Breast Cancer: “Knowing what I know now, I would definitely do things differently.”

by Fiona McGovern, Isle of Arran, Scotland

I live on the Isle of Arran, a small island off the west coast in Scotland. I am approaching 53 years of age.

In the summer of 2003 I found a lump in the lower part of the right breast. A few months later I had an ultrasound scan and was told it was a non-cancerous fibroadenoma. The specialist would have preferred to carry out a biopsy and lumpectomy as it was an unusual shape. I refused at the time, feeling certain that through diet and life changes I could heal it.

I had once been in hospital when I was 20 for a D&C investigation to find out why my periods had stopped for three years. I found the whole experience traumatic and had vowed never to go to hospital again. I also had developed distrust in doctors and had turned to alternative therapies whenever my body presented a symptom.

So for three years, from 2003 to 2006, I had a go at almost everything – I wrapped myself in frozen sheets, castor oil, I drank my urine and used urine compresses on the lump, I juiced carrots  until I turned orange, rebounded on a trampoline, ate all organic etc etc ….you get the picture. Continue reading “Breast Cancer: “Knowing what I know now, I would definitely do things differently.””

Shift-work with Ease

by Elizabeth Dolan RN, Australia

In a recent article published in the BBC News Health section1 the author reports on an analysis of studies involving more than 2 million shift workers published in the British Medical Journal.2  The studies found that shift work can disrupt the body clock and has an adverse effect on lifestyle. They also reported that shift workers are more at risk of having a heart attack or stroke than day workers. Other studies have shown that shift work has an adverse effect on appetite, digestion, increases the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes and has an overall negative effect on health. Continue reading “Shift-work with Ease”

Illness and Disease are Healing

by Eunice J Minford MA FRCS Ed Consultant Surgeon, Antrim, N. Ireland

It is quite common to consider illness and disease as something ‘bad’ that has happened, that something is ‘wrong’ or has ‘gone wrong’, that something has been imposed upon us that needs to be eradicated, removed or eliminated. Whilst there may well be a need for surgery or medicine in order to treat a condition, how we perceive illness and disease can make a profound difference to how we see and understand it and how we understand healing.  There is the tendency to see illness and disease as the enemy, something to be fought against and overcome. The phrase ‘fighting cancer’ or ‘battling cancer’ is often used when referring to patients who are engaged in cancer treatment. This way of understanding illness and disease was part and parcel of my medical training, which was steeped in the biomedical paradigm. The latter reinforces the idea that illness and disease happen to us, but are not caused by us, that we are victims of circumstance, chance, bad luck, our genes, toxins/chemicals or infectious agents. In this system, patients are devoid of responsibility for their own health and dependent upon the doctor to fix or cure them and thus they are disempowered. However, with the development of different paradigms of understanding the manifestation of illness and disease we are able to consider another way of understanding illness and disease – one that does not render the person a victim but is instead empowering and encourages them to take responsibility for their health. Continue reading “Illness and Disease are Healing”