Monday, November 21, 2011

Cancer and Nutrition: Great Books

I'm going through a period in my life where I am hearing from seemingly many friends and acquaintances who are having issues with their health, and have questions about my journey with cancer and nutrition. Here are my favorite books on the subject.

Beating Cancer with Nutrition

This book is jam-packed with information--and it looks it. The page layout is generally ugly. The margins are reduced and there's a lack of white space that screams self-published, which it is. But don't discount this book on the basis of art direction. ("Dammit Jim, the guy's a doctor, not a book-designer.") The pages are crowded because the authors seem to want to give the reader as many facts and examples as they can. There are citations at the ends of the chapters, which I prefer as I like to have the option to refer to the original medical journal articles.  The book begins with an "Executive Summary--If You Are Too Sick to Read Much Then Read This Section," that impressed me because it showed the authors are cognizant of the real issues that real cancer experiencers face in terms of having scarce resources--from money to time to energy. For same reasoning, they also include an audio CD with abridged sections of the book in case reading is too much. Patrick Quillin's wife Noreen, contributes recipes that follow the nutrition guidelines discussed in the book.

How to Prevent and Treat Cancer with Natural Medicine

If I was going to recommend one book to someone who is generally more comfortable with conventional medicine, this would be it. It's endorsed by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and there are three contributing doctors in addition to Dr. Michael Murray, who is main author. The book looks very "respectable," and it's also informative and good. A couple of the supplements that I discovered in this book are the ones that I still take. The organization of information is very clean, with sections that deal with certain types of cancer. There is also separate nutritional advice for those who are undergoing chemo and radiation. This book also has recipes and is well referenced.

Ian Gawler - You Can Conquer Cancer

This is the book that started it all for me, in terms of simply helping me make the decisions--about food and other things--that helped me back on the road to health.
Ian Gawler says, "The first thing you do after you panic, is DON'T PANIC," and for a first time cancer experiencer, that can be the most important advice of all.
Try not to be weirded out by the cover that seems both new agey and makes Gawler look like some holy man. Gawler's early experiences with cancer resulted in his leg being cut off at hip. Instead of a single pants leg, he wears a long caftan shirt. And then maybe the photographer got carried away, I don't know, but the contents of the book are very practical and accessible. He discusses the three main tools he used in his own recovery: Meditation, Nutrition and Right Thinking.

Nature's Cancer Fighting Foods

I haven't returned to this book as a reference over the years as much as I have the others, but it's on my shelf and every time I flip through it I'm reminded how accessible it is, and remember that when I was first overwhelmed by my health situation, the explanations that I could actually digest often came from this book. If you are looking for recipes, it probably has the most, along with a glossary of less familiar ingredients. There is a good resource guide in back as well.

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