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This course will provide the knowledge and skills required to implement evidence-based lifestyle medicine strategies for cancer prevention and living well after a cancer diagnosis. Although aimed at practicing healthcare professionals from all disciplines, it also has relevance to the wider public. The content covers the six pillars of lifestyle medicine, namely healthy diets, physical activity, restorative sleep, healthy relationships, management of stress and avoidance of harmful substances, and provides actionable take aways for personal and professional practice. The course aims to provide individuals and practitioners the confidence to disseminate this information amongst their patients, families and their communities. 

Key Contributors

Dr Shireen Kassam

Shireen is a Consultant Haematologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at King’s College Hospital, London with a specialist interest in the treatment of patients with lymphoma. She is also passionate about promoting plant-based nutrition for the prevention and reversal of chronic diseases and for maintaining optimal health after treatment for cancer.

She qualified as a medical doctor in 2000, initially training in general medicine, and gaining Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP; 2003). She then specialised in Haematology and achieved Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath 2008).  During training, she took time out to undertake a PhD (University of London, 2011). Her research investigated the role of selenium, an essential micronutrient, in sensitising cancer cells to chemotherapy. She was able to show that supra-nutritional doses of selenium could enhance the action of chemotherapy in the laboratory.  She has published a number of peer-reviewed papers in the field of lymphoma.

Shireen discovered the power of nutrition for the prevention and treatment of disease in 2013 and since then has been following a whole food plant-based diet.  She has immersed herself in the science of nutrition and health, reading scientific papers and books, attending nutrition conferences and completing recognised continuing professional development activities in the field. In 2018 she was appointed as a Visiting Professor of Plant-Based Nutrition at the University of Winchester. In 2019 she became certified as a Lifestyle Medicine Physician by the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine and is also a certified CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) practitioner.

Shireen is Founder and Director of Plant-based health professionals UK, a community interest company  whose mission is to provide evidence-based education to health professionals and the general public on whole food plant-based nutrition for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. In January 2021, Shireen co-founded and launched the UK’s first CQC registered, online, multi-disciplinary, plant-based lifestyle medicine healthcare service, Plant Based Health Online. Her first book, Eating Plant-Based, Scientific Answers to Your Nutrition Questions, co-authored with her sister Zahra, was published in January 2022. She has also co-edited the textbook Plant-Based Nutrition in Clinical Practice, published in September 2022.


Dr Laura Freeman

Dr Laura Freeman obtained her Medical Degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2006. She completed her vocational training in General Practice in 2011. Between May 2012 and May 2019, after attaining full accreditation from the Medical Council of Canada, Dr Freeman ran her own Family Medicine practice in midtown Toronto, taught medical students at the University of Toronto and worked with the Medical Council of Canada as an examiner for International Medical Graduates.

Both within and outside of her General Practice, Dr Freeman has developed a strong interest for plant-based nutrition and optimising health through lifestyle choices. In 2019, Dr Freeman became a diplomat of the International Board for Lifestyle Medicine and a certified CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) practitioner. 

Dr Laura Freeman is co-founder and medical director of Plant Based Health Online, the UK’s first CQC registered online plant-based lifestyle medicine healthcare service. She was also one of the first GPs in the UK to bring ‘Walk with a Doc’ walking groups to her community. 


Michelle Fedele, RD

Michelle Fedele is a Registered Dietitian since 2003. Michelle graduated from The Toronto Metropolitan University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition, and she completed her dietetic internship at The University Health Network in Toronto. Michelle is currently completing her Master of Science specializing in health care leadership. Over her career Michelle has worked in acute and community care settings, specializing in oncology, surgery, cardiology and gastrointestinal issues. 

Michelle’s clinical interest and expertise centres around the role nutrition holds in disease prevention and cancer survivorship. In addition, Michelle is a plant-based dietitian and is the co-founder of Plant-Based Canada, where she provides education to the public, health care professionals and students on the benefits of plant-based eating. Michelle’s teaching philosophy is to meet you where you are at and to help you reach your nutrition goals. 

