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How and why I came to write ‘Yoga for Cancer’

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Blog written by Vicky Fox, author of ‘Yoga for Cancer’

Where it all began

I trained as a yoga teacher in 2008 and felt so lucky to be doing something that not only I enjoyed but I felt huge benefit in. I was always fascinated by the therapeutic application of yoga and how yoga could support people and in 2013 Laura Kupperman came over from Colorado to teach her “Yoga For Survivors” training which focused on how to support people diagnosed with cancer.

I had started studying with her when one of my best friends was involved in a tragic accident which meant that whilst learning how to adapt practices for side effects of surgery and treatment for cancer I also learnt how to hold space, be present with pain and not to be able to fix it. I think this was a huge learning for me just being fully present with someone with all that they were experiencing and with no judgement but just to be. This made my first few classes of yoga for cancer less frightening, remembering that these were just wonderful people coming into the room to have some space where they were nurtured and protected, practice yoga and maybe start to get connected to their bodies again.

What inspired me to write the book

The yoga classes gave them chance to switch from being a patient to being a co-crafter of their well-being and I started to meet the most fabulous people who shared with me what they were going through and I learnt to adapt so that everyone could participate in every bit of the class no matter what they were bringing with them on that particular day.

I volunteered to teach at Paul’s Cancer Support Centre which was a fantastic charity offering support for people living with cancer. The room I taught the yoga in was a shared space room that was used for other activities and it was not uncommon to go into the room, move furniture around and pick up the odd crisp that had escaped under a table. I loved teaching there but I also wanted to give my students the chance to experience what I felt when I went to triyoga, my local studio for a class. A dedicated space just for yoga with all the props you could possibly need and not a crisp in sight.

At the same time one of my friends worked for a company that had a charitable trust and they were thinking of sponsoring me to teach a free class for people impacted by cancer. As a result I approached Jonathan Sattin the owner of triyoga with this idea. We were negotiating room rates when I found out that the trust had voted for a different charity and so I had to contact Jonathan to tell him that I couldn’t teach the class as I didn’t have the funds for the room. He immediately responded that I could have the room for free and I agreed to teach the class for free and there we had it, the free class of yoga for anyone living with cancer started in April 2014. The “free” aspect was really crucial to both myself and Jonathan. It can be expensive being diagnosed with cancer. You might need child care, you might not be able to work, you might need to take taxi’s or have overnight stays in hotels. All this costs money and I wanted the classes to be as inclusive as they possibly could and being able to make them free meant we could do that.

 

 

 

How and when the book started to take shape

When we went into lockdown in March 2020 it was imperative that I got these classes online as soon as I could because I knew that community was a hugely important part of the class and suddenly we were all being told to stay at home and I knew this would be so challenging for some of my students. Triyoga immediately put a class on their online platform, on a Sunday, which quickly grew and I taught more classes from my home. If you knew anyone who was considered “vulnerable” during the first wave of covid you will know why the support of a community was so incredibly valuable. Some students were told if they caught covid they would not be able to be treated for cancer and other students had trials they were on cancelled as a result of covid. This online community became hugely important because students were unable to see physiotherapists or to get advice on certain side effects and so they started being discussed more widely in class.

The more I taught online the more I got to know my students, the more they asked for yoga poses that might help with a side effect. I wonder if it was that people felt more able to open up in this online format or whether it was just that they didn’t have as much choice. Students that only came once a week to class now were showing up to every class and I realised that what everyone needed support with was not cancer but the side effects of treatment for cancer.

I started creating little, short videos which I either put on Instagram or on my website with some ideas on poses that might help with cording, lymphoedema, scar tissue, peripheral neuropathy and other side effects that people needed support with. I had already started writing a book on yoga for cancer but teaching online helped me find more focus for the book and the idea of A-Z of side effects for treatment for cancer started to take more shape.

What I am most grateful for

I could not have done this book without the sharing and honesty of my students who have emailed me, spoken to me, opened up to me about what they are experiencing and asking what might help. They have trusted me and I am hugely grateful to them for this. My students really need all the credit for this book because it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for them.

Anybody who is fortunate to work in a job where you contribute and others benefit will know how much purpose this gives you in life. I am so lucky to be able to do what I do and meet the most amazing people that I meet. By being forced into online teaching (which is now in a hybrid format of live studio and livestream) it enabled me to reach out to more people and where I had been unable to teach people that lived on the other side of London to me, I was now able to teach people anywhere in the UK or even abroad.

