Penny Brohn - Cancer Care

Helpline: 0845 123 23 10



I'm worried about cancer
Whatever your concern we are here to help.

Our Helpline is here to answer your questions and to help you find the information and resources you need.

Call our Helpline on
0845 123 23 10
Or email us at
Or you can visit us Monday to Friday from

9.30am ~ 5pm

We offer all our services to everybody over the age of 18 with a cancer diagnosis, and their close supporters.

Visit 'Support for you' to find out more about how we can help.
I want to talk to someone
Call our Helpline on
0845 123 23 10
Or email us at
Or you can visit us Monday to Friday from

9.30am ~ 5pm
Our Helpline is here for you, as a listening ear if you need to talk, and as a place to find out more about any of our courses and services.
Is the Bristol Approach for me?
The Bristol Approach is our unique combination of physical, emotional and spiritual support designed to help you live well with the impact of cancer, at any stage of your illness.

We see you as a whole person, recognising how important it is for you to have support not just for your physical health, but for your mind, your feelings and relationships and the deepest parts of you.

Our services are open to everybody over the age of 18 with a cancer diagnosis, and their close supporters.

Find out more:

What is the Bristol Approach?
Taste of the Bristol Approach
Call our Helpline on 0845 123 23 10
I've just been diagnosed
Finding out you have cancer is usually a huge shock; for you, your family, friends and supporters. It is difficult to prepare for and you can't be sure how you will think or feel until it actually happens.

Whatever your diagnosis, whatever your situation, we are here to support you on your cancer journey and to help you live well with the impact of cancer.

Call our Helpline to talk to someone

0845 123 23 10
Or email us at

Or visit 'Support for you' to find out how we can help
What does a Nutritional Therapist do?
A session with one of our Nutritional Therapists can help you to tailor our general guidelines to your particular needs, tastes and circumstances. 

A lot of research has shown that diet is an important factor in managing cancer.  Unfortunately, there is also a lot of confusion and contradictory information that can make it hard for you to know what to eat for the best.

Sometimes cancer or its treatments can cause particular issues around food and digestion that mean our general guidelines need to be modified.  Perhaps you have allergies, or find it hard to swallow, or have a stoma.  Chemotherapy might make it hard for you to eat or digest certain kinds of foods. 

Our experienced therapists can offer you support and guidance in eating well, to support your health in your unique situation.  They keep an eye on the research and can help you make sense of it, giving you confidence in what you are eating and helping reduce stress and  increase your sense of control.
What does an Integrative Doctor do?
Integrative Doctors bridge the gap between mainstream medicine and complementary and alternative therapies. They are all registered, practising doctors, with a particular interest and belief in working with you as a whole person.

The doctor will look with you at every aspect of your health, mind, body, spirit and emotion, and help you find ways to support yourself and achieve the best balance for you.

The doctor can make suggestions about how you might manage symptoms and explain what your diagnosis and treatment mean if this is not clear to you.  They can help you to manage other health problems you may have alongside your cancer diagnosis.  As practising doctors within the NHS, they understand how the system works, and can help guide you through difficult choices.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a gentle and un-intrusive way of supporting your body’s own healing ability. 

Homeopaths at Penny Brohn Cancer Care are medical doctors with additional training in homeopathy, who are employed through the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital. They will talk with you in detail about how you are, and match your symptoms to a particular remedy. 

Evidence suggests that homeopathy can help with symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety and depression, menopausal symptoms and some digestive symptoms such as IBS.
What is Healing Therapy?
Healing is a gentle and supportive therapy, suitable for everyone, no matter what your level of health.  In particular Healing seeks to support your spiritual health by strengthening the connections between you and the rest of life. 

Healing is usually done with only a very little touch, and most healers will do some gentle relaxation or breathing exercises as part of the session. Healers are also experienced in using imagery, which may be included as part of a session.

Healing is not the same as treatment or cure. It aims to nourish and support you, and bring ease to physical, mental, emotional or spiritual symptoms that might be troubling you.
What is Bodywork?
Kind and gentle touch helps your body to relax and unwind, supporting your immune system and helping you manage symptoms such as pain, anxiety and disturbed sleep.

Massage uses skin to skin contact, to help release muscle tension and support the circulation.Shiatsu was developed in Japan and is related to acupuncture. It uses various kinds of touch at the acupuncture points and meridians to help support your internal energy and vitality. Shiatsu is given through clothing – please wear loose comfortable clothes to your session, including socks.Reflexology is massage done on the feet and sometimes the hands. This makes it particularly suitable if you are looking for some help to relax, but do not like whole body massage. It can also be helpful while going through treatment.
Why Counselling?
One to one counselling gives you a place work through difficult issues and supports you through the process of change. 