Michelle is registered with the College of Dietitians of Ontario, Dietitians of Canada and is a member of The Canadian College of Health Leaders. Michelle also sits on several provincial oncology committees with Ontario Health and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto and McMaster University. 

In her down time, Michelle loves to be active with her family and her adorable mini golden-doodle, Luna. 


Dr Aryan Tavakkoli

Dr Tavakkoli is a consultant physician with a 25-year background in hospital medicine. She is the medical director of Quantum Clinic in East Sussex, where she provides integrative support for adult patients with previous or current cancer.

Her Integrative Cancer Programme includes modulated electro-hyperthermia (oncothermia), high dose intravenous vitamin C infusions, mistletoe injections, oxygenation therapy, nutritional advice, mind-body therapy, information on metabolic pathway blockers and recommended anti-inflammatory supplements.

She performs functional medicine laboratory testing to identify and address underlying issues such as inflammation, hormonal imbalance, micronutrient deficiencies and microbiome imbalance, with the aim of optimising the body's innate systems and placing the patient in the best position going forward. 

By offering a supportive integrative programme to run alongside conventional treatment, her aim is to enable her patients to achieve long term wellness and a better quality of life than would be achieved by using an allopathic medical approach alone.

Dr Tavakkoli is a member of the Royal College of Physicians, fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, member of the British Society for Ecological Medicine, allied member of OncANP (The Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians), member of the General Naturopathic Council, member of the British Medical Laser Association, member of the British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis, member of Plant-Based Health Professionals UK, and  member of the Independent Doctors Federation.


Professor James Faulkner

James Faulkner is a Professor in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist. He joined the Department of Sport, Exercise and Health at the University of Winchester in 2015 and is Progamme Leader for the MRes Health Science and MRes Sport and Exercise. He was co-lead for UoA24 for REF2021 and was the inaugural Faculty Head of Research and Knowledge Exchange in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (2019-2022).

James attained his Bachelor’s (Hons) degree in Sport and Exercise Sciences, and both his Master’s and Doctorate in Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter. Prior to his arrival at the University of Winchester, James worked as a Post-Doc in the School of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter (2008-09) before being appointed as a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Sciences at Massey University, New Zealand (2009-2015).

James has journal editorial responsibilities for the following journals:  Frontiers in Physiology (Review Editor [Exercise Physiology]; 2021-present), Clinical Trials in Degenerative Disease (Editorial Board; 2018-present) and Journal of Sport Sciences (Advisory Board [Physical Activity, Health and Exercise]; 2017-present). In 2022, he was an invited Guest Editor for the journal Healthcare and Frontiers in Physiology, and regularly peer reviews for a number of internationally recognised scientific journals. He is an expert reviewer for a number of National and International Funding Bodies including: National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB); NIHR Programme Grant; NIHR Dissemination Centre; NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) Wessex Funding Panels (PhD Scholarship; Project Funding; Researcher Initiation/Engagement Grants); British Heart Foundation and Stroke Foundation Clinical Study and Neurological Foundation (NZ)

James is a British Association for Sport ad Exercise Sciences (BASES)-accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist and regularly supervise and review for the BASES Supervised Experience scheme. He was awarded Membership of Cochrane in November 2021, achieved by contributing to Cochrane’s work in a sustained and substantive way. He is a member of BASES, the Physiological Society, NIHR ARC Wessex, and the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network (SBRN).

Professor Faulkner has led a Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme (Massey University), and founded the first secondary prevention clinic for minor stroke and TIA patients in New Zealand. He is currently Programme Director for the HELP (Health Enhancing Lifestyle Programme) Hampshire Stroke Clinic, a collaborative project between the University, NHS and independent health providers that provides face-to-face and online exercise and education opportunities for people who have suffered a stroke or TIA.


Dr Sheena Fraser MBChB, MRCGP, DipBSLM 

Sheena is a GP partner and trainer with a special interest in dermatology, minor surgery, lifestyle medicine and microbiome science. She lives and works in Glasgow.

