In The Bristol Programme, author Penny Brohn, former cancer victim and co-founder of the Bristol Centre, emphatically states: “There is no conflict between following the Bristol routines and taking conventional cancer therapy. . . .In all the messianic excitement that has accompanied the exponential rise in the use of natural, alternative medicine there has been a tendency for exponents of these methods to reject and deride the whole drug-orientated allopathic thrust. . . No doubt we all have part of the truth.”

Here are Bristol’s main components: Diet

Although each patient’s diet is individualized, depending on the state of his health (and the extent of the cancer), broadly the centre recommends that patients reduce protein and fat intake, particularly animal protein and fats, eat as much natural (and raw) food as possible, and avoid salt, sugar and stimulants.


After having your vitamin and mineral status checked by blood tests, you will have a full picture of any deficiencies. Many patients at Bristol are given the following daily supplements: large (between l-20g) of vitamin C; vitamin E (tocopherol, usually alpha tocopherol), beta carotene (l2,500 iu in capsule, or l-l l/2 pints of carrot juice a day); two tables of good quality brewer’s yeast three times per day or a good B supplement for those who cannot tolerate yeast; 200mcg of organic selenium; l00 mg of zinc orotate (providing an elemental level of l6 mg of zing); and magnesium and potassium supplements, low levels of which appear to correspond to high levels of cancer in the population.


A fundamental aspect of the Bristol approach is to identify whatever stress or emotional upsets may have contributed to the onset of the disease and to help in their management.

Relaxation Techniques

These techniques whether autogenic training, biofeedback, breathing or meditation assist the patient in relaxing and eliminating stress.

Affirmations and Visualizations

The former (“I am getting better”) is a quick and easy way to build a new, positive self-image, while the latter (imagining the cancer cells as being zapped by a Teenage Mutant Turtle, say) uses mental pictures as a metaphor for what the body is supposed to be doing. It is thought that both techniques will help the body to fight disease.

For more information: The Bristol Cancer Help Centre, Grove House, Cornwallis Grove, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4PG. (Tel: 0272 7432l6).

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

Explore Wellness in 2021