Patricia Peat spent many years as a nurse working in NHS oncology wards, supporting people through standard treatments – surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She always set great store by the ‘therapeutic relationship’ between patient and caregiver, but, in common with other staff, had little interest in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). That was until she began to notice that many of those integrating a range of other therapies into their regime were actually managing rather better than expected. She simultaneously became aware of their intense frustration at finding their doctors not only unable and unwilling to engage in constructive dialogue about their options, but unsupportive of their choices.
Inspired by these pioneering endeavours, Patricia set up Cancer Options in 1998 to support people with cancer in taking charge of their situation, in exploring the widest possible range of treatment options and in building their own integrative treatment programme based around their personal choices. Passionate about encouraging the safe integration of complementary therapies with standard treatments, she has developed Cancer Options into a unique service at the forefront of integrative cancer care in the UK.
Patricia has added – and continues to add – to her experience and knowledge of standard cancer treatments through her extensive research into the evidence base for all CAM approaches in use, both in the UK and abroad. She has developed a deep understanding of the methods of many of the top integrative practitioners and clinics in the world. Additionally, she has made it her business to be right up to the minute with new techniques being pioneered within the NHS and other health services abroad.
Fifteen years of close work with all types of cancer have provided her with an unparallelled overview of what is helpful at each stage of each cancer. She still finds that the UK is lagging far behind some other countries in acceptance of integrative methods, but hopes that this book will play a part in moving things forward.
Patricia is a medical adviser to Yes to Life and the Integrated Healthcare Trust, also a patron of the charity CANCERactive. She is a respected public speaker and writer on the subject of Integrative Medicine and empowering people to make their own health decisions.