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  • Writer's pictureSimone Grove

Getting to the root of the problem - what causes cancer

Updated: May 8

We often have a lot of unanswered questions after being diagnosed with cancer. Many people wonder about what’s next – their prognosis, treatment plan and how they may be affected in the future. And many also want to know how did this happen? ‘Why did I get cancer?’


Much of my work in the field of holistic oncology involves looking for and addressing the root cause - particularly in relation to stress, nervous system regulation and emotional healing. In a nutshell, I see cancer as a symptom - a message from your body saying that your body is at dis-ease, a message to you that something has to change. If we fail to see this message and actually change the things that are wrong – whether it’s chronic stress, poor diet or toxic lifestyle - then nothing changes. And when we do make those often small and simple changes, remarkable results can occur.


I’ve witnessed the most incredible transformations which occur when patients address the root causes of their illness. Not only do they feel better and cope much more easily with their diagnosis and treatment – they also tend to recover more quickly and experience fewer relapses, if any. They also allow their experience with cancer to change them for the better – letting go of past beliefs, emotional baggage and health habits which held them back from living a full and happy life even before their diagnosis.


Why is identifying the root cause of cancer so important?


Allopathic medicine is nothing short of amazing. In fact, we are more advanced in the fields of science and medicine than ever before. And yet, people are getting more sick. Diagnoses of diseases and illnesses such as cancer and chronic conditions are at an all-time high, increasing every single year. This strongly indicates that we’re missing something – that something isn’t quite right not just on an individual level, but also in the system or in our society.


As an integrative health professional, I recognise the benefits and importance of a traditional medical approach – and I also appreciate that it’s only part of the picture. It’s just one piece of the complex ecosystem that makes up our health and wellbeing. 


In traditional medicine, we treat the symptom. If you go to the doctor, often they’ll give you a medicine or ointment which is focused on making the symptoms go away. They’ll rarely invest time in drilling down to determine the root cause of those symptoms - and any investigations carried out are limited to what we can see within the physical body. When it comes to cancer, we treat the symptom by removing the cancer with surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.


Whilst these kinds of treatments are often effective and necessary, they can only offer healing and recovery on a physical level. That’s why going deeper and identifying the causes of dis-ease is so important for long-term health and wellbeing. Cancer, like other illnesses, has an underlying cause (or causes). It doesn’t manifest in the body for no reason. And alongside the amazing advancements we have witnessed within modern medicine, we are also now starting to see evidence of other factors at play when it comes to the development of dis-ease in the body, such as emotional trauma, negative belief systems and mindset, toxin exposure and stress. This means that much of the influence is internal rather than external, as previously thought. And that’s good news because it means we can make a change to take our power back and reclaim our health.


How integrative cancer treatments offer better quality of life, recovery and lasting change


In integrative oncology the focus is on treating the root cause, addressing the factors that play a part in illness developing rather than simply treating the symptom. If we only treat the symptom and fail to look at the root cause then nothing has changed and we have not listened to the message that our body is telling us – which is that something is out of alignment. If we don’t look at the root cause, then the cancer can come back (or another illness manifests in its place) because we haven’t actually changed the terrain of the body that the cancer grew in.  


An analogy I like to use to illustrate this is the fish analogy. You rescue a pet fish who is sick – because the water it’s been living in is contaminated, creating a toxic environment. If you take the fish out of the water and treat it, then it becomes well again. And if you then put the fish back in the murky, dirty, toxic water it can quickly get sick again, because you haven’t actually changed the environment the fish is living in.


It’s much the same when we consider our own healing journey. Looking at the root cause is about changing the terrain of the body – addressing often-overlooked factors such as stress, nervous system dysregulation, diet and nutrition, toxins in our environment and our relationship with ourselves and others. This approach can be applied to all areas of our health and wellbeing – whether we have cancer or not.


How can we determine the root cause of cancer?


Determining the root cause of cancer looks different for everybody – because we all have unique genetics, life experiences and habits. Sometimes, a conventional medicine approach can reveal insights into exactly what caused or triggered the development of a disease. For example, we know that some cancers are caused by genetic predisposition, or lifestyle choices such as smoking or consuming too much alcohol. And even then, research is revealing that lifestyle and mindset factors can affect the expression of those genes or cause them to mutate or trigger an illness or condition – which suggests we still have some control over whether or not cancer will develop as a result (read my blog here for more on epigenetics and cancer).


The aim of holistic oncology work isn’t to directly pinpoint and be sure about what caused your cancer, although this can be useful to know. Instead, we focus on the future and the present moment, making changes now so that you can feel better now and in the days, months and years to come. You may never know exactly what caused your cancer, but the role of integrative cancer treatment is to give you peace of mind and healthier habits so that you can move forward confidently and live life to the full regardless of your cancer diagnosis or what’s happened before.


Working with a cancer coach can help you to feel better, faster. Through holistic techniques and dedicated empathic support, we can improve all aspects of your health and wellbeing together. I bring in various different therapies and techniques including NLP, energy work, health coaching and numerology, all designed to support a better understanding of the link between body and mind with one-to-one support tailored to you.


Find more resources and information about my 1:1 Realigned Wellness Mind-Body Medicine programme here:









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