Dealing with cancer or know someone who is?

Curve has created a series of videos to help cancer patients feel better and live longer

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A 10 part video series to re-empower cancer patients / families

  • Created by leading cancer doctors

  • Vital information not found elsewhere

  • Top tips for feeling better and living longer

Episode 1 207 Transcript transcript
Key points
Why there is so much confusion around food
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Evidence in favor of diet and better outcomes
Evidence against diet and better outcomes

Praise for the Curve.Life Video Course

"I highly recommend the Curve video course for cancer patients and their families."

Dr Jonathan Krell

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Episode 1 342 Transcript transcript
Key points
Understanding your prognosis
Introduction to the bell curve
The most important question patients need to ask
The importance of lifestyle
Outro by Craig Ferguson

Praise for the Curve.Life Video Course

"I highly recommend the Curve video course for cancer patients and their families."

Dr Jonathan Krell

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Episode 1 356 Transcript transcript
Introduction by Craig Ferguson
Who is Curve?
Taking an active approach to cancer
The importance of exercise, nutrition and stress management
The difficulty finding reliable health information online
Outro by Craig Ferguson

Praise for the Curve.Life Video Course

"I highly recommend the Curve video course for cancer patients and their families."

Dr Jonathan Krell

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What is Curve.life? It’s a new resource to re-empower cancer patients and their families after diagnosis.

  • Cutting Edge Science

    Our experts have trawled through the journals so you don’t need to

  • Knowledge is Power

    Understand how cancer works, understand how to fight it

  • Re-empowerment

    There is A LOT patients / families can do to help themselves after diagnosis, but this is not often discussed by doctors. Learn what the science says can help.

  • Feel better, live longer

    Understand what you and your family can do to help. Take action.

Get your video course

Florence

"I have regained control of my life"

A tough diagnosis (and prognosis)

I was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer 10 years ago.  The cancer had spread from my ovaries to the surface of multiple internal organs.  It’s never easy being told that you have incurable cancer.  I had felt ill for a couple of years before this and had researched online what it could be so I was somewhat prepared for bad news, but it still hit me like a tonne of bricks.

I quickly entered the “medical system” – appointment after appointment, treatment after treatment.  Initially my greatest concern was figuring out how to tell my kids.  They were young, but old enough to know what was going on.  I wanted to protect them as much as I could and received counselling on how to broach this issue, which I found enormously helpful.

Building a tough mind

When you are diagnosed with cancer, it’s important to try and get your head in the right space as you have so much to deal with.  Not an easy task but possible and it gets easier over time.  Initially you feel totally overwhelmed, but that’s normal – everyone feels it.  I would recommend everyone consider counselling – I found being able to talk to a neutral third party hugely helpful.  In addition, I built in mindfulness meditation and continued with the things I love, like painting and sport (more on this below).  I don’t know how I would have coped without these things – they provide an anchor in the storm.
A key part of building mental toughness is acceptance – not only accepting the diagnosis and prognosis but also working on doing as well as possible for someone in your position. This also helps you better appreciate the things you have and ultimately leads to gratitude. I am immensely grateful for my family and all the richness in life.

The importance of building a strong mind should not be underestimated and I always tell newly diagnosed patients to address this area.

Exercise – the closet thing there is to a magic pill

For me, it was important to get beyond being a “ cancer patient”.  I wanted to get some normalcy back and feel like a person again, albeit one with a challenging medical condition.  I love tennis and so kept that up as much as I could through treatment and beyond.  Exercise is not only great for mental health, but there is also research showing that it improves medical outcomes, i.e. it makes some people live longer.  For me, it’s been a key part of my response to cancer.

Taking an active approach to cancer

When I think about my cancer journey, I tend to divide actions between those that my doctors do to help (surgery, chemo and targeted therapies etc) and those that I can do to help (exercise, diet, mind).  This is why I like the Curve videos so much as they adopt a similar view and encourage patients / families to be active in their response to cancer. They give you a foundation of knowledge that will help you make better decisions.  For example, they explain how to think about cancer, how to improve your personal odds, and provide a great understanding of the things that patients / families can take control of and that really help (for example, diet, where the videos provide simple guidelines that make eating healthy easy).

Monica

"Finding my own way through cancer"

Self-diagnosis

I was diagnosed with breast cancer aged 45 after finding a lump during a check at home. A friend of mine had recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and so it was the first time I’d done a check in a long time but I didn’t expect to find anything, I felt so healthy and there was no history of it in my family. I was swiftly diagnosed by my local hospital as having an aggressive triple negative cancer and given a lumpectomy, which was followed by chemotherapy and a course of radiotherapy.

Breaking the news to family and close friends was tough but their support helped me enormously. My two young children were aware that something was wrong so I found a children’s book that helped me explain what was happening in a way that they could understand. My daughters’ main source of concern was my hair loss and I therefore added time to my chemo sessions by wearing a ‘cold cap’ which kept much of my hair so the wig I’d been given still lay in its box.

Searching for Solutions

Although I followed a conventional medical path of treatment, I spent far too long on the internet looking in all directions for additional advice. I just wanted to improve my chances and felt there had to be something out there that could help. There wasn’t. I wish something like Curve had been around then as it has a positive approach that strikes a great balance between information and empowerment, helping improve the odds for individuals.

Staying Active

I’d been fairly fit beforehand and loved running prior to my treatment. After my diagnosis, I went from feeling healthy to pretty frail but kept running – and eventually walking – around the heath near me through my chemotherapy and subsequent radiotherapy. It helped to keep some sense of normality and also helped clear my mind of all the hospital visits, stress and fatigue I felt.

