Cancer and Nutrition: Great Books

I’m going through a period in my life where I am hearing from several  friends and acquaintances who are having issues with their health, and have questions about my journey with cancer and nutrition. I thought I might share 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, the lack of white space screams self-published, which it is. But don’t discount this book on the basis of production value. (Damn-it Jim, the guy’s a doctor, not a book-designer.) The  pages seem like they are crowded because the author wanted to give the reader as many facts and examples as he could for the buck. There are  citations at the end of many of the chapters, which I like. I may not refer to every original medical journal article, but I like the option.

It also feels like these are compassionate authors who have experience working with patients. They begin with an “Executive Summary–If You Are Too Sick to Read Much Then Read This Section.” There is also an audio CD included with abridged sections of the book for the same reasons. Patrick Quillin’s wife Noreen, contributes recipes that follow the nutrition guidelines discussed in the book.

How to Prevent and Treat Cancer with Natural MedicineIf 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.” It’s also informative and good. A couple supplements that I still take, I discovered in this book. The organization is very clean. There are sections specifically for dealing with certain types of cancer, and 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

“The first thing you do after you panic, is DON’T PANIC,” Ian Gawler says. This is the book that started it all for me: It calmed me down and helped me make the decisions–about food, treatments and lifestyle changes–that helped put me back on the road to health.

Try not to be weirded out by the cover. 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. This edition’s cover design makes it look like he is a holy man of some sort. This is not the case. From meeting him in person I can say he is extremely practical and accessible in his approach, and contents of this book reflect that.

Nature’s Cancer Fighting Foods

I haven’t returned to this book over the years as much as I have the others, but as I flip through it, I’m reminded of how accessible and easy-to-read it is, and how in the early days, when I felt completely overwhelmed by my health situation, the explanations that I could absorb 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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