How to ride the new wave of immune therapies | Prof Brendon Coventry and Jill O’Donnell-Tormey PhD Show the Way

Good news on cancer: There is a definite change in the wind! The face of oncology is changing. Both cancer patients and oncologists are undergoing a cancer metamorphosis. Treatments are moving – albeit slowly from a killing cancer focus to a focus on retraining the body’s own immune system to seek and destroy cancer cells.

Good news on cancer: There is a definite change in the wind! The face of oncology is changing. Both cancer patients and oncologists are undergoing a cancer metamorphosis. Treatments are moving – albeit slowly from a killing cancer focus to a focus on retraining the body’s own immune system to seek and destroy cancer cells.

Riding the wave of new immune therapies. Pic: ABC News
Riding the wave of new immune therapies. Pic: ABC News

Last week on Navigating the Cancer Maze internet radio Prof Brendon Coventry spoke about cancer vaccines and in particular about his success treating advanced melanoma.

He also spoke about the importance of measuring a patient’s immune cycle as a new approach to that value-adds to the “New Wave” of immunotherapy treatments against cancer.

Click here to listen to that interview if you missed it – (live streaming or download on itunes to listen later at no cost).

Questions from cancer patients clearly demonstrate a thirst for knowledge about immune therapies.

Therefore – today – I have replayed my interview from mid last year(2014) with Cancer Research Institute’s CEO Jill O’Donnell-Tormey PhD.  Click Jill’s name to be redirected to the interview on Voice America internet radio. In this interview Jill provided a clear picture of where immune therapies are headed and what they actually do and where you can find trials and treatments.
VISIT:  http://www.theanswertocancer.org/

Jill talks about the new immunotherapy pharmaceuticals – an innovative class of drugs that block PD-1.  (Stands for programmed cell death protein 1). PD-1 inhibitors, activate the immune system to attack tumors and are therefore used to treat cancer.  These drugs have complex names such as nivolumab successfully used in non-small-cell lung cancer, melanoma, and renal-cell cancer; Pembrolizumab; intended for use in treating metastatic melanoma; to name but a few. Then there are CTLA-4 antibodies such as Ipilimumab; a fully human, monoclonal antibody that overcomes CTLA-4–mediated T-cell suppression to enhance the immune response against tumors.

Anti-PD-1 and Anti-PD-L1 Antibodies – Unlike CTLA-4 antibodies, the PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies aim to potentiate the antitumor T-cell response at a tumor-specific level, by impairing the interaction of the inhibitory receptor PD-1 on T cells with PD-L1 expressed on tumor cells

Cancer patients as well as doctors and oncologists are having to learn a new language and a new way of thinking about cancer. The process is slow – but the most important people in cancer medicine –  patients; need to know the basics and what to ask of their oncologists because these new immune drugs, cancer vaccines and immune timing of treatments, appears to hold the key to curing cancers.

As I see it – the only caution right now is that patients may be rushing to overseas alternative clinics who promote the new elaborate cocktails of immune therapies. Skill and experience is required in using these new immune treatments- best to ask an expert.

Now – back to Prof Coventry and Martin Ashdown’s work for some additional information….
There are many studies that demonstrate that conclusions made by Prof Brendon Coventry and Martin Ashdown that propose that our immune system has a rhythm that can be measured especially when a patient has advancing cancer.

T lymphocytes (orange colour) assembling to kill cancer
T lymphocytes (orange colour) assembling to kill cancer

 It is known that Cytokines (cell signalling molecules that aid cell to cell communication in immune responses and stimulate the movement of cells towards sites of inflammation, infection and trauma), are crucial mediators for shaping immune responses. Cytokines are important regulators of both the innate and adaptive immune response.

The following from the Journal of Immunology Research 2014 – states that Several parameters of the immune system exhibit oscillations with a period of approximately 24 hours that refers to “circadian rhythms.” Such daily variations in host immune system status might evolve to maximize immune reactions at times when encounters with pathogens are most likely to occur. However, the mechanisms behind circadian immunity have not been fully understood. Recent studies reveal that the internal time keeping system “circadian clock” plays a key role in driving the daily rhythms evident in the immune system. Importantly, several studies unveil molecular mechanisms of how certain clock proteins (e.g., BMAL1 and CLOCK) temporally regulate expression of cytokines. Since cytokines are crucial mediators for shaping immune responses, this review mainly summarizes the new knowledge that highlights an emerging role of the circadian clock as a novel regulator of cytokines. Continue reading “Review Article
Temporal Regulation of Cytokines by the Circadian Clock” at: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/614529/

Research such as the above; should encourage us to support the important work on immune synchronization and timing of cancer treatments recently pioneered by Prof Brendon Coventry (and Martin Ashdown) as featured on my internet radio show: Navigating the Cancer Maze 23 January 2015; please see interviews and links below.

