I am now apparently the longest surviving pancreatic cancer patient. I was diagnosed in September 2003 and beat it eight months later in 2004. So many of my phone consultations are from people around the world who have been diagnosed with this dreadful cancer.

When I was a young nurse, pancreatic cancer was very rare. Sadly it now now affllicts 1 in 65 of us..

I am all about prevention! Believe me, it is so much easier than cure! So I start by stressing the importance of controlling sugar craving and smoking, which are two of the main causes.

What is the pancreas?

The pancreas is a 6-inch-long spongy, tube-shaped organ located in the back of the abdomen, behind the stomach. It has two major functions in the body.

  1. to make digestive juices (enzymes) that help the intestines break down food,
  2. and to produce hormones — including insulin — that regulate the body’s use of sugars and starches.

How does pancreatic cancer start?

Smoking and obesity are the usual causes, Smokers are at least 2 times more likely to have the disease than nonsmokers. Age is also related, with the disease usually striking after age 45. Diabetes is also linked to pancreatic cancer since it’s a risk factor, and it can also be a symptom of the disease. Other risks include chronic pancreatitis and cirrhosis of the liver. And family history of pancreatic cancer, high fat diet, obesity, and lack of exercise may also play a part.

However in my case I did not smoke, was slim and a keen golfer. However I was also Church Warden, Reader and looking after the church when my vicar was ill, so maybe living on five cappuccino’s a day had something to do with it.

Pancreatic cancer is called a “silent” disease because symptoms typically do not show up in the early stages. But as the cancer grows and spreads, pain often develops in the upper abdomen and spreads to the back. The pain may become worse after the person eats or lies down. Other symptoms may include jaundice, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, and weakness. As I was in excruciating pain, jaundiced, with yellow whites to my eyes, was vomiting every few minutes, weighed just under five stone, and exhausted, I certainly had all of these!


The challenge of this disease is finding it early. A doctor cannot see or feel a tumor during a routine exam until the mass is very large. Imaging tests such as an ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan are used. The diagnosis comes from a biopsy — taking a tissue sample from the tumor — performed either with a needle through the skin or during an operation.

Treatment – surgery

A stent is usually inserted to relieve the jaundice and get rid of the bilirubin. Whipple’s Surgery can remove the tumour if it has not spread past the pancreas. Since side effects depend on the extent of the surgery, the tumor is removed leaving as much of the normal pancreas intact as possible. Unfortunately, with pancreatic cancer, the malignant cells usually have spread past the pancreas at the point of diagnosis. Surgery still may be performed, even if the tumor is too large to remove. The surgery would involve procedures to help lessen some of the symptoms and prevent certain problems related to the size of the cancerous mass.

Treatment – radiation

Radiation therapy uses high-powered radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation is usually given five days a week for several weeks or months. This schedule helps to protect normal tissue by spreading out the total dose of radiation. Radiation is also being studied as a way to kill cancer cells that remain in the area after surgery. Radiation therapy can help relieve pain or digestive problems caused by large cancerous masses. It can also burn of course. I was given only 6 weeks to live and not even offered radiation. I would have refused it anyway, having seen the devastating effects on my daughter who had died of cancer in 1989.

Treatment – chemo

Chemotherapy uses highly poisonous drugs to try and destroy cancer cells and stop them multiplying. Treatment may consist of just one drug or a combination of drugs. It may be given by mouth or by injection. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body, making chemotherapy a choice for cancer that has spread. It is also used after surgery to kill any cancer cells left behind. Again I was not offered it and would have refused anyway. Chemo often kills the patient before it kills the cancer.

Treatment targeted chemo

Newer drugs on the market have the ability to attack specific parts of the cancer cells. Targeted therapies appear to have fewer side effects than chemotherapy and are less harmful to normal cells. Targeted therapy is currently being used for treatment of pancreatic cancer.


This is a form of “biological therapy.” Immunotherapy aims to boost a person’s immune system to fight disease. Immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer is being actively researched, as are vaccines that arm the immune system to attack cancer. I restored my own immune system all at home and a fraction of the cost of chemo, radiation and surgery. I used the Gerson Detox therapy of colonics and fresh pressed fruit and vegetable juices. Combined with vitamin B17 given intravenously with vitamin C and di methyl dioxide.

Palliative Therapy

End of life therapy is used to ease symptoms and manage pain regardless of the stage of the disease or the need for other therapies. The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life not just in the body, but in the mind and spirit. While palliative therapies are clearly appropriate at the very advanced stages of the disease, they are also helpful when given in tandem with other cancer treatments still working to fight the disease.


Although there’s no one definite action you can take to prevent pancreatic cancer, start by avoiding the risk factors you can control.

  • If you smoke, STOP! It is a lethal and disgusting habit which harms not only the smoker, but so many who have to breathe in their second hand smoke. Respiratory failure is the third most common cause of premature death.
  • Eliminate acids, alcohol, sugar, animal protein, chemical processed foods, gluten and dairy. 70% of us are lactose intolerant. Eat only fruit, herbs, vegetables, apricot, apple and grape seeds and green plant.
  • Do several coffee enemas a day with Gerson enema coffee available from the
  • Adopt a regular exercise routine, since exercise can help prevent diabetes and obesity — two risk factors for the disease.
  • Address the stress in your life.
  • Oxygenate the body as much as you can. Cancer cannot live in an alkaline, oxygenated body.

One to one help

If you want more help, book a phone consultation on this website. I shall be happy to talk you through and adapt ways that suit your particular situation.