What I hope to achieve with my book

I hope this book will be an extension of these classes and empower anyone impacted by cancer that although you can’t control life you are able to control your response.

Remember, you can read the first chapter for free!

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Breathe, stretch, swing, lift. Exercise, and cancer-related lymphoedema

This blog was written by Carolyn Garritt, author of ‘Get your oomph back, a guide to exercise with a cancer diagnosis’ and Vicky Fox, author of ‘Yoga for cancer, an A to Z’.

Lymphoedema is the term given to swelling that can occur as a result of fluid building up within our lymphatic systems. These systems can be disrupted by cancer surgery and/or radiotherapy, or by cancer cells that are in the lymphatic system itself. Normally our lymph nodes take waste fluids and move them on to be expelled by the body as urine, however if these nodes have been damaged or removed through cancer treatment, the fluid can become blocked as its transport system isn’t working properly.

Physical activity can help

Many people, both those experiencing lymphoedema and those who know it’s a risk for them, don’t realise that exercise can really help – both in reducing our risk of developing lymphoedema, and in helping to manage symptoms. In particular, we want to recommend three types of exercise to you – yoga, Nordic walking and strength training.

Breathe. Stretch. Yoga for lymphoedema

Yoga is beneficial to the lymphatic system as it focuses on breathing fully. When we are breathing fully and using our diaphragm (our main breathing muscle) to breathe, this helps to move the lymph fluid towards the heart. The lymphatic system is one-way (from the periphery of the body to the centre) and the lymph doesn’t have a heart to pump it, so it functions better when it has this help. Well we all function better when we are supported, don’t we? Our diaphragm moves up and down when we are breathing fully, and this massages our system and encourages fluid to move.

Gravity is also a fabulous support that we don’t often think of. Anytime we raise our arms or legs above our heads we help the movement of lymph fluid back towards the heart. You don’t need to be super bendy to do this though – we normally work on elevating the legs when we are lying down on our backs. You can access gravity and use it to your advantage by, literally, putting your feet up.

In yoga we often work dynamically, moving the limbs in and out of poses, to also create a kind of pumping action so parts of our body get slightly squeezed (muscles contracting) and then released when we come out of the pose. This internal pump encourages movement inside the body of blood and lymph fluid, so it helps to move fresh blood into an area of the body and take toxins and dead cells away from an area.

Yoga poses also look at releasing scar tissue or areas of tightness in the body that may be as a result of surgery or radiotherapy. Scar tissue can act like a gate restricting the movement of fluid in the body. This is especially important if lymph nodes have been removed and there is a sort of “dead end” where the fluid is no longer being filtered by the lymph node. By stretching and releasing out these tight and restricted areas we help fluid like the lymph flow and not get stuck. This may just help to reduce some of the pressure felt in the arms or legs affected by lymphoedema or it may just make those areas of the body easier to move and less uncomfortable.

Vicky’s favourite pose to get everything moving

Lie on your back, legs and arms reaching towards the ceiling and then make a fist with your feet and hands (so you make them as small as you can) then widen your feet and hands and open them up to make the biggest foot/hands that you can. Repeat a few times to stimulate the hands and feet and encourage movement of fluid from the outer edges of the body back towards the centre of the body.

Then try adding onto this flexing and pointing the feet and hands. This creates a pumping action which helps to move fluid back towards your heart. If you do it you will feel the muscles in the forearms and shins working and these muscles are really important to help with movement. Muscles squeeze and then release which stimulates movement of blood and fluid and can be really helpful with lymphoedema.

Vicky says: ‘Yoga can give you a sense of being empowered because yoga is something you do for you. No one can do it for you. You are in control and can explore what works for you, so you are the co crafter of your wellbeing’

Swing – go Nordic walking

Nordic walking – using poles similar to hiking poles, is a clever and likeable form of exercise. As you walk, you swing your arms and pump your fingers, and these actions are believed specifically to reducing swelling.

There’s good evidence around its efficacy: Jonsonn (2013)[1] found that swelling (in the arm) ‘was significantly reduced after an 8 week programme of Nordic walking 3-5 times a week’. Di Blasio[2] went further and recommended that Nordic walking ‘should be prescribed to prevent the onset and to treat light forms of upper limb lymphoedema’.