Biological_clock_human_svgProfessor Coventry’s first interview listed on the Science show with Robin Williams was broadcast : Saturday 17 April 2010 !! At last there is an intervention that can positively impact outcomes of treatments and that is relatively non invasive (apart from a series of blood tests over a 2 week period).

The information graphed from results can tell you when your window of opportunity for optimum response from your cancer treatments will be. It is my hope that patients will take the time to read and understand the research on both the immune system and immune synchronization of cancer treatments and its exciting implications and begin to ask for their immune systems rhythm to be measured and evaluated.

Prof Brendon Coventry Adelaide, South Australia
Prof Brendon Coventry Adelaide, South Australia

Prof Brendon Coventry says immune system rhythm, may be a fundamental discovery. Implications are better health and reduced costs for the health system. A survey showed that tumours disappear completely in just 7% of patients when treated with chemotherapy. Did the time of administering chemotherapy have an effect? Daily blood measurements show fluctuation in inflammatory markers in the blood. A cycle emerged. It’s now thought the immune system is being regulated, being switched on and off against the tumour. The periodicity is roughly 7 days. This matters, as hitting the immune system with chemicals when it isn’t receptive might be ineffective.

For more information visit the following URLs

Melanoma Study:

http;//www.immunotherapyofcancer.orgcontentpdf2051-1426-2-9.pdf

Immune System pulsing – Timing of Treatment

Martin Ashdown Window of Opportunity1

Be a particicipant in the medicines and approaches that could save your life!

until next time…..
Grace

Navigating the Cancer Maze Radio – USA Thanksgiving Holiday edition|Fran Drescher with Grace Gawler

The Cancer Schmancer Movement is changing the paradigm away from a cure toward cancer prevention and early detection. 90% of cancer is caused by environmental factors she says. By knowing what toxins to avoid we can reduce our cancer risk and by being proactive with annual screenings, people can be diagnosed earlier with a better chance to live longer & healthier.

Today on Navigating the Cancer Maze radio on Voice America – I have repeated our most popular interview since the show began in August 2012. It’s Thanksgiving weekend in the USA and Voice America staff are on holiday.  To locate my interview with Fran Drescher, if you haven’t heard it before – please select this link . Fran Drescher’s interview has encored several times on the show due to her popularity. Each week Navigating the Cancer Maze audience is growing. The show is being talked about by patient groups and audio files are being shared around the globe to those in need of valid and practical cancer information. I am not one for promoting celebrities – but I see something different in Fran Drescher, pro active and smart; based on her experience; she genuinely wants to make a difference in cancer. You will see what I mean when you take a look at her charity website www.CancerSchmancer.org 

GRACE GAWLER AND FRAN DRESCHER CANCER SCHMANCERThe Cancer Schmancer Movement is changing the paradigm away from a cure toward cancer prevention and early detection. 90% of cancer is caused by environmental factors she says. By knowing what toxins to avoid we can reduce our cancer risk and by being proactive with annual screenings, people can be diagnosed earlier with a better chance to live longer & healthier.

The impulse for Cancer Schmancer was born through Fran’s personal adversities. An added trauma for celebs is that their issues are played out on the public stage. Raped during a robbery in her home in 1985, she later was diagnosed with uterine cancer. A survivor, she has been an inspiration and an example to other women to not give up! Misdiagnosed by 8 doctors over a 2 year period – it was her dogged persistence to get a proper diagnosis that led to her surgery and recovery. The outcome could have been very different had she not been the type of person she is. But not all women persist with getting a diagnosis when they know something is not right with their health. Second, third, fourth opinions or more may be needed. Early diagnosis is a far easier path than dealing with advanced cancer and this is the path the Fran Drescher has taken in educating women about women’s cancers.

Fran divorced her first husband, writer and producer, Peter Marc Jacobson, who later came out as gay. Recent good news for Fran is that it seems found her real life Maxwell Sheffield when she married Dr Shiva Ayyadurai in September this year.

Fran is known for her innate ability to transform bad experiences into positives, writing a book titled Cancer Schmancer, where she wrote, “my whole life has been about changing negatives into positives.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKMVz3qfn-I&w=560&h=315]

Footnote: About Thanksgiving: A Triumph of woman power and a listening president!

In 1789, following a proclamation issued by President George Washington, America celebrated its first Day of “Thanksgiving to God” under its new constitution. However it was a persistent woman, Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale, the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book who for thirty years, promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day, contacting President after President until President Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of November as a national Day of Thanksgiving. Over the next seventy-five years, Presidents followed Lincoln’s precedent, annually declaring a national Thanksgiving Day. Then, in 1941, Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday of each November as a national holiday.

http://www.cancerschmancer.org/frans-story

http://www.cancerschmancer.org/

http://www.gracegawlerinstitute.com/

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU_Q8S8nvp0&w=560&h=315]

Happy Thanksgiving to all my USA listeners and supporters…

Until next time
Grace

How Surgeons can Help you Navigate the Colorectal Cancer Maze | Dr Francis Seow Choen with Grace Gawler

Dr Francis Seow Choen is himself a medical miracle. As a 7 year old he recovered from major surgery for a cancer in his small intestine after facing a horrendous 6 months of radiation treatment and chemotherapy back in 1964 when treatments were harsh. He survived! Dr. Seow-Choen graduated from the National University of Singapore in 1981 & obtained his higher surgical qualifications in 1987. He sub-specialised in colorectal surgery in 1989 where he worked with the world-class surgeons of St Marks’ Hospital in London. He is a remarkable CR surgeon.

