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.
This book is jam-packed with information–and it looks it. The page layout is generally ugly–the margins are reduced, there’s a real lack of white space that screams self-published, which it is. But don’t discount this book on the basis of production value. (“Dammit Jim, the guy’s a doctor, not a book-designer.”) I’m sure the pages are crowded because the author wanted to give the reader as many facts and examples as he could for the buck. They also include citations at the end of many of the chapters, which I like. I may not refer to the original medical journal articles, but I like the option. You also feel 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.
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 still take, I discovered in this book. The organization is very clean. There are sections that deal with certain types of cancer, and also nutritional advice for those who are undergoing chemo and radiation. This book also has recipes, and is well referenced.
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 put me back on the road to health. “The first thing you do after you panic, is DON’T PANIC,” Ian Gawler says.
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. The cover design makes it look like he is a holy man of some sort. This is not the case. The contents of the book are very practical and accessible.
I haven’t returned to this book as a reference over the years as much as I have the others, but as I flip through it again, I’m reminded how accessible and easy-to-read it is, and remember that when I was first 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.