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.

Tips on How to Navigate the Carers Maze – Grace Gawler interviews Ellen Slater- Carers Qld.

Having been a sole care-giver at the age of 21 when my then boyfriend and later husband was suddenly diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) I had an abrupt introduction into the world of the caregiver. When he underwent surgery for a full leg amputation – life became even more challenging. Carers are the backbone of most societies. Their task is often unnoticed and even unappreciated. Ellen Slater aims to change that – in fcat she has made it her life mission to provide care and teach self – care to caregivers.

Tips on How to Navigate the Carers MazeGrace Gawler interviews Ellen Slater- Carers Qld.

Having been a sole care-giver at the age of 21 when my then boyfriend and later husband was suddenly diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) I had an abrupt introduction into the world of the caregiver. When he underwent surgery for a full leg amputation – life became even more challenging. Carers are the backbone of most societies. Their task is often unnoticed and even unappreciated. Ellen Slater aims to change that – in fcat she has made it her life mission to provide care  and teach self – care to caregivers.

Ellen Slater has had a life-time of personal care-giving & then chose a vocation in care-giving as well as a career as a family therapist and counselor.

Ellen Slater Carers Qld
Ellen Slater Carers Qld

 For 6 years Ellen has been Manager for Counseling, Family Support and Advocacy programs with Carers Queensland. Carers Australia is the peak body for carers. Carers Queensland is responsible for a National Carers Counseling Program (NCCP) which, Ellen has been privileged to manage. In Queensland the organization has 13 professional counseling staff, where they offer face to face counseling, telephone counseling & home visits. This is a state wide program. Ellen has recently resigned from her position at Carers Qld to follow her heart and passion into her next venture and adventure; Joyland Carers Retreat near Korora beach, Coffs Harbour in Northern NSW. www.joylandcarersretreat.com.au More about Ellen Slater on the Guest page.
CONTACT CARER’S QLD:  www.carersqld.asn.au

 

Listen to the audio interview – download on itunes for free and live streaming anytime.

http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/80607/how-to-navigate-the-carers-maze-grace-gawler-and-ellen-slater

About Ellen:
Ellen Slater Ellen has been a carer for most of her childhood, adolescence and adulthood. She has a Masters of Counseling & has completed clinical courses in Family Therapy and supervision, a Diploma of Ministry, a Bachelor of Counseling, & has now been accepted as a candidate for a PhD. She is a recipient of the “Golden Key”, University of New England-Armidale. Whilst studying and also caring for her late husband, she ran a successful private practice & support groups from home.

 Joyland Carers Retreat Coffs Harbour
Near Joyland Carers Retreat Coffs Harbour

She became Senior Counselor & Manager for Counseling & Advocacy-Carers Qld.

As a carer she was exhausted, isolated, angry; then later guilty & emotionally burnt out.

She dreamed of having a break & being alone for a while to find her-self. She was aware of others in similar situations; carers who needed respite & nurturing to regain their strength and courage to carry on.

Joyland Carer’s Retreat will open in Jan 2015; a self funded initiative that is now almost a reality www.joylandcarersretreat.com.au

Resources:Australia:

  1.  www.joylandcarersretreat.com.au
  2. http://www.carersaustralia.com.au/
  3. http://www.carersaustralia.com.au/about-carers/young-carers2/

USA:

  1. http://www.caregiver.com/
  2. http://www.helpguide.org/elder/caring_for_caregivers.htm
  3. https://www.caregiver.org/
  4. http://www.caregiveraction.org/

CLICK HERE  – TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW WITH ELLEN SLATER

Attention caregivers: Making use of helpful services – USA RESOURCES CONTINUED.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE HARVARD’S CAREGIVERS HANDBOOK

Being a caregiver for an ailing parent, spouse, child, or other loved one can feel like a lonely undertaking. But it doesn’t have to be, even if you don’t have family nearby to pitch in. Help for caregivers is available from various organizations. Once you learn what’s available, it may be easier to chart a less-demanding course toward meeting the needs of your spouse, relative, or friend.
Get your copy of Caregiver’s Handbook

Close to 49 million informal or family caregivers offer assistance of all sorts to adults in America. Their efforts are vital to the lives of people struggling with illness, disability, or the changes that often accompany aging. This report will assist you in meeting the needs of the person you care for while attending to your own. It includes financial, legal, and medical information that’s vital to caregivers, as well as a special section devoted to caring for yourself as you navigate caregiving challenges.

