Chris Etheridge & Patricia Peat

Dr Chris Etheridge received a first class honours chemistry degree and PhD from Imperial College, London, before continuing his training at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington and the Department of Chemistry, Imperial College, after which he was elected as a Research Fellow/Junior Lecturer. His research in gene therapy for cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and Parkinson’s disease led to numerous publications and three patents in Gene Therapy, the setting up of a gene therapy company (IC-Vec), and to the construction of a new Genetic Therapies Centre at Imperial.

After a number of years researching and teaching at Imperial, Chris became increasingly frustrated with some of the ethics currently pervading modern science, medicine and medical care. He therefore decided to leave gene therapy and pursue a more “holistic” career, where he had time to talk to patients and to actually find out about them. Since a child he had been fascinated by herbs and herbal medicine, so Chris decided to use his prior education in chemistry, biochemistry and medicine and to study the four year herbal medicine degree programme at the College of Phytotherapy, East Sussex, where he graduated with a first class honours in 2006.

Chris Etheridge is a fully qualified and practicing Medical Herbalist and a member of the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy, one of herbal medicine’s major governing bodies. He also works as a consultant for Cancer Options (as Director of Research), a guest lecturer at the Centre for Nutrition Education (www.cnelm.co.uk/), a writer for the charity Action for ME’s magazine (www.afme.org.uk), and as a scientific advisor for Advanced Orthomolecular Research (www.aoreurope.co.uk), and for the charities Kids Integrated Cancer Treatment (www.kict.info/) and Yes to Life (www.yestolife.org.uk).

Patricia Peat spent many years at the sharp end of oncology, as a nurse. After observing the benefits of the complementary approaches used by her patients, and the difficulties they had in obtaining reliable information, she formed Cancer Options, later joined by Chris. Together, they have spent years researching the CAM options available to people with cancer, both in the UK and around the world. They now advise people on putting together integrative programmes, ensuring that they are both appropriate and safe.

From our own experience, we fully appreciate the opportunities for immune support and healing offered to people who open themselves up to the wider holistic elements of CAM therapies. It is vitally important that people receive reliable advice, and are directed to professional practitioners, avoiding unscrupulous ones. The stance of the medical profession - telling people to avoid CAM therapies because they do not understand them - is no longer acceptable. Anyone dealing with cancer has the right to access as wide a range of treatments as possible to give them the greatest chance of beating it.

We are constantly inspired by the many clients we see beating the odds, and surviving long term with good quality of life, long after their oncologists have predicted.

John Davidson's Self-Help Cancer is a very welcome source of information, which will play a valuable part in the growing movement of integrative cancer therapy. People are demanding change, and this will come about through the work of individuals like John, who can see the sense in not relying on the mechanistic approach of orthodox medicine, which so often has not lived up to expectations.

Copyright John Davidson, 2006, 2010

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