Carolyn’s personal experience mirrors the evidence: she has mild lymphoedema, swelling that comes and goes. It is normally much less noticeable, and feels less tight, on days that she has used her Nordic poles. She teaches it to all of her clients.

Nordic walking is also a highly sociable outdoor activity that you can do surrounded by nature. What’s not to love?

Lift. Strength training is safe

It is emphatically recommended that people experiencing cancer related lymphoedema use exercise to build strength in the area affected. Until relatively recently the advice given was frequently to the contrary, and people with symptoms would be advised to avoid lifting completely.

Dr Kathryn Schmitz, previously Chair of the American College of Sports Medicine led the field in understanding the impact of strength training on lymphoedema. She[3] challenged traditional thinking by conducting a trial in which women with lymphoedema followed a progressive weightlifting training programme. Yep, weight lifting – heavy ones. The trial found that, contrary to some expectations, progressive weightlifting didn’t make swelling worse. They also found that participants had fewer flare ups, reduced symptoms, and increased strength.

Later Nelson[4] reported ‘strong evidence that resistance exercise produces significant gains in muscular strength without provoking lymphoedema’.

What do we mean by strength exercises? Carolyn says

‘Your best bet is a combination of moves that use several of our big muscles together – squats, lunges, climbing up steps. Then add exercises that work the limb or area affected. So, for breast related lymphoedema, I’d recommend using a resistance bands or hand weight to do shoulder press, triceps press, bicep curls, etc.’

Part of the benefit of exercising, of course, is around how it can make you feel, how it can improve your mood and make daily life feel better and more manageable, both physically and mentally.

Before you start

There are, of course, some precautions to bear in mind. Although they’re not the most comfortable, if you have a compression garment for the area that swells (sleeve, tights, vest etc), you are encouraged to wear it during exercise. It’s also recommended that you stay well hydrated before, during and afterwards, and that you look out for any changes in the affected area.

If you were given exercises to do by your clinical nurse specialist or oncology/surgical team, then do refer back to them to look for any specific advice that you were given personally.

If you become tired while exercising, stop. It’s one thing to work hard and push yourself, but another consistent message that we both hear in our chosen fields is that being active after a cancer diagnosis, and especially with lymphoedema, is best done slowly, gently, progressively.

Avoid exercise if you have cellulitis. Avoid strength exercises if you’ve had surgery in the last 8 weeks.

If your affected limb/area becomes heavy or more swollen quickly, or if you are experiencing pain, do seek the advice of your specialist nurse, physio or doctor.

Whatever exercise you’re going to do, our best advice is to

  • Restore your range of motion first before building back strength
  • Learn good technique so you do it well. This is essential to prevent injury and so that you can feel confident in what you’re doing
  • Take baby steps so that you build back strength slowly
  • Be progressive. Keep a note of what you’re doing and how it makes you feel. Allow yourself to build up gradually
  • Be kind to yourself. It’s easy to judge and to look at what you used to be able to do and feel frustrated. Notice even your frustrations with a sense of a smile. Vicky says ‘Being kind is practicing yoga.

And now to relax


Vicky’s favourite pose to relax into is lying with legs up the wall or legs over a chair. This is a splendid example of how you can achieve something by doing nothing. Just by elevating the legs gravity helps to move fluid back towards the heart. You can relax and be a human being (not a human doing) and let gravity do all the work.

 

More support for those with lymphoedema

Check out the Lymphoedema Support Network as an excellent place for well-qualified, clinical advice on all forms of lymphoedema.

If you have lymphoedema in a place that you can reach, you may find some relief by learning appropriate self-massage techniques. Dr Kelly Reed is an oncology specialist physical therapist and lymphoedema guru. She has a richly-stocked YouTube channel called Cancer Rehab PT that you may find helpful.

Importantly though, if there’s anything that is currently concerning you about your own symptoms, please talk to your specialist nurse, or oncologist.

‘Yoga for cancer, an A to Z’ by Vicky Fox will be published by Hammersmith Health Books in May 2022

Carolyn Garritt’s ‘Get your oomph back, a guide to exercise with a cancer diagnosis’ is available through Hammersmith Health Books now.

