Shireen starts new lifestyle course to help combat cancer

31 Aug 2023
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The University of Winchester is to start a ‘Lifestyle Medicine’ course aimed at sharing evidence-based practices for preventing cancer and living well after cancer diagnosis.

The short course – one of only a few of its kind offered by a UK university ­-  is led and devised by Shireen Kassam, Visiting Professor in the University's Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, a cancer doctor and expert in plant-based nutrition.

Shireen, an advocate for the benefits of a plant-based diet, says: “The World Cancer Research Fund and American Cancer Society guidelines on cancer prevention provide nine recommendations that together have the ability to reduce the risk of cancer by 40 per cent. Five of the recommendations are dietary.”

The new eight-week course is aimed at healthcare professionals but is open to the wider public.

The content covers the six pillars of lifestyle medicine:

Shireen, also a Consultant Haematologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at King’s College Hospital, London, said that there is too little emphasis on preventative medicine in the UK.

“Unfortunately, we don’t prioritise health we treat sickness,” she said. “Only five per cent of the NHS budget is spent on true prevention.”

In the UK one in two people will develop cancer in their lifetime and in the UK and US it is estimated that five per cent of those cancers are caused by an unhealthy diet.

However, Shireen believes these figures under-estimate the impact of dietary risk factors which cause obesity, type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions that in turn increase the risk of cancer.

Find out more about the course at Lifestyle medicine for cancer prevention and survivorship - University of Winchester and Shireen’s other course on plant-based nutrition here Plant-based Nutrition - University of Winchester.

Shireen is organising and speaker on cancer at VegMed London 2023 – Europe’s largest medical conference on plant-based nutrition – at Imperial College in London September 9-10

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