Saturday 20 April 2013

Cancer - what are you going to do about it?

My best friend's mum recently died of cancer. 

A family friend passed away a couple of years ago from a brain tumour. 

Another best friend had a scare with ovarian cancer a few years back.

One of my clients had leukaemia as a child.

I spent last year doing a research project on survivors of childhood cancer which really put things into perspective. Some kids are diagnosed shortly after birth - how does that even happen?!?!

It seems each week, at least one person tells me about someone they know who has cancer. Most of the time, the people affected (that I hear about) are under the age of 50. 

According to the Cancer Council, 1 in 2 people are affected by cancer. These are pretty shitty odds. 

NOTE: please read to the end of this post - lots of important info with not too much of my usual waffle. 

Last week I attended the Cancer Council's Australia's Blogger Morning Tea at the beautiful Chez Dee in Pott's Point, Sydney, with guest speakers Sarah Wilson and Barry Du Bois. 

The gorgeous guest speakers, Barry Du Bois & Sarah Wilson, being photo-bombed by a deer

Baz shared the inspirational story of his personal battle with cancer and that of his wife, who was also diagnosed with cancer. Can you even imagine?! What crappy luck! The thing is - his story is not unique. There are people all over Australia (and the world) being faced with this deadly disease. Barry also adamantly stated that:

"There is no way [our kids] will have sugar in their life"

Why would he make such a bold statement, you ask? When Barry went in for a PET scan (positron emission tomography) to see where his cancer was, they injected him with radioactive sugar (fluorodeoxyglucose). The reason why they did this was because the cancer cells would be the first to uptake the sugar, and this would light up on the scan, thus indicating where the cancerous cells were. Like such (the bright areas indicate cancer cells gobbling up the radioactive glucose):

This is common practice. Cancer cells thrive and proliferate via glycolysis (metabolism of glucose). 

Apparently it has not yet been proven that sugar causes cancer, and indeed the causes of cancer are many and varied, but I can tell you - if I was diagnosed with cancer, as a starting point, I would be getting every last little sceric of sugar out of my life to try and starve those nasty babies! Just sayin'. If you're interested in learning more about cancer and diet, Dr Colin Champ is doing (and has done) quite a substantial amount of research on ketogenic diets (high fat, low carb, low protein) and cancer. Interesting stuff. 

Anywho - as I mentioned, the risk factors for cancer are many and varied and we are still yearning to find a cure. The Cancer Council are doing a fantastic job researching all areas of cancer, with the hope that one day soon we'll find a cure. However, this is only a small part of what they do. Here is a little listicle of some of the other great work they are doing:
  • Helping to provide better care for cancer sufferers and their families
  • Providing emotional and financial support for sufferers and their families
  • Helping with transport to and from hospital (especially important for those living in rural and remote areas)
  • Organising legal aid 
  • Organising support groups and helplines
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Australia's Biggest Morning Tea - a fundraising event to provide essential funds to the Cancer Council for the activities listed above and more. 

How can you help?

With something so prevalent and deadly as cancer it can be a little overwhelming (it overwhelms me, anyway). What CAN we do? We're not doctors, or surgeons, or carers (well - some of you may be and kudos to you). But that doesn't mean we can't contribute. And the good news is contributing can be fun! How?


The I Quit Sugar team at Australia's Bloggers Morning Tea
(Steph, me & Jo - Sarah was off hanging out with the silver fox (Baz) & a rogue deer)
Why? For me (and I suspect you, too), hosting a Biggest Morning Tea checks 3 big things I am passionate about:

1. Spending time with friends/family (or work-mates)
2. Eating
3. Helping others in need

Seriously, there is nothing to lose in this situation! Get amongst it - it's our duty as human beings to come together as a community and help those less fortunate. OK, so here are the vital deets:

What: Cancer Council's Australia's Biggest Morning Tea 2013
When: Official date is Thursday, 23rd May 2013, but you can host an event any time during May (maybe you are super-keen and want todo multiple!)
Who: You and your loved ones (family, friends, colleagues, that guy you have a crush on but can't get the guts to speak to)
Where: Anywhere! Your house, work, school, uni, a cafe, a park....
Register: Sign up at or call 1300 65 65 85

Head on over to the site to learn more about it and check out all of the fantastic resources they have for hosting your own tea. 

Some of the food on offer at Chez Dee for the event.
On the bottom - Sarah Wilson's Bacon & egg cupcakes from her book, I Quit Sugar- delish!
If you aren't able to host your own tea, the website lists many other ways you can contribute. Or, if none of their suggestions are doable, you can help by simply spreading the word - share this blog post and with anyone and everyone who will accept it. Post it on Facebook, Tweet it, Instagram it, mail it to your grandma, stick it on the fridge at your work....just do SOMETHING.

Now go forth and spread the word my friends...


  1. Cancer took both mine and my wifes fathers way to early. This along with other medical issues caused us to start following the paleo diet. So far the results have been good.

  2. Another great post from you! The way you described everything is simply awesome. Looking forward to seeing more posts like this in the future.

  3. I was looking for health related website to review many issue. Now I’ve found your blog site with lots of amazing information. You did really excellent work. I’ll read your blog regular basis

  4. Wow! What a great read for me, so much information about cancer.

  5. Disease took both mine and my wifes fathers approach to right on time. This as well as other therapeutic issues made us begin emulating the paleo eating regimen. So far the outcomes have been exceptional.