[1] The effects of pole walking on arm lymphoedema and cardiovascular fitness in women treated for breast cancer: a pilot and feasibility study, Jönsson & Johansson, 2013, Physiotherapy Theory and Practice Vol 30, 2014 – Issue 4

[2] Nordic walking and the Isa method (2016), Di Blasio, Breast Care 2016;11:428-431

[3] Weight lifting for women at risk for breast cancer-related lymphoedema: a randomized trial (2010) Kathryn H Schmitz et al JAMA 2010 Dec 22;304(24):2699-705

[4] Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Volume 30, Number 9, September 2016,2656-2665

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What does Get Your Oomph Back include?

Blog post written by Carolyn Garritt, author of ‘Get Your Oomph Back – A Guide to Exercise after a Cancer Diagnosis’,  now officially launched.

 

There are many tools described in the book. Often the best starting point is simply to walk – outdoors if possible. Walking mindfully and seeking out nature (in an urban environment as well as the countryside) can feel really soothing and, as long as the walk is brisk, it can help to restore physical fitness as well as a sense of wellbeing.

If you’re not able to stay on your feet for long, then marching in a chair, and chair-based exercises in general, can elevate the heart rate more than many people imagine. You can get properly out of puff at home if that’s what you need to do, for now. There’s a chair-based cardio routine in the book.

In the book I also talk about Nordic walking – using poles – which I boldly describe as ‘perfect exercise’. It is very clever – it elevates the heart rate, gives the lungs space to work, improves the posture, protects the joints, strengthens the bones, supports the balance (pain and numbness in your feet is a common side effect of chemo). It helps reduce the risk of, and manage, a condition called lymphoedema, helps rebuild upper body strength and uses 95% of your body’s muscles.

And yet – perhaps most importantly – it feels really nice. The poles propel you along, so walking can feel more manageable. The fact that it’s outdoors, in nature, it’s low-cost and highly sociable, just seals the deal. Possibly my most used and useful type of activity.

Strength training

In the book there’s a lot of information about strength training – often overlooked, and definitely one aspect of exercise that folks are unsure about. Strength training – using weights, resistance bands or our own bodyweight – can help us to feel less tired after cancer treatment. Most people feel they lose some strength while they’re on the injury bench, and if we’re out of action for a while we can lose muscle mass.

Building (or rebuilding) stronger muscles is known to reduce our risks of cancer returning. It can also make everyday activities seem more manageable. Many of the people I’ve worked with (regardless of their age) have found that they can’t climb stairs as easily as they could before. There’s some specific information in the book about how to tackle stairs.

Do what you enjoy

One important theme throughout the book is that we should, I believe, do what we love when it comes to exercise. If you don’t love any type of exercise at all, there are some suggestions about how you might find acceptable, even likeable forms of activity. In my mind, nothing is out of the question – I’ve trained people to play croquet and to tackle ultra-marathons. And pretty much anything in between.

There’s definitely scope to get into, or return to, team sports, such as football, rugby and/or basketball, after a cancer diagnosis, and there are now organisations that run group-based activities specifically for people with a cancer diagnosis, such as the wonderful Active Ostomates.

Parkrun

In the book I also talk about parkrun which is, in my view, community, grassroots exercise at its very finest.

Running (slowly) is without doubt the exercise I love most. There’s a ‘couch to 5k’ running or walking programme that incorporates a monthly trip to parkrun.

Boxing

Boxing features too because it is a superb stress-buster. It helps sharpen our hand-eye coordination, which can be a bit foggy after treatment, and if done properly it works the whole body. (You don’t have to spar or hit actual people – I’m talking about using pads, mitts or a punchbag.) You do have to really think on your feet and stay light on your toes, yet it can be for anyone. My oldest trainee boxer is 84.

Combining boxing with using a skipping rope is one way to push ourselves and strengthen our hearts, lungs and bones as we go.

Yoga

Yoga, particularly restorative yoga, is another tool described. It’s important for people to find ways to relax (not easy, I know) and also to stay flexible as this can help deal with some of the aches and pains associated with taking cancer drugs.

Making time

Too much? I know that the idea of exercising can feel overwhelming. Fair enough. If you know you’re short of time or energy (or enthusiasm), then the book contains several cunning ways to incorporate movement into your daily routines. It can be as simple as getting off the bus a stop early and then walking, or taking the stairs rather than the lift. These actions can all add up to a more active day.

How am I doing?

