For several years, my dad has had low grade prostate cancer. After his diagnosis, he agreed to drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices that I made for him. His condition remained stable for several years, although he did find it difficult to urinate.  Then last year, a routine blood test indicated things were getting worse, and he was put on anti-hormone treatment to shrink his prostate. Around this time (spring 2012), he also developed a severe urine infection, and needed to have a catheter fitted in order to urinate. This is the worst I’d ever seen his health.

After the urine infection, the doctors were giving him more attention. They were concerned about his inflamed lymph nodes, and were worried that the cancer may have spread. Autumn 2012 he had an operation, a biopsy on one of the lymph nodes in his abdomen. Whilst he was recovering from the operation we went to collect him from the hospital, and he was really dopey and “out of it” due to the high strength pain killers he was on.

Any operation is a trauma for the body, and its need for nutrients increases during such a time. I was keen for him to take supplements to help his recovery. Eventually, after much persuasion  he agreed to take a high strength multivitamin and mineral formula (Patrick Holford’s Optimum Nutrition Formula), as well as 1,000mg per day of Vitamin C and a high strength fish oil supplement.

His health rapidly improved, and now, a few months later, he is in better health than he has been for several years. Of course, he is 70 years old, so he doesn’t have the energy of a young man, but he is definitely in better health than before this whole crisis happened.

The results from the biopsy showed that the cancer had not spread, which is great news. He now finds it easier to urinate, which means the anti-hormone injections are working. However, I think his recent general improvement in health is due to the supplements. Older people in particular have a higher need for nutrients, and this is even more the case when they are suffering from illness or have just had an operation.

But what makes me angry is that nutrition supplements are not available on the NHS. Clearly, a person’s body will recover from an illness or an operation better if their body is optimally nourished, so why aren’t nutrition supplements part of the standard treatment?

Just quickly, while I’ve got you here, I’d also like to tell you about what happened to my mum a short while back. She was suffering from very bad headaches for a long time. She went to her GP repeatedly, and all he would do is prescribe her some very strong painkillers. The drugs didn’t work. He couldn’t help her. I researched nutritional treatments for headaches, and she tried Niacin (Vitamin B3). That didn’t work either. However, also suggested was Magnesium. That DID work. She doesn’t have headaches anymore. Now, I’m genuinely enraged and disgusted that her GP didn’t know about Magnesium and suggest it. The salary for a GP in the UK is £53-81k. He’s paid that kind of money and yet he can’t cure a headache? It’s pathetic!

References:

http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore-by-career/doctors/pay-for-doctors/