I had already eaten fairly healthily but made some key changes that helped me feel I was improving my chances of a positive outcome. I also started yoga classes which I tied in around my radiotherapy sessions. From taking my body for granted, I had come to see it as something of an enemy and the yoga helped me shed that negative feeling.

When my treatment was completed, I decided I wanted to raise money for a breast cancer charity. I hadn’t told many people about my diagnosis but felt ready to do so and was overwhelmed with the level of support. I raised nearly £1500 for the run and, wonderfully, a few non-running friends trained for it too and we completed the 10k together. I’ve been symptom free for five years now and haven’t stopped running.

John

"The Curve approach is absolutely right."

My Position (metastatic prostate cancer)

After keeping an eye on my PSA level (a marker for prostate cancer) for a few years, I elected to have my prostate removed in early 2018. The normal response to this is that one’s PSA drops to zero meaning the cancer has gone.

Unfortunately, my post-surgery tests showed increasing PSA levels indicating that the cancer had spread and I was then diagnosed with metastatic disease, following which I started the standard treatments for such – hormone and chemo therapies.

Knowledge Is Power

Being told you have incurable (at least based on current technologies) cancer is nothing short of horrific. For me, it caused a huge amount of introspection about life in general and my place in it. How long did I have? Am I going to get to spend time with my grandkids? Did I do this to myself? So many questions.

Accepting the diagnosis (and prognosis) was important to me, and a big part of this was actually trying to understand the disease I had. When you’re not medically trained, and don’t want to learn a bunch of scientific terms, this is easier said than done. Plus many of the resources online don’t really explain what cancer is at the biological level, which means you don’t get a good understanding of it.

Curve’s videos get the balance right – they’re easy to understand, but don’t leave out important detail (in the words of Einstein, they’re “as simple as possible but no simpler”).

Figuring Out What I Can Do To Help

Understanding what I had was an important initial step as it allowed me to have better conversations with my doctors and figure out what more I could do to help. For example, once you know what promotes cancer – e.g. an inflammatory environment – you can look at things in your life that promote inflammation (such as certain foods) and things that reduce inflammation (also, certain foods but also exercise and stress reduction). The understanding leads to action, or, as they say, knowledge is power.

I have worked a lot on diet – eating less of the bad things and more of the good things. I’m also physically active through my work, and walk a lot, knowing that exercise keeps me and my immune system strong.

Easy to Understand, Easy to Implement

The Curve.life videos are spot on – they give you the fundamentals without having to learn a bunch of scientific terms. They have distilled what is a complex topic into a series of easy to understand topics that all cancer patients should be aware of. Food is a great example – their mantra is “eat food, not too much, mainly (certain types of) plants”. It’s easy to understand and, more important, easy to implement.

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Dr Jonathan Krell
Researcher, oncologist
medical oncology, breast cancer, gynaecological cancers

Dr. J Krell has published over 100 articles in leading peer-reviewed publications. In addition to his research work, he sees patients privately at The LOC and through the NHS.

Dr Carol Granger
Nutritionist

Dr. Granger is a leading nutritional therapist. Her first degree is in biochemistry and she holds a masters degree in microbiology and a PhD in cancer nutrition. She is Chair of the governing council of the Nutritional Therapy Education Commission.

Craig Ferguson
TV Host, Author, Actor

Craig Ferguson is a Scottish-American television host, comedian, author, and actor. He was the host of both the syndicated game show Celebrity Name Game, for which he won two Daytime Emmy Awards, and of Join or Die with Craig Ferguson on History. He was also the host of the CBS late-night talk show The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Craig lost is father to cancer and is the voice and face of Curve’s introductory video series.

Dr Fharat Raja
Oncologist, researcher
medical oncology, breast cancer, acute oncology and clinical trials

Dr. Raja studied medicine at Oxford University and then completed her oncology training in London. She is a Medical oncologist at University College London Hospital and North Middlesex University Hospital. She is active in clinical research and is involved in several international clinical trials.

Florence Wilks
Patient advisor

Diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in 2010, Florence has had multiple surgeries and four separate rounds of chemotherapy. She is highly active in the cancer space, helping to fundraise for research, acting as a spokesperson for Ovarian Cancer Action and making symptom awareness presentations. She has also acted as patient advisor to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence When not advancing these various cancer causes, Florence can be found painting, swimming, meditating, cooking or playing tennis.

Dr Daniel Krell
Oncologist, researcher
gastrointestinal cancers, neuroendocrine tumours, HPB / Liver, upper gastrointestinal cancers, lower gastrointestinal cancers

Dr D Krell qualified in medicine from Leeds University Medical School and completed his doctorate at Oxford University. He is an active researcher and sees patients both privately and through the NHS. He is clinical lead for cancers of unknown primary at Barnet Hospital, and clinical lead for neuroendocrine cancers at Royal Free Hospital.

Nikki - Ovarian Patient
Patient advisor

Until her cancer detection in 2017, Nikki spent most of her working career in Investment Banking. Following a reoccurrence of her stage IV ovarian cancer, she changed her focus to a healthier lifestyle, investing more time in cooking, yoga and exercise. She has a passion for music, singing, travel and Basset Hounds.

Jed Coleman
Cofounder

Mr. Coleman is an entrepreneur who cofounded Curve.life after trying to help his father deal with metastatic cancer and quickly realizing that there were many things his father could do alongside his medical team to help himself. He has spent 20 years dealing with a chronic disease himself and so is all too aware of the challenges patients face when searching for health information online. Mr. Coleman is the founder of three startups and holds a Sloan Masters from London Business School.