Here are some types of services and professionals you might want to investigate.
• Adult day services. These programs offer comprehensive packages of assistance, though what’s in the package varies from place to place. Services may include transportation, nursing care, meals, personal care (such as help with bathing or toilet use), social opportunities, or rehabilitative activities. Such facilities are immensely helpful if your loved one needs supervision or assistance with daily activities, health care, or social support for physical or cognitive impairments. Typically, adult day services are open during normal business hours. Some offer evening and weekend hours.
• Certified nurse’s aides. These trained aides can help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and personal care. Keep in mind that they are not nurses, and so can’t administer medications.
• Hired companions and homemakers. You may want to hire someone to help with meals, shopping, and laundry; supervise activity; and provide companionship and transportation. Some people may also be willing to help with personal care. An informal arrangement—such as a college student who lives in a home and provides help in exchange for rent—can work well.
• Home health aides. These aides perform personal services such as bathing and dressing, and may do light housekeeping.
• Meal programs. Hot, nutritious meals may be available through programs like the Meals on Wheels Association of America (703-548-5558, or www.mowaa.org) or the federally funded Eating Together Program, which offers lunch and companionship at community centers. Senior centers, community groups, or religious organizations may have similar services.
• Case managers. Some hospitals and health insurance plans assign case managers to oversee and coordinate health care. Case managers are often registered nurses or social workers. They help coordinate services, keep tabs on a patient’s progress, and communicate with the patient, caregiver, family, clinicians, and key departments, such as billing.
• Nurses. Nurses offer skilled nursing care, such as inserting intravenous lines, cleaning wounds, and changing bandages. They can also administer medications.
• Physical, occupational, or speech therapists. These trained professionals may do in-home therapy sessions.
• Respite care workers. Respite care workers provide caregivers with time off from their caregiving duties.

• Transportation services. Some communities offer free or low-cost transportation to medical appointments for seniors or people who are disabled. Other potential sources of free or low-cost transportation help are religious and community organizations, such as churches or synagogues, councils on aging, and senior centers.
The United Way (www.unitedway.org) and other national organizations may be able to refer you to services in your community, useful information, and assistance. For example, the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) offers a 24-hour help line (800-272-3900) and support groups throughout the country. Some of its chapters also offer training programs, assistance with coordinating care, and other services.
Another good resource is a website sponsored by the National Health Information Center: www.healthfinder.gov. It can help you locate resources in your area. A local agency on aging, geriatric care manager, hospital case manager, or social worker can also advise you about local services and may be able to suggest ways to cover the costs.
For more on developing plans and effective strategies for the hard work of caregiving, buy Caregiver’s Handbook, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

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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

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

 

 

Death | Discussing the ‘Elephant in the Living Room’ Beth O’Brien with Grace Gawler

There’s an elephant in the living room & no one mentions it; it is called death, the subject for today’s show. I work in a pro-life vocation with people with life challenging illness, but what happens when life is not prolonged & death is inevitable? How & where do you find the tools to help you navigate your way through the process? Learn more with Beth O’Brien on Voice America Navigating the Cancer Maze with Grace Gawler.

There’s an elephant in the living room & no one mentions it; it is called death, the subject for today’s show. I work in a pro-life vocation with people with life challenging illness, but what happens when life is not prolonged & death is inevitable? How & where do Death the elephantinthelivingroom2you find the tools to help you navigate your way through the process?

There are not only physical deaths that are relevant to today’s topic. There many “deaths”  throughout life – the losses that occur as a a part of being human; loss of youth, loss of job, loss of identity, to name a few.  But there are also overwhelming “deaths” throughout life – life’s big uninvited events that are felt so deeply that the grief seems endless and indeed may endure for life. These events are a apart of being human and shape the way we be on this planet.  The person grieving a physical death will often get more support than the person grieving a divorce experiencing hidden pain  or loss of a body part hidden from view by clothing. But grief, loss bereavement exists and it exists in many forms. Many patients have said to me that when their partner left them it felt worse than a death – that death was final – but it was challenging to accept the finality of an event when there was no physical death and the knowledge that every family event in future will have a “emotional stamp” on it!

