Volume 4 Issue 1 - Nurse Patricia Peat

Originally published in Issue 1 2005 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.

I have been treated for breast cancer, and, touch wood, things seem to be going well. But I am concerned for my 34 year old daughter; what are her chances of developing this? She is too young for mammograms, is there anything she can do to help prevent cancer and are there any ways of monitoring it?

There are some genetic predispositions with a very small minority of breast and ovarian cancers (approximately 2%). For the rest, there are familial tendencies within families, but statistical analysis does not enlighten us much.

I think it is safe to assume, that with the increasing incidences of breast cancer, we are all at greater risk, and should be taking steps to decrease the likelihood of it happening.

There has been plenty of good advice in i c o n over the last couple of years, such as cutting out dairy, saturated and animal fats, and decreasing exposure to toxins.

As your daughter is too young to be offered mammograms, another option is to have regular hermograms. These pick up earlier changes in breast tissue than mammograms, and can give a warning of pre-cancerous states at a time when we may be able to do something about it. We all develop potential cancer cells every day, and their survival depends on how well our immune system are able to deal with them; there is growing evidence that you can reverse the evolution of these cells early on in their life, and, our bodies do so on a daily basis.

A thermogram is not a replacement for a mammogram; if there are any suspicions the recommendation is always to have it fully investigated via mammogram. It is however, an excellent way of being aware of potential problems.

Also, there is a clinic, which has developed particular expertise in assessing the environmental and metabolic imbalances present in an individual with early breast cancer, and are expert in reversing these causative factors. They run excellent workshops and seminars.

Information is available from Holistic Medical Centre, on 020 76364289.

My husband has been told he has a slow-growing carcinoid tumour. The doctors say will observe him for signs of carcinoid syndrome or crisis. Could you tell us more about this?

Carcinoid tumours are fairly rare; they develop in glandular, hormone producing cells. Many people have them quite harmlessly in the body, and they never develop to cause problems. These are described as non-functioning carcinoid tumours, as opposed to the functioning ones which do cause problems.

The majority are slow growing, and the prognosis with treatment is favourable for many years. Carcinoid crisis occurs when the tumours produce large amounts of hormones and other potent chemical substances which are usually found to have spread to the liver. This can cause hot flushing of the face, diarrhoea, and asthma like wheezing attacks. Episodes of "carcinoid crisis" may be infrequent at first but gradually occur more often and are usually associated with abrupt low blood pressure and even fainting. However, in a few cases the attacks are accompanied by high blood pressure. Alcohol or stress sometimes provokes attacks but they often occur spontaneously. After a while the flush may become persistent in some individuals. The diarrhoea may also be chronic and weight loss can occur. A specific type of heart valve damage can occur in some cases as well as other cardiac disturbances. When many of these symptoms are present, it is known as carcinoid syndrome.

The syndrome can cause more problems than the growth of the original tumour itself, but there is wide variation in the degree to which individuals are affected. The treatment is fairly successful; sandostatin (octreotide) is the main approach, and other treatments, with which there has been only limited experience, but sometimes very good responses, are Sansert (methysergide) and Trasylol (aprotinin).

There is very specific dietary and supplement advice, which can influence symptoms This is better given by a professional who can review your husband regularly, and adjust advice according to his symptoms.

I have been advised to have all my mercury fillings removed to reduce toxicity, but I find the prospect difficult to face. I have a fear of dentists, but I am worried that not complying will compromise everything else I am doing. Do you think it is really necessary?

A prolonged spell in the dentist’s chair would equally fill me with dread, so I understand your reservations. Whilst reducing mercury toxicity is thought to be a good thing, there are measures you can take to establish if you are actually being affected by it, before you take drastic action.

You can have your hair analysed for mercury toxicity, you can also have each individual filling tested to see if it is leaking mercury. You can then have individual fillings replaced rather than the whole lot. Do ensure you go to a specialist dentist who is experienced in this field. Most nutritionists and practitioners can arrange the hair analysis.

Patricia Peat can be contacted on 01623 438733, www.canceroptions.co.uk, or [email protected].

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