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Great Cancer Books

Posted Dec 19 2010 8:28pm

©Brenda Coffee. All Rights Reserved.

There are three terrific cancer books I’d like to share with you. The first book is Anticancer, A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD. Not only is Dr. Servan-Schreiber a dedicated scientist and researcher, who candidly discusses his 15-year battle with brain cancer, he’s studied what makes cancer cells thrive, what inhibits them from growing and explains it in a way laypeople can understand.

Dr Servan-Schreiber, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and cofounder of Doctors Without Borders, discusses why the traditional Western diet of sugar and white flour, along with a more stress proned lifestyle, creates the perfect environment for cancer. As a result of his own personal cancer quest, he advocates a science-based anticancer diet and a more positive, life-affirming way of living that boosts the body’s natural defenses. Dr. Servan-Schreiber is the first to say his advice should be an adjunct to, not a replacement for, conventional treatments like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. As a side note: I meet numerous oncologists and have found it interesting that Anticancer, A New Way of Life is on most of their desks; several have said they agree with his thoughts on diet, exercise and the mind/body connection.

From Incurable to Incredible, Cancer Survivors Who Beat the Odds, by Tami Boehmer, is a powerful compilation of true stories from people who’ve found their way in the face of insurmountable odds. After celebrating her five-year, cancer-free anniversary, Tami was diagnosed with a recurrence of her breast cancer. In an effort to explain why some people, who are diagnosed with only a short time to live, survive, and others don’t, Tami began interviewing true survivors and found they shared numerous common traits. When I sat down with Tami’s book, I couldn't put it down. At first, I just opened it at random, but because every story resonated so deeply, I went back and read them all. I am overwhelmed by the strength and courage of every cancer survivor who shared their story.

The will to live is a powerful and amazing life force. In a world where most every story on the news is depressing, making us think the whole world’s gone mad, it’s uplifting to find so many people who are facing serious challenges with grace, determination and who are beating the odds. From Incurable to Incredible, Cancer Survivors Who Beat the Odds is a book for anyone who wants to be inspired to live a more authentic, courageous life. Even if you don’t have cancer, buy a copy, read it and pass it on.

The third book is Your Brain After Chemo, by Dan Silverman, MD, PhD and Idelle Davidson. As someone who still suffers from “chemo brain,” this empowering book gave me practical tips for improving my memory, dietary suggestions for maximizing brain health and inspiring stories from people just like me. The authors combine cutting-edge science and true stories along with a nine-step program to re-energize the brain. Anyone who’s received chemotherapy has joked about having “chemo brain,” but in reality, there’s nothing funny about it. Trust me, sometimes I think my 89-year-old mother, who has dementia, and I are not too far apart in the memory department.

In addition to being a scientific review of available evidence that chemotherapy has significant cognitive effects on patients, Your Brain After Chemo is also a helpful guide for family members and caregivers. In addition to giving them insights into the cognitive changes, and hopefully, steps they can take to help their loved ones recover, the book is strangely comforting for patients and caregivers alike.

In case you’re interested, all three of these books can be found on the RETAIL THERAPY link of BreastCancerSisterhood.com, which is an affiliate of Amazon.com.
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