Listen to my interview with Beth O’Brien:
http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/79672/death-discussing-the-elephant-in-the-living-room-beth-obrien-with-grace-gawler

Beth O'Brien
Beth O’Brien

So – the subject is huge and relevant! Following on from last week’s show, today I interview a lady who works with death every day; funeral celebrant, Beth O’Brien. Beth is a Certified Thanatologist; Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement”, an international accreditation with the Association for Death Education and Counseling. She is also a qualified Facilitator of Death Café, an international movement designed to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives. Today’s discussion will be a valuable resource, bringing death to the discussion table.

After 20 years studying, researching and working with people who were experiencing loss and grief, Beth O’Brien discovered a strong connection to work with people who were experiencing grief and loss.

Recently she became a Certified Thanatologist, Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement”; an international accreditation with The Association for Death Education and Counseling. In her work as a marriage and funeral celebrant she feels privileged to work with people on the most important and memorable days of their lives. Beth became so enthralled by the stories and eulogies she heard, she decided to become a personal historian and is a member of The Association of Personal Historians. Beth is a Death Café Facilitator, a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®, Grief Educator & an Internationally Certified Funeral Celebrant/Trainer.

Resources to deepen your understanding of this important subject:

Beth O’Brien: 

http://seasonsofgrief.com.au/about-beth/

www.australiancelebrations.com.au

http://deathcafe.com/

Hopewell Hospice – Gold Coast    http://hopewell.org.au/

Recommended by Beth O’Brien: Doug Manning has been one of the most prominent speakers and authors in the grief counseling field since he started work in this area in 1982.

http://www.thecarecommunity.com/GriefSafePlace/tabid/59/Default.aspx

Other resources:

Caitlin Doughty

http://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/members/your-mortician

http://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/

Caleb Wilde – Confessions of a funeral director blog

http://www.calebwilde.com/

http://www.naturaldeathcentre.org.au/

http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/79672/death-discussing-the-elephant-in-the-living-room-beth-obrien-with-grace-gawler

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

Immunology and Cancer Survival | Navigating the Cancer Maze| Grace Gawler

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute is hosting Immunotherapy week: Get updated about Immunotherapies. Next week QIMR presents a series of lectures about the latest developments in Cancer Immune therapies. QIMR’s Professor Khanna, has been researching immunotherapies and has had a major breakthrough in the treatment of the aggressive brain cancer Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM).

ATTENTION Queenslanders interested in immune-based Cancer Therapies:  Cancer Immunotherapy Week Brisbane

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute is hosting Immunotherapy week: Get updated about Immunotherapies. Next week QIMR presents a series of lectures about the latest developments in Cancer Immune therapies.

Scientists at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute have used immunotherapy to make a major breakthrough in the treatment of the aggressive brain cancer Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). There will be a presentation on Tuesday evening and other presentations throughout the week.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

QIMR IMMUNOTHERAPY WEEK
Later this week on Navigating the Cancer Maze I will be interviewing…Professor Rajiv Khanna a leading researcher at The QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia; a world progressive translational research institute focused on cancer, infectious diseases, mental health and a range of complex diseases. Professor Khanna has been researching immunotherapies and has had a major breakthrough in the treatment of the aggressive brain cancer Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). Professor Khanna developed a technique to modify the patients’ T-cells in the laboratory, effectively “train” them to attack the virus, and then return them to the patient’s body.  When the killer T-cells destroyed the virus, they also destroyed the cancer. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that immunotherapy – manipulating a person’s own immune system – is a rich new frontier for cancer treatment,” Professor Khanna said. Be informed about the answer to cancer. Support Immunotherapy week- Brisbane Qld. More info at http://www.qimrberghofer.edu.au/

All shows are available in the content Library at Navigating the Cancer Maze on The VoiceAmerica Variety Channel for on-demand and pod cast download. The Grace Gawler Institute is a not for profit health promotion charity providing global access to free information for cancer patients about the latest in cancer information and treatments from experts, patients, caregivers and researchers.

Visit:  http://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!

CIM-homepage-slider_Cancer-Immunotherapy-Month_960x395-JUNE

Black Salve|Holistic or Hole-istic? – Naturopathic Medicine was Never Meant to do This! Grace Gawler

In the Australian Media this week, Medical Reporter Julia Medew writes: A 55-year-old man recently presented to a Brisbane hospital with a black hole in his temple after applying an unproven alternative medicine known as “black salve” to a lesion on his face, which he believed was cancerous. I discussed this media piece and so called remedy in my last segment of Navigating the Cancer Maze on Voice America today.

