The National Conference on Cancer 2001 will take place on November 30 at RegentsCollege in London.

This unique conference is held every year to bring together leading experts in cancer care, cancer care professionals, patients and carers to share the experiences of integrated holistic treatment of cancer.

Combining conventional medical technology and treatment with complementary therapies and spiritual healing brings a ray of hope to patients, carers and health care professionals.

The organiser, Pavilion, is bringing leading bodies, such as New Approaches to Cancer, the Foundation of Integrated Medicine, the National Association of Spiritual Healers, the Doctor/Healer Network and the British Holistic Medical Association under one roof for an authoritative conference.

Cancer is the most dreaded disease and management needs to address the multifarious effect it has on the individual, the family members and the carers, and the effect on the doctors, nurses and complementary therapists who treat cancer patients themselves.

Ways of dealing with negative emotions such as fear and anxiety must be addressed. Holistic consultation styles, which empower the patient and their carer and generate hope and faith, need to be developed and adopted by health care professionals in order to offer maximum healing potential to the patients.

Many complementary therapies such as ayurvedic medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathy, spiritual healing, yoga, meditation, massage therapy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, reflexology and shiatsu offer enormous benefit to the patient and their carers.

Recent research also shows helping the patient to feel more positive, cheerful and in control, helps to enhance the function of the immune system in the body.

This can be further activated by wellresearched or traditionally documented herbal or ayurvedic formulations such as tinospora cordifolia (guduchi), which has been found to be an immuno-modulator, curcumin, which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties, amla (embelica officinale or Indian gooseberry), which has been shown to have antioxidant properties, to mention a few.

A combination of ginger, embelica officinale (amla) and asparagus racemosus root extract (satavari) has been found to be a very effective natural supportive remedy for sickness and vomiting in cancer and chemotherapy.

Celebrated traditional formulations such as chavanprash, which contains 44 healing and rejuvenating herbs, have been shown to help stimulate appetite, energy and weight gain in emaciated cancer patients.

Pain can be controlled with gentle massage using appropriate herbal and aromatherapy oils.

More importantly, we should really be focusing on preventing cancer through a lifestyle free from stress.