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Dear Diet

Cancer, Trauma and Nutrition as Integrative Cancer Care

MA 2023
Cancer, Integrative Care, Emotional Trauma, Nutrition, Colorectal Cancer


A nutrition hand-holder for Colorectal Cancer patients. It is a nutritional data-driven platform that gives streamlined information and personalized recommendations, allowing emotional and experiential mapping associated with food. It helps create awareness at an early diagnosis stage by encouraging healthy and sustainable eating habits for patients. In addition, it helps patients recognize their personal nutrition patterns, helping them re-establish their relationship with food.



Leading Subject Matter Experts in Integrative Cancer Care & the Health Care Industry

Dr Nasha Winters: Naturopathic Integrative Oncologist;

Jess H Kelly: Nutritional Therapist & Oncology Nutritionist;

Eric Machado: Head of Healthcare Strategy, Boots;

Jennifer Powers: Chief Pharmacist & International Retail, Boots

Patricia Peat: Integrative Cancer Care Specialist;

Alex Laird: Medical Herbalist;

Natalie Silverdale: Research Lead at Fountain Centre;

Dr Anupama Mukherjee: Oral Pathologist;

Aga Kehinde: Cancer Wellbeing Coach & Educator;

Sue De Cesare: Yes To Life Foundation's Former Executive Director & Trustee;

Prof. Karol Sikora: Honorary Prof. of Professional Practice;

Adam Greer: Nutritional Therapist

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We found that 18.1 million people each year wake up to the unfortunate news of their Cancer diagnosis, causing their lives to change upside down with feelings of fear, guilt and anger on how they have disappointed their bodies and vice versa.  By 2040, the number of people experiencing this same feeling is projected at +62% i.e., 28 million.


Cancer care involves 2 approaches, conventional and complementary. When both these cares are combined together for the holistic well-being of a patient it is termed Integrative Care.

  1. CONVENTIONAL CARE:  It helps in curing the disease of Cancer in the physical body.
  2. COMPLEMENTARY CARE: It assists & synergizes conventional treatments to be more effective by working on an individual’s overall health and the side effects of the treatment.
  3. INTEGRATIVE CARE: It is an approach that utilises a personalised and rational integration of the best in conventional and complementary medicine for the holistic well-being of the patient.


To understand complementary therapies better, looking at the landscape and what works right now is important. These are categorised under the following, each being complex in its own right:




After speaking to our panels of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Cancer survivors, we got to know that:

  1. Patients take different Integrative care approaches based on their personal experiences and symptoms. Hence, we realized that tackling integration as a whole would be too broad, and the best approach would be to solve for one. We looked at the landscape to understand what was most valuable. We chose to go ahead with Food and Nutrition, covering different aspects like diets, supplements, herbs, and mindful eating.
  2. Attempting to provide nutritional support for all types of cancer would be ambitious. Each type of cancer requires different dietary assistance. Therefore, to begin with, we decided to focus on colorectal cancer, which has the highest dietary assistance needs compared to others and is the third most common type.


1. Nutrition is an integral part of the Integrative care approach, being the basic need and fuel for your body. A balanced, nutritious diet boosts immunity and heals the mind, body, and soul to recover from the side effects of treatment.

2. There is limited time and access to resources. Nutrition is expensive, doctors don’t always have a lot of time and are indifferent towards discussing other care options. This results in irrevocably late advice and also self-advocacy by patients.

3. There’s a dangerous amount of information available at a click on Dr.Google, and yet there's a lack of streamlined information for the patients and their nutrition.

4. The emotional trauma associated with approaching nutritional care is massive, and due to the severe side effects that come with cancer treatment, there is a disconnection in their relationship with food.


Cancer patients not provided with adequate information and resources to support their nutritional needs may struggle to maintain a healthy diet during treatment, which can lead to physical ill-being and emotional trauma.


If we provide a comprehensive journey with nutritional support and emotional care to cancer patients, it will improve their nutritional status, reduce treatment-related side effects, and enhance their overall quality of life.


We believe that this will help reduce the associated emotional trauma in the journey of cancer patients by helping them regain the sense of control that gets lost, reconnect with food, and have access to streamlined information at any time of the day.


This brings us to our comprehensive service proposition:


Dear Diet is a nutrition hand-holder for Colorectal Cancer patients.

Dear Diet is a nutritional platform that gives streamlined information and personalized recommendations, allowing emotional and experiential mapping associated with food. This helps create awareness at an early diagnosis stage by encouraging healthy and sustainable eating habits for patients. In addition, it helps them recognise their personal nutrition patterns, helping them re-establish their relationship with food.


This service is globally scalable, catering to all cancer types and representing a market size of 18.1 billion at present. We plan to begin with the UK.

Our strategy is to have these 17,200 colorectal patients in the UK, interested in Integrative Care become our early adopters. By gaining a strong foothold in this market segment and proving the viability and usefulness of our offering, we plan to expand horizontally for colorectal cancer patients in other English-speaking countries like the United States. This expansion would encompass an additional 153,000 potential patients.

Alongside, we will expand vertically to upper gastrointestinal cancers with similar dietary needs, eventually covering all cancer types, aligning with our overarching vision of providing holistic well-being for all cancer patients worldwide.

Dear Diet hugely impacts the following stakeholders:

1. Cancer Patients: provides affordable nutrition advice minimizing the overwhelming anxiety and severe side effects throughout the treatment. It gives back their lost control,  helping them understand their individual nutrition needs through symptom and pattern tracking.

2. Doctors, Nutritionists and Integrative Cancer Carers: help them dedicate more time to specific cases, enhance audience connection, and facilitate integrative care advocacy, fostering a healthy doctor-patient relationship and doctors can focus on treating cancer.

3. Medical Institutions & Research Centres: the collected data has the potential to aid future research and correlate food choices with clinical outcomes for all cancer types not just individually but also culturally. Medical professionals can access this data as electronic health records, which can be translated into reports using AI, facilitating a deeper understanding of each case's specificity.


We are grateful to our panel of 12 experts and 9 survivors for their valuable contributions, time, expertise, lived experiences and support throughout our journey. Special thanks to our mentors who guided us throughout the project:


Jane Pritchard, Alex Barclay


Jyotish Nair: VP & Associate Partner

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