Part 2 – How Surgeons can Help you Navigate the Colorectal Cancer Maze

Dr Francis Seow Choen MBBS (Spore), FRCS (Edin), FAMS

Dr Francis Seow Choen Fortis Surgical Hospital Singapore
Dr Francis Seow Choen Fortis Surgical Hospital Singapore

Dr Francis Seow Choen is himself a medical miracle. As a 7 year old he recovered from major surgery for a cancer in his small intestine after facing a horrendous 6 months of radiation treatment and chemotherapy back in 1964 when treatments were harsh. He survived! Interview CLICK HERE

Dr. Seow-Choen graduated from the National University of Singapore in 1981 & obtained his higher surgical qualifications in 1987. He sub-specialised in colorectal surgery in 1989 where he worked with the world-class surgeons of St Marks’ Hospital in London. He is a remarkable CR surgeon.

I have interviewed Dr Francis Seow Choen previously on my internet radio show Navigating the Cancer Maze at Voice America. This time however, we touch on more details about the surgical techniques available for anyone dealing with colorectal cancer today.

As well, speaking as CR surgeon and recovered patient; he had a powerful message to cancer patients. Listen to this short excerpt from his interview: Select the icon below right to hear Dr Seow Choen’s message.

A personal message to cancer patients from Dr Francis Seow Choen
A personal message to cancer patients from Dr Francis Seow Choen

I have tremendous respect for the art and science of surgery. My own introduction to surgery came when I was 15 years of age. I began working in a veterinary clinic after school, then during holidays and for while as permanent staff. I was fortunate that the owner took me on as an apprentice as he knew my passion was to become a veterinarian. So, not only did I learn “hands-on” labrador retriever at the vetsurgery at an early age – I also was involved in co-performing post postmortems on animals which has served as a treasured learning field for understanding anatomy, physiology and pathology – many older dogs and cats who succumbed to an advanced and previously undiagnosed cancer that became a postmortem exercise; allowed me to see a wide range of cancers in vivo.

On the other hand, I was also impressed in how quickly animals responded to surgery for cancer and that for a high percentage of our animal clients – of those  caught early in diagnosis; few had a recurrence. There were also cases where enormous tumour loads were surgically removed, and the dog lived a long life afterwards! It was here that I developed a tremendous respect for surgical skills and the associated healing potential and regenerative powers that along with our animal friends, we all possess. However, surgery has come a long way since those days when robotic surgery entered the arena a few years ago.

You will find today’s interview with Dr Seow Choen informative, especially regarding the techniques using the new DaVinci Robotic surgery technology. You can read more about this technique as well as listening to the interview with Dr Seow Choen at: http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/80875/how-surgeons-can-help-you-navigate-the-colorectal-cancer-maze-part-2

Singapore Fortis surgical Hospital da-Vinci-Robotic-Surgery equipment
Singapore Fortis surgical Hospital da-Vinci-Robotic-Surgery equipment

 

Dr. Seow-Choen helped establish the first colorectal surgery department in Asia at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and is considered a leader in the development in CR surgery and approaches to treatment.

In this interview with Dr Seow Choen he also comments on diet and nutrition for cancer patients from the viewpoint of an experienced CR surgeon.

You may be surprised what he says……

 In the last segment of today’s show, I provide an overview on treatments available for CR cancer in 2014. A not to be missed show!

DaVinci robotic surgery technology
DaVinci robotic surgery technology

Resources:

Contact: www.fortissurgicalhospital.com to learn more…..

Or visit Dr Seow Choen’s website:

http://www.colorectalcentre.com/eng/index.html 

Don’t miss reading the informative medical media articles  at……….

http://www.colorectalcentre.com/eng/media_articles.html

If you missed last weeks interview with Dr Seow Choen’s colleague Dr Lim Jit Fong –

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

Remember all interviews on Navigating the Cancer Maze are free to air (on live streaming and available from the archives anytime) and can be downloaded for free on itunes.

The show is not copyright and is available to distribute in the interest of cancer education and public awareness.

The show is available globally and is sponsored by donations to the Grace Gawler Institute a registered NFP Health Promotion Charity with DGR status based in Australia with a global outreach.

How to Safely Integrate Botanical Medicine into a Cancer Treatment & Prevention Program with Grace Gawler

Have you noticed how in recent times, ordinary foods have been re-invented and labelled as awesome super-foods. The awesome super-food brings with it a promise of health, vitality, longevity and prevention of every illness under the sun – especially cancer. And….it’s all natural! Well is it? First of all, vegetables and fruits we eat today are different from the foods our ancestors were eating.