And so, 18 months down the line, how am I doing? I know I’m not as fit as I was before, but I’m working on it and I’m doing my own strength training rather relying on what I do for a job to keep me strong. I’m less anxious about the cancer coming back, for sure. The drug I’m going to take for 5-10 years (tamoxifen) does make me tired and achy but I’m figuring out ways to minimise that.

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How to Get Your Oomph Back by Carolyn Garritt

Blog post written by Carolyn Garritt, author of ‘Get Your Oomph back – A Guide to Exercise after a Cancer Diagnosis’, launching on 25th November. Available for pre-sale now. 

At the start of the pandemic, I was working as a personal trainer specialising in exercise for people with cancer, a job I had adored for more than seven years. I was fit, and mostly worked outdoors, one-to-one or with groups. As the realities of coronavirus became clear I knew I wouldn’t be working much, but I imagined I’d use the time to update my website, do the bookkeeping, and finish that book (about exercise and cancer) that I’d been writing for, well, ages.

And then, three weeks into lockdown, I found a breast lump. Quite by accident, after I had been shadow boxing, holding weights, with a couple of clients online. I thought I had just inflamed one of my pectoral muscles.

I was wrong.

 

The diagnosis

Going through a cancer diagnosis felt odd, almost dreamlike. Doing it at a time of global crisis just made the whole thing even more surreal, and it felt incredibly strange to be facing decisions as a cancer patient after years of working with them. It was suddenly happening to me too.

I was very lucky as I already had a network of support through my work. I was also fortunate because I knew a great deal about the side effects that I might encounter, and I knew what I could do to promote my own recovery.

 

Why exercise is so important

Research has shown – convincingly – that being active after a cancer diagnosis is really, really helpful in aiding rehabilitation and in improving our outlook for the future. In fact, exercising after cancer can help reduce the risk of it coming back by between 30% and 40%. That’s huge, and it has often been said that if exercise was a pill, it would be prescribed to every patient. For those living with secondary or advanced cancer, exercise can help to slow down the cancer’s progression, again, just as drugs can.

More immediately though, exercise can help us to feel better. Clinical studies have shown that exercise can help combat most of the commonly experienced side effects of cancer treatment:

Fatigue – Anxiety and depression – Hot flushes and night sweats – Weight loss / weight gain – Pain and joint stiffness – Bone thinning – Lymphoedema

 

Exercise to improve treatment side effects

Cancer treatment can be completely debilitating, and the side effects often drag on for months. Research shows that 95% of people find that they experience fatigue. For those living with cancer, life can become cyclical, as you go through endless treatment cycles and experience the associated ups and downs.

There’s also the anxiety – will it come back? Did the treatment really work? Will my next scan be okay?

 

Why my new book?

The reason I started to write my book was because I found in my work that increasingly people knew, or had been advised, to try to be more active after a cancer diagnosis, but they were often unsure what to do. What would work, what was safest, and when, during their cancer ‘journey’, could they start? Get Your Oomph Back aims to answer these questions and more.

There is a solid and growing body of evidence to show that exercising can help alleviate some of the anxiety, tiredness, pain and body changes that frequently accompany cancer treatment. In many ways it made writing the book very easy as I could find loads of really helpful, robust knowledge to call upon.

 

I’m really pleased to say that my book is being published in November. I still haven’t caught up with the bookkeeping!

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What Survivors of Major Illness can Teach us

Blog post written by Dr Jerry Thompson, author of newly released Curing the Incurable: Beyond the Limits of Medicine.

Could we have underestimated our ability to heal ourselves from even the most serious of diseases? Could our innate powers of recovery be far greater than we realise?

This book examines healing from an unusual angle: it looks at those remarkable people who have recovered against the odds? I believe they have something absolutely crucial to tell us. Whether we have a serious illness or we just want to keep illness at bay they have information that can make a profound difference.

But how did they succeed? What did they do after their doctors told them they had an incurable disease?

I have been fascinated by these people that I call “survivors” for years. This book explores their stories and what they did. Recovering from a life-threatening illness is no small feat and you can be sure they did not get better by chance. They achieved it by following certain fundamental principles of health. And it is these fundamental principles of health that this book explores.

They used four main strategies, typically in combination. The book covers each one.

Few will be surprised that one of those principles, eating healing foods and avoiding harmful ones, was a popular and successful strategy amongst survivors. Combining information from case studies, research on the effects of food extracts on cancer cells and population studies this section gives us a useful guide on using food to heal.

