I refused drugs and chemo to battle my breast cancer with fresh veg 

Published: 02nd August 2012 
FOR thousands of women diagnosed with breast cancer, chemotherapy is an unavoidable part of the course. 
But Jessica Richards shocked loved ones when she turned down all the drugs normally prescribed to fight the disease. 
She refused not only chemo, but also a mastectomy and radiotherapy advised by doctors. 
Instead, the 55-year-old former model decided that what she needed was a complete diet overhaul. 
Jessica, from Bedfordshire, England, who now works as a leadership mentor, cut out dairy, upped her vegetable intake and took high doses of vitamin C. 
Within three weeks of starting her intensive regime, a scan showed her tumour had gone to sleep and her latest blood tests came back normal. 
Here, Jessica explains why she believes drugs are not for everyone. She says: 
“When I got confirmation after my final tests that I had breast cancer, I was standing in line, checking in to board a flight from Luton to Edinburgh in May 2007. 
I kept asking questions about what kind of cancer I might have, what the next steps might be. Frustrated at the lack of information I’d been given, I hung up and noticed everyone within earshot was deathly silent, mouths open, obviously sensing they’d been party to a life-changing conversation. 
I just shrugged and carried on with my journey, annoyed at the way I didn’t have the details I needed to take control. 
Having just turned 50, I’d been for a routine mammogram a week earlier which I’d known hadn’t gone well. Around five years before that I’d gone to my GP with a lump in my breast and after extensive tests I was given the all-clear. 
Nothing ever really prepares you for the news you have cancer but I’d definitely been given some pretty big clues along the way. 
To say I’d had to deal with my fair share of bad news from doctors over the years was an understatement. My modelling career in my early 20s was cut short by crippling arthritis. 
A few years later I contracted pneumonia which knocked me sideways and left me weighing less than six stone. 
Recovered, I then contracted an eye infection and went blind in one eye but devised my own eye exercises which completely restored my sight. 
The cancer consultant who’d done my ultrasound scans said my tumour was so large I’d need accelerated chemotherapy for several months. He said I would almost certainly need a mastectomy or at least a large lumpectomy with significant reconstruction, my lymph nodes removed, radiotherapy and five years of hormone-altering drugs after that. I really didn’t know if I could survive. 
The last thing I wanted to do was base my treatment plan on belief — I’m a rationalist and looked at the facts before me. 
Although I did in the end choose what might be termed an “alternative” path, I did so under strict medical supervision. 
Dr Andre Young-Snell, who guided me throughout, had 15 years’ experience specialising in hospital medicine, where he gained a great deal of experience treating cancer patients as well as working in the breast care unit at St George’s Hospital in London. 
I took guidance from Mr Mark Kissin, consultant breast and melanoma surgeon at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, and Dr Caroline Hoffman, clinical research director at Breast Cancer Haven. 

On Andre’s advice, I switched from a generally healthy diet to a metabolic one, focusing on alkaline over acid foods and cutting out all sugars. 
I also cut out all grains and most fruit, which are broken down into sugars. Instead I concentrated on leafy green vegetables, short grain rice, quinoa and linseeds, and cut out all dairy, which is pumped with artificial hormones. I also had regular high-dose infusions of vitamin C, a natural form of chemotherapy. 
I spoke to another patient who’d been treated by both Mark and Andre who’d been diagnosed with cancer in 2002 — she had followed this diet and was now fighting fit without having had any medical treatment. 
Three weeks later I went back to my consultant radiologist for a check-up and was told the tumour was breaking down exactly like it would with intensive chemotherapy. 
Even though that consultant still warned me away from any alternative route, he said that the tumour appeared to have “gone to sleep”. 
I went back for further blood tests two months later which showed no abnormal activity and while the tumour was still there, it had shrunk to under half its original size and was breaking up. My recovery was gradual but consistent. Then, just before Christmas 2007 I got the news that my 74-year-old mother had been whisked off to hospital and in February 2008 she was diagnosed with peritoneal cancer — she knew the path I’d taken but chose chemotherapy and surgery. 
She died the following year. 
By mid 2008, the high-dose vitamin C injections had come to an end but I was carrying on with my metabolic diet. 
I’d stopped going into hospital for scans and was seeing Mark and Andre for six-monthly check-ups, both of whom continued to be hugely supportive and extremely pleased with my progress. 
I got blood test results in February this year saying that I’m completely normal and don’t have to go back to hospital for a year, which is as much as I could have hoped for. 
I’m not suggesting for a second that everyone should take an alternative approach. What I am saying is that anyone with a major health scare should make their own, informed choices. 
Ask questions. Investigate. Don’t be intimidated or frightened and get the right team around you. It’s not a journey anyone should make alone.” 

Het artikel in The Sun.