Sheila Dillon asks if food and nutrition should have a bigger role in treating cancer. Is the medical profession too reluctant to see food as an essential component in improving the well-being of cancer patients.[listen at, 22 minutes 35s in]. There is a short clip at

Previewing the programme on Friday 17th May 2013 [listen at, 22 minutes 35s in, or a short clip at], Sheila Dillon, the show's presenter, herself diagnosed with bone marrow cancer, spoke on BBC R4's Women's Hour about the lack of nutritional knowledge among doctors. Doctors trained at Edinburgh University Medical School declared that nutrition formed no part of the syllabus, and that there is a lack of human based empirical evidence for the effect of diet or supplements in the treatment of cancer. In a busy clinic it's just not the doctors' priority to talk about diet when they would much rather talk about the anti-cancer treatments where there is a huge amount of evidence of it working in almost all patients. After Sheila tried to talk about diet to medical staff during chemo and other treatment,  the response was that "being encredibly healthy now is like blowing out the candles on a birthday cake when the house is on fire... because it's too late"

In the chemotherapy ward, the snack trolley came round full of crisps, chocolates and other sugary treats, not even a nudge in the right direction.

"Good moves are afoot - work at the breast cancer prevention unit at The University Hospital of South Manchester, where an oncologist working with a dietician, came up with the 2-day diet, primarily as a preventitive weight-loss measure.

The McCarrison Society agrees directly with the need to inform the Public, the Medical profession and its educators, and Governments, of the importance of nutrition in maintaining good health, both directly and by helping to prevent obesity and its outcomes, long before the need for the treatment of illnesses.

Sunday 19th May 2013, BBC Radio 4 12:30 pm (FM only and online), repeated Monday 20th May 2013 at 15:30pm (FM only and online)