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Ep 75 - From Anxiety to PTSD with Dr Nina Fuller-Shavel
Episode 756th December 2023 • The Menopause and Cancer Podcast • Dani Binnington
00:00:00 01:01:04

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I’ve never met a fellow cancer survivor who has not struggled with anxiety. But what is anxiety, what’s depression or maybe what you have is PTSD? Menopause on top of that can make things much worse. 

On today's episode, we’re discussing all the proven and evidence based strategies that can help.

Our guest expert is the super knowledgable Dr Nina Fuller-Shavel, an Oxbridge-trained precision health and integrative medicine doctor with 7 degrees and over a decade’s experience in integrative healthcare and additional training in nutrition, herbal medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, yoga, mindfulness, and other therapeutic approaches. She’s a walking oracle. We’re so lucky to get the chance to speak to her. 

We discuss:

Is there hope in tackling anxiety?

How does anxiety present in patients?

The difference between anxiety and depression? How do I know what’s what?

Evidenced based strategies for managing anxiety? From medication to self-soothing techniques.

Let’s talk about coping with anxiety.


Please follow Dr Fuller-Shavel’s socials and sign up to her newsletter which can be found here https://www.synthesisclinic.co.uk/dr-nina-fullershavel


This is the ONCIO app: https://www.oncio.org/


Notes from Dr. Fuller-Shavel:

GAD-7 link - please see your GP or psychologist with the score to get an additional clinical assessment and support: https://patient.info/doctor/generalised-anxiety-disorder-assessment-gad-7


NICE guidelines for anxiety (general, not cancer-specific but outline treatment): https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg113/chapter/Recommendations#stepped-care-for-people-with-gad


ASCO therapy guideline algorithm for conventional anxiety treatment in adults with cancer (US based but very clearly outline psychological treatment options): https://old-prod.asco.org/sites/new-www.asco.org/files/content-files/practice-patients/images/2023-Anxiety-Algorithms.pdf


SIO-ASCO guidelines - algorithms for integrative care of anxiety and depression symptoms in people with cancer: https://old-prod.asco.org/sites/new-www.asco.org/files/content-files/practice-and-guidelines/documents/2023-Integrative-Anxiety-Depression-Algorithms.pdf


PTSD - symptom criteria (please see a professional as soon as possible if you feel these apply to you for a full psychological assessment): https://www.brainline.org/article/dsm-5-criteria-ptsd



Episode highlights:

  • [10:39] Anxiety symptoms include panic, palpitations, and catastrophising.
  • [15:37] Self-care and seeking external support are essential.
  • [24:39] Psychologist recommends an integrated approach for personalised therapy.
  • [29:27] Guideline for cancer-related anxiety and depression treatments.
  • [33:23] Tips for managing anxiety through accessible resources.
  • [40:08] CBD may interact with medications, caution is advised. 
  • [48:41] Trauma intervention is needed for cancer patients.
  • [59:39] Joy is in the present, not the future.


About Dani:

The Menopause and Cancer Podcast is hosted by Dani Binnington, menopause guide, patients advocate for people in menopause after a cancer diagnosis, and founder of the online platform Healthy Whole Me. 

There is lots of information out there about the menopause but hardly any if you have had a cancer diagnosis as well. Many people say to me they have no idea what their options are, who to ask for help, and that they feel really isolated in their experiences. 

I started this podcast because there was nothing out there when I was thrown into surgical menopause at the age of 39, which followed on from my cancer diagnosis aged 33.

Through the episodes, I want to create more awareness, share information from our fabulous guest experts, doctors and other specialists in the cancer and menopause field. 

And of course, I will share stories from the people in our community.

So that together we can work towards a better menopause experience. For all of us.

More educated, better informed and less alone.


Connect with us:

For more information and resources visit our website: www.menopauseandcancer.org

Or follow us on Instagram @menopause_and_cancer

Join our Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/menopauseandcancerchathub

Mentioned in this episode:

https://move-with-menopause-and-cancer.raiselysite.com/

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