Have you noticed how in recent times, ordinary foods have been re-invented and labelled as awesome super-foods. The awesome super-food brings with it a promise of health, vitality, longevity and  prevention of every illness under the sun – especially cancer. And….it’s all natural! Well is it? First of all, vegetables and fruits we eat today are different from the foods our ancestors were eating. They have been altered in their genetic material since the late 1800’s. Scientists and farmers have been genetically modifying food crops  through a process known as hybridization or selective plant breeding for a long time. This was the pre-biotechnology method of introducing genetic materials from one individual plant to another. The humble carrot was manipulated long before that!

carrots superfoodsA knowledge of history often helps to put things into perspective. Did you know that the Carrot we know of today was already tampered with in the 1700’s. They were bred orange in The Netherlands during the 17th century from the older white and purple stock (that are now back in fashion as “heritage” varieties) to show support for the Orange-Nassau dynasty. So provocative were orange carrots seen to be in the early modern period that, at various points, they were banned from sale in Dutch markets as the fortunes of the dynasty waxed and waned politically! Even in the the 1700’s vegetables were used to promote a cause! ( source The Conversation)

But – back to the 21st Century. In today’s hype for health there is one thing missing  in many of the self stylized Health Gurus – knowledge!

Food science is fascinating and complex and as technology increases- our understanding and knowledge builds.

Unfortunately promoters of the current “healing super-foods” are not  qualified in the science; nor are they qualified in botanical medicine. On today’s Navigating the Cancer Maze , I look at just one of the super-food groups – Cruciferous vegetables.  The phyto-chemicals contained in cruciferous vegetables, as well as macro and micro-nutrient content have caused a stir in cancer circles.

Based on my more than 3 decades of experience, research & qualifications with plant medicines & nutrition to help cancer patients; I would like to share with you some critical aspects for any cancer patient to know when using plant based medicines or super-foods for health; both during treatment and outside of treatment. Click here to listen to audio streaming Voice America

Many studies have highlighted reduction of cancer risk Health intelligence australiaby consuming macro-nutrients-carbs, proteins, fats, fibre and proteins. There are also specific nutrients contained in foods called micro-nutrients-what we know as vitamins, minerals & trace elements. However, plants contain many chemical substances other than micro-nutrients that may help prevent cancer; some are effective adjuncts in treating cancer- these are called phyto-chemicals.

There is a saying – “It’s not what you eat – but what you do with what you eat”. Almost every patient who visits my practice has already made lifestyle and dietary changes according to what they have read on Dr Google or in books obtained through Dr Google. Some have sought naturopathic advice. Most finish up on vegan diets with copious juices whilst taking plant nutrients in capsules or powders by the bucket load. This is not natural!  A few more helpful sayings: ” Less is more” and….. there is no one size fits all in healing- we are all different.”

One of the biggest digestive enemies of the cancer patient are the foods that do not breakdown well and create excess gas & pain and….often these foods don’t absorb well. You can be taking in lots of nutrient dense foods and supplements – but be malnourished. I see this in my practice constantly.  Excessive gas and inflammation from ingesting large quantities of raw greens along with a compromised digestive system can lead to many more health issues. Remember Cancer is disease that begins with inflammation that becomes chronic. Ideally we want to make life easier for our digestive systems – not more difficult.   I highly recommend you visit the following website:  http://www.puristat.com/bloating/anti-flatulence-diet-plan.aspx

Did you know that by overdoing ingestion of the cruciferious family by taking excessive green powders and juicing raw vegetables that absorb better if cooked – can lead to genotoxicity?  This is the term which describes the property of chemical agents that damage genetic information within a cell causing mutations, which may lead to cancer. Excess raw greens can also affect thyroid hormones and create Goiter. The principle applies  – Less is more!

So often in my practice I find that by changing the “healthy regimens” that patients are taking in order to recover, and replacing it with a well structured, personalized dietary regimen with steamed and cooked foods;  that bloating, due to excessive gas and inflammation, decreases or disappears. As does the debilitating pain that accompanies foods that don’t suit our metabolism. Patients with gastro- intestinal cancers can therefore reduce pain medication due to a sensible dietary change.

Another excellent resource for learning about Gut issues is the following website:  http://www.gutsense.org/

In tomorrow’s blog more resources and information about cruciferous vegetables and nutrition for cancer patients. See you then …
Grace

Game-changing Cancer Breakthrough Keytruda | New immunotherapy drug now FDA approved Grace Gawler

Because of the immune system’s extraordinary power, its capacity for memory, its exquisite specificity, and its central and universal role in human biology, these immunotherapy treatments have the potential to achieve complete, long-lasting remissions and cancer cures, with few or no side effects, and for any cancer patient, regardless of their cancer type. ( CRI )

The Immune System and Cancer Control: Exciting Developments in the USA and at QIMR Berghofer Brisbane Australia…..