Sheena’s interest in lifestyle medicine and microbiome science started in 2018 when she attended her first BSLM conference. She went on to complete the diploma in lifestyle medicine and has subsequently been involved in teaching on lifestyle medicine with a special interest in the microbiome. Sheena is passionate about preventative medicine and applying lifestyle medicine with her patients and has been running a walking group since April 2021.

After 4 years of writing and researching with fellow microbiome obsessed friend, Dr Siobhan McCormack, “Gut Microbiome for clinicians”, an online course on the gut microbiome, was published September 2022 in collaboration with the BSLM. Its aim is to educate more health professionals in this fascinating novel field. This has subsequently led Sheena and Siobhan to the launch of the “Microbiome Medics Podcast”.

Sheena is a busy mum to 3 children and is passionate about cooking food from scratch using local produce and often foraged. She is a keen supporter of The Soil Association and value our connection to nature and the need to protect the integrity of our soil and natural ecosystems.



Dr Siobhan McCormack ( aka Dr Shiv ) has been an NHS GP partner for over 30 years, gaining a huge range and depth of  experience in Primary Care  as well as developing special interests in Women’s Health and mental well-being.

Over her three decades of working in Primary Care, she has watched the tsunami of chronic disease derailing the healthcare landscape. This motivated her search for a ‘better way’, leading her to Lifestyle Medicine.

She is passionate about Lifestyle Medicine which she sees as the foundation to all aspects of healthcare. She completed the University of Winchester Plant-Based Nutrition course in 2019 and the Diploma in Lifestyle Medicine in 2020 and is currently studying an MSc Nutritional Medicine at the University of Surrey.

Her obsession  for all things microbiome began in 2018 when she read The Psychobiotic Revolution and discovered she had a rainforest in her colon. Since then, she has been deep-diving into the evidence on human microbiomes and health and, in the process, has co-authored a course on the subject, The Gut Microbiome for Clinicians with fellow microbiome enthusiast, Dr Sheena Fraser. Together they host Microbiome Medics Podcast .



8 week, distance learning course facilitated and taught by Dr Shireen Kassam

Learning and teaching

Over the duration of this short course participants will:

To be able to discuss the rising burden of cancer globally and the hallmarks of cancer.

To understand the role of diet and lifestyle factors for cancer prevention including the international guidelines on cancer prevention.

To discuss the evidence for lifestyle interventions during cancer treatment.

To understand the role of diet and lifestyle factors for improving cancer outcomes and quality of life after a cancer diagnosis.

To discuss the role of the microbiome in cancer development and its impact on cancer treatments.

To gain an overview of integrative oncology practices in order to better support patients to make informed choices.

To understand how to apply lifestyle medicine principles within clinical practice for cancer prevention and for people living with a cancer diagnosis.

There is an optional Q&A session on this course held via Teams.





This course is aimed at practicing healthcare professionals in both primary and secondary care from any discipline that are involved in caring for people living with cancer. In addition, the course will be relevant to the wider public who may be interested in reducing their personal risk of cancer or who have lived through a cancer diagnosis.

Course enquiries and applications

For general enquiries please contact:

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Modules Credits

  • General overview of cancer incidence and prevalence, hallmarks of cancer development and mechanisms.
  • Overview of known risk factors for cancer development (diet, physical activity, alcohol, viruses, environmental toxins etc), including established cancer prevention guidelines.
  • Dietary risk factors and healthy dietary patterns.
  • Putting dietary guidelines into practice during cancer treatment
  • Cancer and the microbiome
  • Physical activity and cancer prevention and survival.
  • Practical application of physical activity guidelines.
  • Smoking, alcohol and stress.
  • Social connections and sleep.
  • Impact of lifestyle factors on survivorship and preventing co-morbidities in people with cancer.
  • The role of integrative oncology in cancer. The lifestyle medicine prescription; putting knowledge into practice.

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Progression from one level of the programme to the next is subject to meeting the University’s academic regulations.

Course Tuition Fees and Additional Costs


You will receive joining instructions via email within 10 days of the start date. For information about staff and student discounts please contact the department administrator at:

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Key course details

8 weeks
Distance Learning