Our experienced, highly trained counsellors offer a confidential place where you can say whatever is on your mind, without fearing that you will be judged, or that you will upset someone you love.

Find out more about our counselling service available through Cancerpoint.
What are complementary therapies?
Updated: 20/05/2013

We offer a wide range of therapies that work alongside your medical treatment. These provide emotional, physical and spiritual support in addition to practical advice, guidance, tools and techniques to use in your daily life.

The one to one therapies we offer include:

Practical Support

Our Integrative Medicine doctors offer information, advice and guidance to help you manage the strain of diagnosis and treatment, maximise general health and wellbeing, and maintain an attitude that is at once realistic and positive.


Nutritional Therapists offer information and advice on how you an eat well to support your health, and on the use of supplements. Good nutrition can help you manage some of the effects cancer and its treatments can have on appetite and digestion.


Cancer can change everything - the way you see yourself, the way you imagine the future, the way you relate to your loved ones, the way you feel about life. One to one counselling can help support you through the process of change.


Acupuncture uses very fine needles inserted through the skin at various points on the body. There is good evidence that acupuncture can be effective in treating chemotherapy-induced vomiting. It can also help to ease pain.

Art Therapy

Art therapy involves using art materials to help you express your feelings, communicate in a different way, discover greater self-awareness and explore your creativity. You do not need to be good at art to benefit from art therapy.

Homeopaths at Penny Brohn Cancer Care are registered doctors employed through the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital. Homeopathy offers a gentle and supportive way to manage some symptoms of cancer and its treatment.

Music Therapy
This therapy combines relaxation, creativity and an exploration of the unconscious through music. It involves listening to music and working with the images and feelings it evokes.

Bodywork uses touch to promote relaxation in the body, mind and the spirit. Gentle, loving touch can help you manage the shock and trauma of diagnosis and treatment and can ease symptoms such as anxiety, pain and fatigue. Our bodywork includes:

Healing involves a light touch or hands held close to the body. It is very gentle and nurturing, supporting deep relaxation at all levels. It is particularly useful for people who do not like, or are not well enough to receive bodywork.


The massage practitioner will generally work with oil, using gentle stroking, light pressure and stretching to improve your body’s circulation and promote deep relaxation. Massage brings many benefits including a chance to reconnect with and nurture your body.

In reflexology the thumb and fingers are used to press or pin point areas of the feet thought to be connected to organs, glands and other parts of the body. People who have had reflexology report benefits such as relaxation and reduced anxiety.

Like acupuncture and acupressure, shiatsu is based on the traditional Chinese medicine meridian (energy channels) theory. In shiatsu the aim is to rebalance the body by using specific meridians or points on a meridian.

The practitioner uses fingers, thumbs, elbows, knees and even feet, applying pressure to key points to influence and stimulate energy flow in the body. The treatment is extremely relaxing and given through your clothes so there is no need to undress.

Physical Activity
Physical activity is any movement of the body which uses energy, this might be a structured form of exercise or an activity that is done in daily life such as gardening.

Physical activity is key to the Bristol Approach due to the wide range of associated health benefits. Types of physical activity that we offer include:

Nordic Walking
Nordic walking is a form of walking with specially designed poles. It engages the whole body and is promoted as a simple method for maintaining and improving physical heath.

Is a combination of gentle movement, breathing techniques and meditation. The sessions are led by an instructor and are based on the Traditional Chinese medicine approach of encouraging the flow of Qi energy through the body.

Yoga involves a combination of physical postures, meditation and breathing techniques to improve physical fitness and promote relaxation.  

Self Help Techniques
Practices you can do yourself at home, these techniques can help you to manage stress and anxiety in the short term, and also form part of most spiritual traditions.

They are fundamental to the Bristol Approach and form an important part of all the services at Penny Brohn Cancer Care.

Tools and techniques that allow you to relax physically even in the midst of stressful situations.

Meditation and Mindfulness
Relaxing the mind by returning to a single focus of attention. This can help you gain a new perspective and come to a quieter more spacious place in your mind.


Builds on mental and physical relaxation, using the power of the mind to support healing. For instance, you may imagine a tumour getting smaller or the immune system getting stronger.

We offer a wide range of therapies that work alongside your medical treatment. These provide emotional, physical and spiritual support in addition to practical advice, guidance, tools and techniques to use in your daily life.