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is made by the drug company Merck. The drug belongs to a class of immunotherapies called checkpoint inhibitors. These drugs “take the brakes off” the immune response to cancer. They represent the most promising new cancer therapies to emerge in decades. Merck’s drug is the first FDA approved checkpoint inhibitor targeting a molecule called PD-1. Cancer-Immunotherapy-BreakthroughThe drug has been approved for the treatment of advanced or inoperable melanoma in patients who have failed prior treatment.

For 60 years, Cancer Research Institute (CRI) has been the pioneer in advancing this highly promising new class of treatment. Because of this investment, cancer immunotherapy today is a highly active and exciting field, with unprecedented potential to deliver on the decades-long promise of discovering, developing, and delivering safe and effective treatments that make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients fighting the disease. For those living in the USA – if you want more information about checkpoint inhibitors and immunotherapies.
To Join a webinar presented by Cancer Research Institute – Immunotherapy: The Future of Prostate Cancer is Here” with Dr Charles Drake MD PhD September 30, 2014 at 2 pm ( please remember – New York time!) CLICK HERE
Because of the immune system’s extraordinary power, its capacity for memory, its exquisite specificity, and its central and universal role in human biology, these immunotherapy treatments have the potential to achieve complete, long-lasting remissions and cancer cures, with few or no side effects, and for any cancer patient, regardless of their cancer type.( CRI)
 Please visit: www.cancerresearch.org for more more information about immunotherapy trials and treatments in USA.
Also visit:      http://www.theanswertocancer.org

In Queensland – Australia  – QIMR Berghofer Medical Institute Brisbane is dedicated to translating discoveries into treatments, diagnostics and prevention strategies.

LISTEN TO AUDIO QIMR berhofer QldListen to this interview with Sara-Jane who was a guest on Navigating the Cancer Maze Radio this week. Sara Jane is from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. She will speak about the Research Roadshow and other aspects of this research centre. Learn how you can get involved and benefit.

,

To discover what is being researched  at QIMR  visit their website by CLICKING HERE: 

In Next blog:

More on the Research Roadshow at QIMR Berghofer and Record keeping – so important for any cancer patient. I look at some creative ways to keep your medical records in order.

Until next time

Grace

Grace Gawler|The story of a bionic woman in Global Health and Travel Magazine

Maya Angelou said: “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Global Health and Travel Magazine recently published an edition (July-Aug 2014) featuring women who are exceptional survivors and who were not reduced by events out of their control! Grace Gawler speaks with Global health and Travel Magazine.

Maya Angelou said: “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

Global Health and Travel Magazine recently published an edition (July-Aug 2014) featuring women who are exceptional survivors and who were not reduced by events out of their control!

Women of Substance – Asia’s Leading Ladies in Healthcare – Female Patients and their success stories. The  July-August 2014
Global Health and Travel Magazine  features stories of 5 women who overcame the odds to survive and thrive.

Grace Gawler & Dr Francis Seow Choen
Grace Gawler & Dr Francis Seow Choen

I am honoured to be one of the 5 women they featured and it goes without saying that a Dutch surgeon, Dr Rudd Schouten ( 2002) and 2 Singaporean surgeons, Dr Francis Seow Choen and Dr Lim Jit Fong (2009), from Fortis Surgical Hospital, Singapore, were also major players.  A team effort for survival. I am forever grateful to them for humanity & surgical skill.

You will read how life sometimes throws us a curve ball…… just when everything appears to be going smoothly! Mine came in 1997 when my 21 marriage ended suddenly. Three days later, another blow; a total prolapse of my uterus changed my life direction even more. A surgical procedure aimed at repair and health restoration saw the unthinkable happen – Complications left me without bowel function. As you can imagine if you have ever been constipated for a few days…..the consequences were horrendous and over time, large sections of impacted colon had to be surgically removed.

This part of my story has also been recorded in my Memoirs Grace Grit and Gratitude.( pub 2008)  Copies available eBook, soft cover or Click here to read on Google books. This is a free read. Section 39 talks about my Bionic surgery.

I hope that the inclusion of my survival story in Global Health and Travel magazine, inspires others to take a chance and walk in the field of all possibilities.   In 2002 – 2003 I underwent experimental surgery ( InterStim Therapy) that would enable me to have another chance at Life! If you would like more information or to explore InterStim Therapy and if it is applicable to you –  Please contact me via the contact page on this blog.

To read the full story – Global Health and Travel can be purchased online as a Single Digital Issue or by yearly subscription. This is a high quality health information magazine for any person who is consciously making efforts to improve their health and wellbeing and who wants to be informed.

 Click here for sample or to purchase online subscription to

Grace Gawler GLOBAL HEALTH AND TRAVEL  JULY 2014

 

Global Health and Travel is worthy of a subscription. It is a premier resource on medical tourism as well as providing articles about general healthcare. The magazine focuses on services offered by internationally-accredited healthcare institutions typically sought by travellers including complex, specialized procedures such as joint replacement for hips and knees, cardiac surgery, fertility treatment and more. Combined with vibrant and informative stories on beauty, travel, health and wellbeing, Global Health and Travel is your reliable guide to healthcare abroad. The latest edition is a great read if you want to know more about immunology.

To read the story – Select below then enlarge text via magnifier.

Grace Gawler July-August 2014_Global Health and Travel_A Return to Normalcy_

 

Introducing Health Intelligence Australia-A new Model of Healthcare Grace Gawler and Dr Bruce Whelan

On this week’s Navigating the Cancer Maze on Voice America radio, I presented an encore broadcast of a special interview with my colleague GP Dr Bruce Whelan: “Spinning Gold from Straw: How trauma transformed a Doctor’s Life and Practice”. This year, Dr Whelan and I have forged a very special medical partnership to help patients Navigate the Cancer Maze – Health Intelligence Australia.

On this week’s Navigating the Cancer Maze  on Voice America radio, I presented an encore broadcast of a special interview with my colleague GP Dr Bruce Whelan: “Spinning Gold from Straw: How trauma transformed a Doctor’s Life and Practice”. This year, Dr Whelan and I have forged a very special medical partnership to help patients Navigate the Cancer Maze – Health Intelligence Australia.
Last week a patient asked me what makes Dr. Bruce Whelan unique in terms of the type of medicine he practises? The answer came Health intelligence australiaeasily. In the past 10 years Bruce has become involved with and specialized in management of addictions, mental health and severe and chronic pain as well as general medicine. These are also all important aspects of cancer management. They are the areas of medicine that tend to be under-serviced by GPs due to time constraints or lack of training. But there is more that makes Dr Bruce Whelan uniquely suited to the new Health Intelligence Australia group.
Another area of Dr Bruce Whelan’s expertise is in the area of trauma. He knows a lot about trauma at a very personal level because in 2002 he was summoned to Bali from Sri Lanka, where he was working.  He was given the unspeakably grim task of identifying bodies after the bombing at the Sari Club in Bali. His task was made even worse when he spent two days unsuccessfully trying to find and identify the body of his son-in-law Shane – killed in the bombing along with a partner of his daughter’s friend. As luck had it the girls were going to be late getting to the Sari Club that night. But lucky as they were to escape; the trauma of the incident lived on and shaped their future.
When Bruce graduated  from the University of Queensland in 1967, like many of us, he had no idea what life had in store for him. As a doctor, Bruce Whelan had already seen lot of suffering, but the post-traumatic stress affect that the Bali incident produced, had long lasting effects. The product of uninvited change!  Bruce fought a battle he could not win; to have bodies quickly identified, stored appropriately and repatriated to Australia.

Dr Bruce Whelan
Dr Bruce Whelan

This intensified the trauma, grief and loss experienced by many. However, being a resourceful doctor, eventually he was able to spin gold from straw as they say, and today, 14 years later; the experience brings with it a man who is the wounded healer who serves his patients with a rare quality of directness and authenticity. He is someone who deeply understands trauma and depression in another human being.

There is no substitute for this type of life experience. This type of experience can’t be learned in any university except in the university of life!
It is recognized by psycho-oncologists that a diagnosis of cancer is also a traumatic event and many patients experience PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) that often remains undiagnosed and untreated throughout the course of the illness. Some patients have experienced trauma before diagnosis and it may not have been dealt with. Unrecognized trauma can play a complicated role in the ongoing management of illness. Major life traumas can  impact every treatment approach that a cancer patient will try during their recovery….. it can even affect patients who are survivors of the physical illness, but who did not have the opportunity to deal with the psychological impact of the illness at the time.  This often plays out as depression, memory loss or dissociative disorders.
To make an appointment for a consultation to see either myself or Dr Whelan, or for a team consultation,  please visit:
RESOURCES:   Check out the following resources to understand more about PTSD and the brain:The Biology of Trauma           http://www.natal.org.il/english/?CategoryID=232
Article Psychology Today:   The Anatomy of Post traumatic Stress Disorder
Listen to interviews with Dr Bruce Whelan on Voice America – at http://www.drbrucewhelan.com/about-dr-bruce/

Navigating the Cancer Maze Celebrating Two years On Voice America | Grace Gawler Health Intelligence

Navigating the Cancer Maze Celebrating Two years On Voice America | Grace Gawler Health Intelligence

TWO year anniversary VA

PART ONE: Navigating the cancer Maze uniquely takes an all round eclectic and authentic look at Cancer. Each week, for the past two years we have discussed everything that is relevant to a person or family dealing with cancer.  We don’t only discuss life saving treatments – but we also discuss end of life issues and care. CLICK HERE TO VISIT THIS WEEKS SHOW  Navigating the Cancer Maze with Health Intelligence

First of all – some resources: Last week on  Navigating the Cancer Maze, I interviewed David Pastalozzi Producer of Strath a Swiss formulation with Longevity that every cancer patient should know about!  CLICK HERE for more about this wonderful product.

If you are new to the show or missed the previous shows – they are recorded at Voice America & located in the Archives on the top right of my webpage at VOICE AMERICA Health and Wellness channel. Please take a look at all our wonderful past guests on the show & their interviews. Free to listen and download anytime.……..Recently, I have been fortunate to interview people who work at the coal face with the dying and bereaved. Beth O’Brien is a trained bereavement & grief counselor, &  funeral celebrant. In light of the suicide death of actor Robin Williams there was a global increase in services/inquiries for those who need help with depression or substance abuse. I asked Beth O’Brien if she could share some very useful resources that all of us may need at some stage in life, whether for us or for a friend!  To Listen to my interview with Beth O’Brien: CLICK HERE

To resource more about this important subject you can also access the guest page where there are links; should you wish to contact any of the organizations mentioned or my guests. (select URL above to locate my Voice America page).

https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

http://www.livingisforeveryone.com.au

http://suicidepreventionaust.org/resources/

BOOKS:
Dying to be Free: A healing guide for families after a suicide (Beverly Cobain, Jean Larch) CLICK HERE

The Grief Recovery  Handbook: The action program for moving beyond Death, Divorce and other losses  by John W James and Russell Friedman   CLICK HERE

Changing the topic to ‘living well’…….Lifestyle and Health Promotion – also mentioned on this week’s show…….

Two wonderful Programs featured on ABC TV: Catalyst over the passed 2 weeks. If you want to explore the links between diet and lifestyle – then this program is not to be missed!  Science is catching up with some of the sound  ‘old school Naturopathy’ that I was taught by my mentor & friend the late Dorothy Hall. I still use these old school principles in my Practice – but now have the science to back up my approach. In 40 years having worked with 16,000 cancer patients – one gets more than just an insight into the efficacy of cancer treatments and prevention programs. If you missed Catalyst, you can click through to find the videos:
Go to http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/vodcast/   You can download Episode 5: 14/08/2014     Episode 6: 21/08/2014 as MP4 files

Finally today – Please visit my new website for Consultations-Medicine with Heart, Skill and Compassion

A new model for best of both worlds medicine – Team consults available with GP- Southport Gold Coast

www.healthintelligenceaustralia.com

More about Health Intelligence Australia in PART TWO – coming soon. Enjoy the day!

Grace

 

 

Grace Gawler Navigating the Cancer Maze | The most important issue we can address – death; the great adventure

On Navigating the Cancer Maze – today – a discussion about death with Rev Dr. Ian Mavor and Dee Hanna from Hopewell hospice and Paradise Kids located on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Listen to or download interview at Voice America Navigating the Cancer Maze.

On Navigating the Cancer Maze – today – a discussion about death with Rev Dr.  Ian Mavor and Dee Hanna from Hopewell hospice and Paradise Kids located on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Listen to or download interview at Voice America Navigating the Cancer Maze

DEATH ADVENTURES: It would to nice to think that all cancer patients could find healing and recovery. I would like to share a recent experience that was a case of breathing life into death!  Prior to my recent visit to Germany, I had the pleasure of being invited one Saturday afternoon to a Death Cafe! I invited a guest and her family to attend with me. They were about to embark upon her journey into death. I will call Death Cafe navigating the cancer mazethis patient Lois. Lois had a highly aggressive brain tumor stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme – she was also a survivor of breast cancer 10 years prior. Following surgery and a recurrence soon after; Lois had successful treatment in Germany. However – she was not the same person that she and others knew, and this was tremendous source of distress to her. Like many patients with a brain tumor, Lois suffered from depersonalization (a state in which one’s thoughts and feelings seem unreal or not to belong to oneself). Medications and therapy did not assist. An intense episode of Shingles that lasted for 6 months followed by seizures and blindness in one eye and then a recurrence of the tumor, finally ‘tipped the scales’……Lois decided enough was enough!  She decided that she wanted to end the suffering and refused further treatment. Lois and her family gained a tremendous amount of information by attending a Death Cafe. Soon she was a patient at Hopewell Hospice and a few weeks later – she died peacefully at the Hospice surrounded by love with friends and family in a conducive atmosphere of candlelight and peace – one of the most well prepared death experiences that I have been privy to. There was openness and disclosure. Nothing was left unsaid nor undone as Lois took her final breath.

The mere mention of a Death Cafe is a definite conversation stopper! This is especially so when friends ask “What are you doing this weekend” and you reply you attending a Death Cafe function! Immediately people imagine a group of people resembling Abby from NCIS!  However – everyone who attended the Death Cafe dressed quite normally and there was not a ‘Goth fashion’ in sight! The format was a discussion by grief counselor Beth O’Brien and funeral director Neil Davis. They spoke openly about all the things death cafeyou likely thought that you would never want to know about death and yet; these are things that one should know. And  – with the room to capacity – it was amazing how the conversation became lively, questioning and engaging. People really wanted to ask more and more questions ….questions that are indeed relevant to us all.

