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Frank Sartor, the charismatic and well known Lord Mayor of Sydney, today made the Bristol Cancer Help Centre his first port of call on his fact finding mission to the UK to seek out best practice models of cancer treatment and supportive care.

Mr Sartor has held this post since September 1991, and is the first independent Lord Mayor of Sydney in more than 70 years. In September 2000 he became the longest serving Mayor in the City�s history. He was a member of the Sydney 2000 Olympic successful bid team.

Mr. Sartor�s late partner Ms. Hepzibah Tintner sadly died of cancer last year age 30. Through this experience he has become interested in investigating models of complementary patient care. Mr. Sartor is committed to improving cancer treatment, care and support, and with this aim is dedicated to establishing a new Sydney National Cancer Centre Foundation. This new Foundation will support the National Cancer Centre the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney that sees 40% of the 6 million strong population of New South Wales.

In the course of supporting Ms. Tintner through her treatment and care, Mr. Sartor witnessed how complementary therapies helped to improve her quality of life. He hopes his new Foundation will be able to further best practice in cancer care drawing on the expertise of health professionals and of complementary therapists. Mr. Sartor has been visiting experts, hospital teams and complementary therapy centres in the US and Europe to help inform his project, and today arrived in the UK.

His first port of call in the UK was the world famous Bristol Cancer Help Centre, where he had discussions with the Centre�s Director of Therapy Ms. Helen Cooke. She explained how the Bristol Approach pioneered by the charity is benefiting people with cancer and their supporters, stressing that not only people with cancer, but also those caring for them need help and support.

Mr. Sartor welcomed the multidisciplinary team approach at the Bristol Cancer Help Centre, and the Centre�s emphasis on quality of life since �in my view cancer will never be solved by a magic bullet single cure�. He is interested in how to encourage mainstream health professionals to recognise the role of complementary therapies in helping to support cancer patients.

The charity�s Director of Education Pat Turton explained to him how the charity works closely with NHS nurses and doctors, and with recognised complementary therapy practitioners, to integrate complementary therapies into mainstream cancer services. The Centre runs education courses and workshops training over 500 health professionals and complementary therapists a year in using the Bristol Approach to help them support people with cancer.

Mr. Sartor also met the Head Chef and Dietary Adviser to the Bristol Cancer Help Centre Jane Sen, and enjoyed the charity�s award winning food. The Bristol Approach to nutrition and diet emphasises practical guidelines on how to eat healthily to give the body the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals needed to boost immune function, with the emphasis above all on increasing increase the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables in the diet.

�The only processing that happens to your food should go on in your own kitchen� Jane commented.

Mr. Sartor was extremely interested in looking at how to improve a hospital diet for people affected by cancer. He also welcomed the charity�s holistic approach that inspires people to commit themselves to their own health and wellbeing.

The charity looks forward to a future productive working relationship with Mr. Sartor.

Helen Cooke, Bristol Cancer Help Centre, Director of Therapy comments:

�I was moved and inspired by my meeting with Mr. Sartor, and the way in which he is using his personal experience to help others affected by cancer with the establishment of a new Sydney National Cancer Centre Foundation.
�We are delighted and honoured that the first port of call for the Lord Mayor of Sydney on his fact finding visit to the UK was the Bristol Cancer Help Centre. I very much hope that the Bristol Approach � offering people living with cancer and those close to them complementary therapies, and self help techniques � will benefit Mr. Sartor�s important work.
�Certainly thousands of people who have attended the Centre�s residential Bristol Approach courses have found this immensely helpful in enabling them to regain a sense of control after the shock of a cancer diagnosis or recurrence, and that it proved a truly life-changing experience.�

For more press information please contact Clare Benjamin on 0117 980 9515

Notes to editors

  • The Bristol Cancer Help Centre was founded in 1980 by the late Penny Brohn a woman living with cancer, and her great friend Pat Pilkington to support people living with cancer and those close to them. It is the UK�s leading holistic cancer charity that has pioneered and specialises in the world famous Bristol Approach to cancer care that provides a unique range of physical, emotional and spiritual support to help people to deal with the challenges a cancer diagnosis brings.

  • The charity offers information and support through its National Telephone Helpline service. Bristol Approach residential courses at the Centre provide people affected by cancer with a unique programme of care combining complementary therapies, self-help techniques, including practical advice on nutrition, and emotional support. The charity�s Cancerpoint service enables people with cancer in the Bristol area to access individual appointments with the Centre�s therapy team.

  • The Bristol Approach works hand in hand with conventional medical treatment, and has been developed and is delivered by the charity�s experienced multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and complementary therapists.

  • The charity also works to integrate a holistic approach into mainstream cancer services, and to develop good practice in the field of complementary cancer care, training over 500 health professionals and complementary therapists a year, in using the Bristol Approach to support people with cancer.

  • For information and support contact the Bristol Cancer Help Centre National Telephone Helpline on 0845 123 23 10 email helpline@bristolcancerhelp.org or log onto www.bristolcancerhelp.org

"The beauty of the Bristol Approach is that you can adapt it into a personal strategy.  With the Centre's help I have a positive, creative lifestyle which I do not intend to change."

Robert Ross