Holistic or Hole-istic? – Naturopathic Medicine was Never Meant to do This!

In the Australian Media this week, Medical Reporter Julia Medew writes: A 55-year-old man recently presented to a Brisbane hospital with a black hole in his temple after applying an unproven alternative medicine known as “black salve” to a lesion on his face, which he believed was cancerous. I discussed this media piece and so called remedy in my last segment of Navigating the Cancer Maze on Voice America today.

BLACK SALVE
Results of Using Black Salve

Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, doctors from the Princess Alexandra Hospital said the man had been applying the unlicensed product, which is sold online as an alternative skin cancer treatment, to his face for four months.

The doctors, Natalie Ong, Eric Sham and Brandon Adams, said black salve preparations often contained an alkaloid derived from bloodroot and zinc chloride which could both eat away at tissue, leading to significant scarring and disfigurement. “In the absence of a biopsy, some patients may commence alternative treatment before attaining a diagnosis of skin cancer, and a very real risk of recurrence and metastasis (cancer spreading) remains….

Having worked with cancer patients for most of my naturopathic life; I am well aware of the nature of cancer and the inherent dangers in applying Black Salve to human or animal tissues. Far too many times I have seen first hand the destruction caused by this so called natural remedy.

( Folks there is nothing natural about zinc chloride which is often compounded with Bloodroot to create the paste – that is recommended to be applied to many different types of skin lesions). Zinc Chloride is an escharotic and tissue fixative; not to messed with! It is claimed by proponents that “the cancer salve made from zinc Chloride and Bloodroot is safe and effective, and has never harmed anyone, in thousands of years of use”.

The photograph above is just one small example of the damage I have seen from applying this paste. Cancer patients have used it on breast tumors, all kinds of skin tumors malignant and benign. One client used it on her genital area for an SCC ( squamous cell carcinoma)! The erosion and pain was horrendous. My own patient records with photographs of tissue damage are vile viewing. Many melanoma patients are delaying treatment  due to this remedy and their belief in it to “cure cancer”. Professor Dr Alexander Herzog, Germany keeps a photo album of the black salve disasters he has to try to repair when it all goes belly-up for patients. Gaping holes in breast tissue, some  large enough to insert a fist are displayed page after page…and then there is the mother who applied the Black Salve paste to a  melanoma located on her son’s skull. She used the paste for 6 months – you could see his brain through the hole! Professor Herzog says he cant understand why cancer patients are using this paste.

The whole history of  Moh’s chemo-surgery – margin controlled microscopic surgery using zinc Chloride – an interesting read.

http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/mohs-surgery/evolution-of-mohs

What is about this preparation that gives it allure? Is it the mystique of purported native American history? Is it the supposed safety level that is claimed? Is it because a former Hollywood movie star has promoted it?  Is it because we hate science and love cottage medicines?

Scab created by black salve
Scab created by black salve

The allure has even defied logic as many of Naturopathic friends, not only cancer patients believed in the salve to the extent that the paste “got it all” only to die from their metastatic melanoma and squamous cell carcinomas. Why is it that even bringing science and logic to this preparation will generate hate mail?

Personally I am tired of attending Black Salve funerals. I am glad it is banned in Australia however you can find it all around the internet still and even in the back end under the counter of some health food stores! My best advice – DON’T GO THERE! First and foremost – Find out what you are dealing with before embarking upon any treatment and please realize that this can be a sinister remedy with associated complications that make chemotherapy side effects look like a walk in the park!

In 2012, the Therapeutic Goods Administration warned people to avoid black salve, which is also known as red salve, Cansema, or Bloodroot.

More coming soon about discussions from today’s Navigating the Cancer Maze on Voice America- please visit again……

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Dr Julie Crews| Why We Need to Search for the Truth in Cancer Cure Stories on Navigating the Cancer Maze Radio

The search for truth in healing stories is imperative for patients whose lives really depend upon it. Diagnosis cancer! It may be you or your husband or wife or father or mother. It may be your children or friends. People who are near and dear to you. When it comes to a diagnosis of cancer, the stakes are particularly high. So – the question is straightforward really – Do we want to be told lies or truth?

