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Book Review: Integrative Oncology

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Book Review: Integrative Oncology

Oncology should be more than data, clinical trials and chemotherapy.  With cancer patients living longer, it should also focus on a cancer patient’s quality of life.

Additionally, who’s to say that traditional Western medicine has all of the answers?  Midway through our on-air conversation two months ago, Dr. Donald Abrams mentioned that he and well known holistic medicine guru, Dr. Andrew Weil, had co-authored a book together titled, Integrative Oncology.  At the time I ordered several copies, intending to read and review it for you.

I’ve been using some of the extra waiting room time I’ve been saddled with lately to get it done.  Here are my thoughts about Dr. Abrams book.

At first I was disappointed.  The book is a series of journal articles, written by two dozen different clinicians and researchers.  Available only in hard copy, Integrative Oncology isn’t exactly a page turner.  Still, the more time I spent reading, the more I began to appreciate what Clinical Oncology had to offer.

It reads like a textbook, but is a fascinating read for well informed cancer patients and caregivers, too.  For example, the book features five pages dedicated to the how’s and why’s of curcumin.

integrative oncology textSome of the articles theoretical.  But others focused on patients–and there are some common threads.

Although nutrition is never acknowledged as a cure all, it is credited with making a difference.  The experts all agree; maintaining normal insulin levels and limiting blood sugar spikes are key components in fighting cancer.

One specific that surprised me: several researchers recommended people avoid dairy as much as possible.  Dr. Abrams emphasized that in our interview.  It was news to me!  I thought milk and cheese was good for us.

That part is open to debate.  What isn’t is the fact that today’s dairy industry loads up cows with antibiotics, growth hormone and other harmful compounds that not only aren’t good for us; they actually promote cancer growth.

But the text isn’t limited to nutrition.  Interested in the myths and realities of cannabis and the effect it may have on cancer?  There’s a chapter about that.  There are also chapters devoted to traditional and modern Chinese medicine, using alternative therapies as primary treatments for cancer, the mind-body connection and even the role of spirituality.

Integrative Oncology is full of interesting and helpful information.  But you may need to work a bit to dig it out.

The book is available–and on sale–on for $38.  I ordered additional copies to stock in My Cancer Store, but I haven’t had time to set up the sales page yet.  If you’re interested, I’ll be glad to sell you a copy for $35.  Just email me and let me know if you’re interested.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat