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The Reading Room: Anticancer by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

For all of us, patients and caregivers, the task of working with our physicians and other healthcare providers to configure a treatment regimen that heals is difficult and is sometimes fraught with doubts and stress. In the end, for some, the decision is to follow an orthodox path of surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation. For others, though, the decision is sometimes to consider alternative and complementary treatments.

Recently, Huffington Post ran a story (linked below) about a research M.D., Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, who has written a book about his cancer journey; the book is titled Anticancer. Servan-Schreiber was diagnosed with brain cancer some years ago. Initially, he took the orthodox treatment path with surgery, etc. After his cancer returned, however, he threw himself into researching other complementary treatment modialities including diet, exercise, etc. I'm reading the book now and am finding the author's personal story compelling. His discussion of research on diet, etc. is intelligent and reasoned. Servan-Schreiber isn't plowing altogether new ground, by the way, he discusses other researchers including Folkman and Ornish in the book.

For those of you who are interested, the Huffpo article and an excerpt from Servan-Schreiber's book are linked below:

Interview

Book Excerpt

Hatshepsut

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi,
I have read this book and think it has good info. When Dick finishes this round of chemo, if he is NED, he (we) will follow the diet and lifestyle in this book. We're praying he is NED in March so we get this chance to help his body fight of any microscopic cancer that might be left over. We'll see. :)

Aloha,
Kathleen

jscho
Posts: 62
Joined: Jun 2009

Dr. Servan-Schreiber's book was a best-seller in his native France, where his family is well-known for its political work. I was given it soon after diagnosis by one of my French sisters-in-law and found it to be extremely well-written and informative. The personal story he tells is compelling, but what I liked the most about the book was the careful scientific documentation he provides when discussing the biology of cancer and its connection to nutrition, diet, exercise and mental health. He advocates a holistic approach to treating cancer and provides a reasonable basis for his recommendations.

Well worth buying, in my opinion.
Jeremy

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks so much for the info on this book; I have ordered it. It looks quite interesting.

thready's picture
thready
Posts: 475
Joined: Sep 2009

I looked at the GMA info and ordered the book, sounds informative and helpful!
Thanks again,
jan

PPrice
Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Everyone,
I purchased and read/scanned most of this book and found it to be very useful during a time when many docs don't really provide much information on the importance of diet, nutrition, and spiritual/psychological wellness. My husband and I started a strict diet (I don't even look at processed sugar anymore... lol). We also exercise most every day and participate in yoga several times a week. I really believe that all this has helped me manage side effects, reduce tiredness, rebound to feeling "normal" again, etc.

I strongly believe it is important to put very good foods in our bodies that will help our immune systems and overall health. Exercise, in my opinion, is equally as important. Last week, I got my first CT scan after starting my first round of treament (5 chemo txs for colorectal stage 4, live mets). My primary tumor was reduced by 60% and the liver lesion by 30%. I like to think that the efforts my husband and I have made have really paid off :)

Do take a look at the Anticancer book if you haven't already.
Prentiss :)

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

For anyone who is still interested in this book, here is a relevant website:

AntiCancer Book Website

For anyone unfamiliar with the book, this website has a good article titled "Twenty New Anti-Cancer Rules" that reprises some of Servan-Schreiber's research/opinions about fighting cancer with diet and lifestyle.

Hatshepsut

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks, Hatshepsut,

There are some very good tips on the website. I have the book, after you recommended it, but haven't finished it yet.

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Increasingly, blueberries seem to show up on lists of cancer-fighting foods (including in this book). That sure sounds to me like an enjoyable way to make us healthier! Here is a series of recipes that ran in the NY Times; I think you could use agave for the sweetener in any of the recipes:

Blueberry Recipes

Hatshepsut

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks there are some good looking recipes there!

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PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

More huffpo Servan-Schreiber stuff here.

--Greg

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Wonderful article. Couldn't agree with him more.

Thanks for the link Greg.

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2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

It frustrates me to no end his doctor's (obviously most doctors) response to what he should do. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

The thing that makes me SOOOO sad is that so many people actually listen and do nothing, no changes in diet, lifestyle, exercise. Same old same old. And do they really expect their health to improve--miraculously??? Do people honestly think that cytotoxic chemicals are going to improve their health?

Ok, I better stop now.....

Thanks for sharing Hat. Enlightening as usual.

peace, emily

thready's picture
thready
Posts: 475
Joined: Sep 2009

Emily,
I have read many of your posts. I have appreciated what you have said and appreciate so much your willingness to show us a different side of treatment.

When I first saw my oncologist I asked her if there were any changes that we needed to make to improve my chances. She said no, just be well. O.k. what does that mean. Well I have really begun to look into ways to "be well" and that includes following the recommendations of so many here and from the book Anti-Cancer.

I guess I just want to say thank you!
Jan

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

I just finished listening to the book.....and follow the anti cancer diet and try to keep my attitude in check! :-)

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

My sister gave me this book when I was diagnosed yet again with cancer. I no longer eat sugar or white flour, and follow as much as what he says as I can. There is just too much to it, to write it off.

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