This year marks my 40 years working with cancer patients.The search for truth in healing stories is imperative for patients whose lives really depend upon it. Diagnosis cancer! It may be you or your husband or wife or father or mother. It may be your children or friends. People who are near and dear to you.  When it comes to a diagnosis of cancer, the stakes are particularly high. So – the question is straightforward really – Do we want to be told lies or truth?

If asked about buying a product in a store – do we accept being lied to about its efficacy? No – most of us would be angry, depending on the cost of the product we might feel so cheated , we make a complaint to the Australian Consumer watchdog, the ACCC  for making claims that are untrue….that is the product did not live up to its claims as advertised and the expectations of the purchaser.

Well the equivalent is happening right under our noses with  society’s most highly vulnerable group of people – cancer patients!

Dr Julie Crews PhD
Dr Julie Crews PhD- Searching for truth in cancer healing stories.

As the groundswell of would-be cancer entrepreneurs & patient experts claiming “I cured myself Naturally from Cancer”  gains the momentum of  a tsunami, one Western Australian woman, DR JULIE CREWS, a doctor of Business Ethics, is questioning why so many people have jumped on the ‘cure-all bandwagon’ to earn their living and why it has been allowed to go unchecked and under the radar for so long.

On today’s Voice America Radio show “Navigating the Cancer Maze, Dr Julie Crews takes an investigative look through the magnifying glass to examine new trends in cancer entrepreneurship where patients who are either still in recovery themselves or who claim they have beaten the odds without medical evidence, are influencing the treatment choices of millions of other cancer patients around the globe. Another group of patients influencing choices are those who have had adequate medical treatment for their cancer, but then champion their ‘cure’ to the use of dietary regimens, alternative medicine, meditation and other healing forms.

Authentic hope is a powerful ally, but false hope as a recent article published in the West Australian suggests, provides More Hype than Hope by CATHY O’LEARY, MEDICAL EDITOR  February 22, 2014 Dr Crews contributed to that media piece. Select the following link to read article.
MORE HYPE THAN HOPE THE WEST AUSTRALIAN DR JULIE CREWS

THE FOLLOWING IS SUMMARY OF DR CREWS TIPS as hear on Voice America’s Navigating the Cancer Maze today.

What Questions should the Cancer consumer be asking and why? What action can you take.

1. The first question is for consumers to carefully look at what the person is saying and promoting – look at the language the person is using and the claims they are making – a big one is they put down their cancer as a lesson….the fact is cancer does not discriminate. It affects good people who live healthy lives – It can affect anyone.

2. What is the background of the person(s) offering the cure-all?? Qualifications? Institutions?

3. If a person is claiming to have cured their cancer naturally, ask to see their medical records from diagnosis to recovery – remission. Ask to see medical verification. After all “Exceptional Claims require exceptional evidence” said Carl Sagan. Anecdotes and stories should not too be mistaken for truth.

4. If I follow this person’s advice – will they have any responsibility regrading my outcome? As happens in the medical profession or other qualified professional health fields- Will their insurance cover me in case of failure? (Not likely)!

3. If they are promoting products which cost money, are they receiving a ‘kickback’ or indeed do they have shares in the company?

4. What do they do when people ask questions and it challenges things they may promote? The more they have invested in the promotion the more they have to lose and will fight very hard to discredit anyone who may disagree with them.

5. Check out what they do if someone posts something that doesn’t maintain the image they are promoting!

6. Email them and ask questions and see what responses you get.

7. If they do speak of ‘medical’ doctors, they may use terms like ‘intuitive practitioner’ ‘integrative practitioner’ – the thing is, you only get THEIR version of their disease – it could be wrong…… and often is.
More soon on this important topic…..

Please listen in to this interview or download for later at Voice America:
http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/76576/navigating-the-cancer-maze-with-dr-julie-crews-why-we-need-to-search-for-the-truth-in-cancer-cure

Other Blogs of interest in the news about this topic: In particular a young woman who calls herself the wellness warrior. The following is some intelligent debate on this topic. Jessica Ainscough went public about her quest to cure her cancer. See the Australian: Title “Holding out for a Miracle ” Richard Gulliatt.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/editors-letter-cancer-miracles/story-e6frg8h6-1226489003339#

2014/02/21/the-wellness-warrior-denial-delusion-or-dishonesty/

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/10/17/sharyn-ainscough-dies-tragically-because-she-followed-the-example-of-her-daughter-the-wellness-warrior/

http://rosaliehilleman.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/the-wellness-warrior-denial-delusion-or-dishonesty/