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Alternatives in Cancer Therapy by Rose Pelton, R. Ph. and Lee Overholser, Ph.D.
Reviewed by Susan Claymon
Constantly being aware of new information is an important factor in becoming an empowered breast cancer patient. Here is another book of great value when you hear about an alternative or complementary cancer treatment and want to know more. "Alternatives in Cancer Therapy" does a thorough job of reviewing a number of current therapies.
In the beginning of the book, the authors state, "Traditional cancer therapy is like a war. The tumor is the enemy. The patient's body is the battleground. The weapons used to attack are chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. In alternative approaches, cancer is seen as originating in problems with metabolism, biochemistry and the immune system, which are making the tumor." They believe that though alternative therapies are sometimes used alone, the best approach is to use them in conjunction with traditional therapies. These complementary treatments emphasize the need to strenghten the immune system and improve the overall health of I the patient. This is the value of a patient-centered approach.
Some of the regimens explored are shark cartilage, Gerson therapy, antineoplastons (Burzynski), selenium, beta carotene, the Hoxsey treatment, vitamins C and E, germanium, the Livingston-Wheeler treatment, etc. For each topic, the authors present background information, reports on clinical studies (with references cited), dosage information, and a discussion of side effects and toxicity. Their data would be a good first start in investigating a given therapy; then by researching the original articles listed in the source section, more detailed information could be acquired.
There is a short discussion of psychological aspects of cancer and the mind-body connection. But the book devotes only three sentences to a mention of the toxins in our environment that impact our health. These topics should have been greatly expanded to be of more benefit to patients who are investigating complementary treatments.
This book makes the point that "knowledge is our greatest ally in the fight against cancer. By knowing the full range of choices and options available, people can aggressisvely take charge of their own health and healing."