Many know that our minds can powerfully impact on health but can mind power cure a life-threatening illness? In fact it can and there are many examples using many methods. We can use our mind to up-regulate our immunity, to go into healing mode or to create health. The case histories in this section are some of the most extraordinary in the book. The methods may surprise you and many are simple to use.

Mainstream medicine largely ignores toxicity but survivors cannot afford this luxury. How many carcinogens and neurotoxins do we meet in an average day and where do they come from? Which are the most dangerous? How can we reduce our and how can we excrete our accumulated chemical load. All this is covered in the book.

Changes in our energy field precede disease. They also precede healing. So understanding energy makes sense.

Again the stories could surprise: cancers the power of groups to bring about extraordinary healing, how lethal cancer can be cured from thousands of miles away, cancers disintegrating in minutes, and energetic blocks to healing that could prevent a good treatment working.

What emerges from these many remarkable accounts of recovery from major disease are basic and powerful principles of health and healing. Using them can make the difference between health and disease and many of are surprisingly easy to put into practice.

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Understanding BRCA: The breast cancer gene

BRCA (pronounced ‘bracka’) stands for BReast CAncer susceptibility gene. There are two BRCA genes – BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes function as tumour suppressors, helping to prevent the formation of cancer. When either of these genes carries a mutation, a woman has a high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, and men with these mutations are also at increased risk of breast and prostate cancer. Mutations in these genes have also been associated with a small increased risk of several additional types of cancer.

At the age of 35, I was found to carry a harmful mutation in the second breast cancer (BRCA2) gene and statistics suggested that I had a 45-85% chance of developing breast cancer and a 10-30% risk of developing ovarian cancer during my lifetime, which is much higher than in the general population.

Finding out that you carry a BRCA mutation is hard, and if this happens to you, you will have a great many questions that you will feel desperate to find the answers to. I felt overwhelmed and scared of the future that lay ahead. I desperately wanted to connect with other women who were going through the same thing as me and to find answers to my many questions. I looked for a BRCA support group locally, but there were none. I also looked for a book but none seemed to offer what I was looking for. I was eager to meet with the consultants that I had been referred to, but this process takes time and it was frustrating waiting for these appointments. I hoped they would be able to answer all of my questions but, in reality, even the consultants didn’t have all the answers as we do not yet fully understand the BRCA genes and their impact.

I felt very frightened, alone and frustrated that there seemed to be so little help and support and I wanted this to change. I decided, therefore, that once I had come through my own journey, I would write a book with the aim of helping others.

This book aims to improve your understanding of BRCA gene mutations and the various ways in which a carrier can manage his/her mutation, including screening, risk-reducing surgery and chemoprevention, with reference to relevant research. In the last part of this book, I share with you my own personal journey of undergoing risk-reducing surgery, including the removal of my ovaries and fallopian tubes (known as a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, pronounced oo-for-ek-tuh-mee) and the removal of my breast tissue while retaining my nipples (known as a bilateral, nipple-sparing mastectomy).

I detail, openly and honestly, the emotions I felt before, during and after my surgeries, along with the physical experience of undergoing these operations and the surgically-induced menopause which follows the removal of both ovaries. I will share the effect, if any, that these operations have had on my body image, identity and sexual functioning.

This book aims to answer the many questions that I personally had, including those that you may feel are simply too uncomfortable to ask. I felt anxious about so many things but, having come through my own journey, I realise now that I needn’t have worried anywhere near as much as I did. I really wish I had known then what I know now; it would have spared me a lot of fear and anxiety.

If you have been found to carry a BRCA gene mutation, I hope that by sharing my journey with you, you will see for yourself that this journey, albeit very tough, may not be as terrifying and as insurmountable as you may be feeling right now. You will get through this – I did and you can too. And, while I appreciate you may not be feeling this way now, you may even be nicely surprised by the positive ways in which this journey may change you as a person.

I am an Advanced-level Human Biology teacher and have experience of teaching both GCSE and Advanced-level (A-level) Human Biology. I also have experience of medical writing and have drawn from both of these skills throughout the writing of this book. My desire to help others has inspired me not only to write this book, but also to set up a website to offer my support to women and men worldwide who have been found to carry, or who believe they may carry, a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation.

 

This blog was taken from Clarissa Foster’s new book Understanding BRCA: Living with the breast cancer gene is now available on the Hammersmith Health Books website.