial.

Quantum Clinic’s Cancer Programme 

At Quantum Clinic, our aim is to address the underlying dis-ease that allowed cancer to appear in the first place. That means searching for, and addressing, the root causes. After extensive history-taking and laboratory testing to identify these factors, we offer an integrative programme that involves support with healthy nutrition, provision of targeted nutritional supplements, cellular detoxification, and anti-cancer supplements. Some of the latter are delivered in liposomal form, and carried to the diseased cells through enhancing the microcirculation via therapies such as Bemer physical vascular therapy and exercise with oxygen therapy (similar to hyperbaric oxygen therapy in its effect). We also use low level laser therapy for its myriad benefits which include anti-inflammatory effects at a cellular level. The anti-cancer supplements are timed synchronistically with these therapies in a convenient oral delivery system that enables maximum intracellular delivery of the agents.

We measure anti-inflammatory markers and certain cancer markers in order to monitor your progress. The programme can be undertaken with conventional treatment if you are receiving this.

For further information about our Cancer Programme, please visit:

We will be happy to speak with you about your personal circumstances and to answer your questions. Please contact us by telephone or email:

Telephone:      01825 841155

Upcoming Event

Dr Tavakkoli will be delivering a talk on “Cancer – What You Can Do About It” at several venues in the South East in February 2018.

She will be sharing information about anti-cancer treatments that you won’t hear from conventional doctors. This information will be valuable knowledge for anyone touched by cancer.
Areas covered will include:

-       What do people who survive terminal cancer have in common?
-       What are some well-researched and proven anti-cancer treatments that you are unlikely to hear about from your doctor?
-       What are the four pillars of health?

If you would like to attend this talk, you may find more information and book your ticket on Eventbrite by clicking here.