What I Would Do If I Had Cancer – Dr Vernon Coleman

We recently posted a video by Kevin Gianni about what would you do if you had cancer and featured an insight from William Li who spoke on can we eat to starve cancer at TED. Following on this theme, we’re featuring a few extract from the writing of Vernon Coleman.

For those of you not familiar with Vernon Coleman, here’s a quick introduction. He used to be a GP and went on to be the first television doctor on British breakfast TV. He’s subsequently gone on to write many books including a novel which was turned into a film. Below are a few choice extracts from one of his most famous titles “How to stop your doctor from killing you“. We highly recommend reading it. The following extracts from chapter 34 – what I would do if doctors told me I had cancer, are included to provoke some thought.

“I have a one in three chance of being told one day that I have cancer. And you face the same odds. Actually the odds are getting worse. If the incidence of cancer continues to rise at the same rate at which it has risen for the last few years then within a decade or so one in two of us will hear those frightening words – or whichever euphemism our doctor feels most comfortable with”


“I would want to take some control over my own destiny by following a combination programme that would combine the healing powers of my body and mind.”

“And because I would undoubtedly be shocked and frightened (and possibly not too capable of rational thought) it seems to me sensible to make some plans now. It is a lot easier to be rational and logical about an emotional issue like cancer while you are feeling fit and healthy. It seems to me to make more sense to prepare for this eventuality now – rather than at a time when I might be frightened and shocked to know what to do. I have planned for my old age (in case I am too frail and weak to work and earn a living). It seems to me to make equally good sense to plan for the possibility that I may just one day develop cancer. I may never need to use my cancer plan – just as I may never need to use my retirement plan. But it is good to know that they are there.”

What an absolutely brilliant point. Dr Vernon Coleman’s book “How to stop your doctor from killing you” is available from Amazon and tells you what he would do. What would you do? Tell us how you’d plan to deal with it.

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