Death is often ‘the elephant in the room that no one wants to discuss’. However it was good to see the topic on the table for discussion on ABC TV ( Australia) last night – so perhaps the Death Cafe is in deed making an impact in bringing death out of the closet.

What is The Death Cafe? It is a global movement where people come together in a relaxed and safe setting to discuss death. It’s not all doom and gloom. The organizers say that sometimes people need to understand death so they can live life to the full.

Have you ever been curious about the end of life experience? At Death Cafe a funeral director and celebrant will be at hand to help bury the taboos. Visit the website: http://www.distinguishabledays.com/2013/10/brisbanes-first-death-cafe/

Interview on Voice America’s Navigating the Cancer Maze:

Who is Rev. Dr Ian Mavor OAM, FACE  – Ian is a former Uniting Church Minister. Much of Ian’s professional life has been in Ian mavor on Navigating the Cancer Mazespecialist roles. Co-Founder and Executive Director Ian serves as Executive Director of Hopewell Hospice Services Inc which includes Hopewell Hospice, Paradise Kids, the Living Well Center and the Hopewell College of Transformative Education. He is a member of the Health Community Council-Gold Coast Health District and a member of the State Council of Palliative Care Queensland. In 2002, Ian was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) “For service to the community through a range of church, social welfare, education and health groups”.

http://www.hopewell.org

http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/79547/special-encore-presentation-navigating-the-cancer-maze-the-most-important-issue-we-can-address-death

Grace Gawler with Dee Hanna  Hopewell Hospice on navigating the cancer maze

Who is Deirdre Hanna
Dee is the Founder of Hopewell Hospice Services Inc. in 1993, which includes Hopewell Hospice, Paradise Kids Children’s Services, Hopewell Education Services and The Living Well Center.

http://hopewell.org.au/other-services

Recommended viewing: Last night’s segment on ABC TV 7.30 report:  Charter for people who are nearing end of life. View the video at the link below:

 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-01/push-to-put-end-of-life-plans-on-agenda/5642866?section=qld

DEATH CAFE: For exact location details and bookings for the Brisbane Death Cafe email:    director@australiancelebrations.com.au

We hope you have found this blog helpful to your life and purpose. Navigating the Cancer Maze is sponsored by the Grace Gawler Institute-  a not for profit registered health promotion charity located in Queensland Australia with a Global outreach  focusing on cancer and life education. www.gracegawlerinstitute.com

Navigating the Cancer Maze | i am the answer to cancer |Cancer Immunotherapy Month

Navigating the Cancer Maze | i am the answer to cancer |Cancer Immunotherapy Month. Where is the answer to cancer? According to Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D and the organization she represents,Cancer Research Institute (CRI); the answer is ‘i am the answer to cancer’; yes-the patients immune system holds the answer to cancer!

Navigating the Cancer Maze | i am the answer to cancer |Cancer Immunotherapy Month
June 6, 2014
Did you know that June is Cancer Immunotherapy Month? Tune in to Navigating the Cancer Maze for inspiring listening and learn about the good news – the Answer to Cancer
Dr. Jill O'Donnell-Tormey PhD CEO Cancer Research Institute NY
Dr. Jill O’Donnell-Tormey PhD CEO Cancer Research Institute NY

Where is the answer to cancer? According to my guest Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D and the organization she represents,Cancer Research Institute (CRI); the answer is ‘i am the answer to cancer’; yes-the patients immune system holds the answer to cancer! Select link below to listen to audio

http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/78363/navigating-the-cancer-maze-i-am-the-answer-to-cancer-cancer-immunotherapy-month

The CRI is a non-profit organization founded in 1953 & today’s global leader in supporting & coordinating research aimed at harnessing the immune system’s power to conquer all cancers. Jill will explain immunotherapy & its value to cancer patients as well as the different types of cancer immunotherapy available. There will be patient stories & an exploration of the very latest in immunotherapy. A New Cancer Immunotherapy Website for Patients and Caregivers was launched recently. Get on board with supporters like Olivia Newton John who recently lent public support to CRI.   http://www.cancerresearch.org         http://www.TheAnswerToCancer.org

Listen to Navigating the Cancer Maze 12 Noon Fridays – live from Arizona (PST) – Saturday Australia 5am free to air or download and listen later – available free download on itunes.

READ MORE:

http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/dr-jill-odonnell-tormey-phd-ceo-director-of-scientific-affairs-of-the-cancer-research-institute-ny-joins-grace-gawler-on-navigating-the-cancer-maze-to-talk-about-cancer-immunotherapy-month-516331.htm

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW:

http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/78363/navigating-the-cancer-maze-i-am-the-answer-to-cancer-cancer-immunotherapy-month

Please remember to Like us facebook & spread the good news about the Answer to Cancer!

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