Professor Kefah Mokbel has been interviewed by Winser London to help with their campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness Week 2014.
1. Professor Mokbel, your expertise in this field is second-to-none – what would be the one thing you would recommend women did to help protect themselves against breast cancer?
Minimise your alcohol consumption and optimise your vitamin D levels
2. We have all been touched by breast cancer: if not directly; we know a family member, a friend or colleague. All we want to do is to make those who are ill feel better. How can we best support someone who has breast cancer?
Close friends and family play an important role in providing both practical and emotional support to women diagnosed with breast cancer. The practical support ranges from coming with the patient to clinic and treatment sessions to cooking a nice meal. The emotional support entails, in addition to providing a positive social environment, allowing the patient to discuss their concerns, negative thoughts and fears in an open and trustworthy manner. This is because emotions suppression has a negative effect on the patient.
3. Your charity, Breast Cancer Hope, is "dedicated to improving the quantity and quality of life in women diagnosed with breast cancer". Hope and a positive outlook are often heralded as powerful in the fight against cancer. Please tell us about your experience of the effects of such positivity.
We know from clinical practice that women who develop a positive attitude following their breast cancer diagnosis and treatment tend to have a better clinical outcome. This is because breast cancer is a disease of the breast, body, mind and spirit. The interplay between the biochemical environment and breast cancer cells determines the clinical outcome. Optimising this biochemical environment known as the terrain through regular exercise, healthy living, stress management (yoga, meditation, psychotherapy), and optimal nutrition improves breast cancer cure rates. The development of a negative attitude including anxiety, stress and depression creates a favourable environment for breast cancer cells to grow and increases the risk of breast cancer relapse. Therefore, in integrative oncology, we combine complementary approaches with conventional evidence-based breast cancer treatment in order to optimise breast cancer cure rates and improve the quality of life of our patients