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Anticancer: A New Way of Life [Hardcover]

David Servan-Schreiber
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books; New edition (31 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670021644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670021642
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.9 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 23 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A great book. It is very informative and easily understandable for the lay person. I would recommend it for anyone studying alternative health.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and informative 21 Sep 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent and informative. Supported by strong medical references that gave confidence to me as a reader. I checked many of these and found them to be even more enlightening!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  424 reviews
597 of 601 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing for me 13 Feb 2011
By Ellen Marsh - Published on
It came as a total shock when I found out I had a brain tumor in October, 2009. I am a non-smoker, a vegetarian, I've always been slim and I exercised 3-4 days a week. I'd seen this book before my diagnosis and thought it looked good, but didn't buy it. I thought I didn't need it.

Once I realized the author also had brain cancer and had been able to keep it in check for over 15 years through diet and other means, I knew this was the book for me. If you want to learn how to do something, go to someone who has done it! So I bought the book. It's an easy read and is backed up by scientific research and 28 pages of footnotes in case you want to learn more. The book is very specific in its recommendations.

I took the plunge around Christmas, 2009 and have been following the diet ever since. I underwent a year of chemotherapy treatments at the same time. During that time I periodically had MRI's that showed the tumor was shrinking. The tumor has continued to shrink even after I finished chemotherapy in January, 2011, so the diet change and supplements are having the intended effect.

Reading this book and changing what I eat has been incredibly empowering for me. I thought I knew a lot about nutrition before, but I learned some important things from Dr. Servan-Schreiber:

- Vegetables to eat daily (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, all cabbages)
- Good oils to use (olive and canola)
- Spices to add (garlic, ginger, turmeric)

I also learned some sobering facts about sugar (see page 61):

"The German biologist Otto Heinrick Warburg won the Nobel Prize in medicine for his discovery that the metabolism of malignant tumors is largely dependent on glucose consumption. (Glucose is the form of digested sugar in the body.) In fact the PET scan commonly used to detect cancer simply measures the areas in the body that consume the most glucose. If a particular area stands out because it consumes too much sugar, cancer is very likely the cause."

I never thought I could kick the sugar habit, but after the first two weeks it wasn't hard. I found substitutes to feed my sweet tooth - berries, fruits, cinnamon, stevia, and baker's chocolate (which is unsweetened) with any of the above.

If you have the right motivation I believe you can do just about anything. My plan is to live well and long!

March 27, 2013 I had an MRI, as I do every 6 months. Tumor has continued to shrink even after completing a year of chemotherapy in January, 2011. It is about 10 percent of it's original volume. I've continued eating the anticancer diet, a plant-based, whole foods diet with a small amount of fish (sardines, herring, wild salmon) occasionally and fish oil 3x/day. I avoid processed sugar and bought a good blender to make green smoothies for breakfast. I also take supplements (since June, 2010) after consulting with a nutritionist specializing in brain tumor patients.

September, 2013 MRI - Tumor is still shrinking! No signs of growth and in a state of regression. Regression is similar to being in remission, but regression is the term used with brain cancers. From Wikipedia, "Regression in medicine is a characteristic of diseases to show lighter symptoms without completely disappearing. At a later point, symptoms may return."

April, 2014 MRI - Continued improvement! My tumor is still shrinking.
230 of 236 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - the information we need to learn 3 Jun 2011
By CKC - Published on
I am a two-time breast cancer survivor of 11 1/2 years with a strong faith in God, but cancer is a scary thing that can just get to you over and over again. Anticancer: A New Way of Life, spoke both to my heart and to my head. I am "in remission" (I strongly prefer a shorter word - cured). However, there's one cancer marker that keeps creeping up ever so slightly and making me lose sleep at night although there is still no clinical sign of cancer 3 years after recurrence. I tell you this not to wear my heart on my sleeve but as evidence that I have more than just a passing experience with the subject matter of this book.

This is the best nutritional resource I have found thusfar on this journey (equally useful for those of you who want to avoid the ride). Dr. Servan-Schreiber has "been there" and brings a perspective to the topic that you can't have unless you have walked the road personally. He has approached the topic of how to best equip your body for maximum health in the face of cancer in a realistic, intelligent and science-based way. The statement by Dr. Mendelsohn, President of MD Anderson, in the introduction about this book filling "an important gap in our knowledge of how patients can contribute to their own care by supplementing conventional medical treatment" really persuaded me to make the purchase.

Most important insights gained: There is something (actually a lot of somethings) that we can do to better equip our bodies to fight cancer - diet, exercise, sleep, stress relief. Finally, I have an outline of food suggestions with footnotes to the research itself and even a shopping list to eat what my body needs - no excuses. We were pretty healthy eaters to beging with (well, I was more than my hubby), but, after reading this book, I told my husband that I was taking over the cooking (and he's a fabulous cook), throwing out all white flour and sugar products, filling the fridge with colorful fruits and veggies, experimenting with a variety of alternative grains, buying healthy sweetening alternatives and eating less meat and more fish. I have gone from craving chips to craving strawberries, cherries, and even loving brussel sprouts (with lots of garlic, of course).

The key benfit has been the empowerment I have felt from making these changes. When you finish cancer treatment, you ask the Dr what can I do to help myself. The Dr's answer is usually - "go live your life." Your first thought is, "yea, that didn't work out so well the first time (or for me the 2nd either). Dr's can't prescribe food because there is no "double blind randomized human trial" behind it. If they did, they would be open to a lawsuit if things didn't turn out well. Besides that, food people aren't the ones making sales calls on the medical community, because as Dr. Servan-Schreiber says, there's no patent money in raspberries! This book provides concrete information about food science that I have found nowhere else in a single source, coupled with Servan-Schreibers insights as both an MD and a cancer patient.

So, I actually bought multiple copies of this book and gave one to my oncologist and one to my radiation oncologist, told them I was giving this a try and asked them to read it. They can't make recommendations, but they can legally say, "here's a book you might want to buy and read." I have challenged them to do just that.

My husband and I have been "eating new" for a month. I feel fabulous and he has lost 15 lbs. We are also taking more time to do things now rather than being so darn responsible and overworked - we got a new puppy and we are having a ball! Work is still there, but I am learning to "let it go." This may not change the outcome of my journey, but I can tell you that I have used the practical suggestions in this book to make some important changes that are making the journey better, more relaxed and just more fun. The "I shoulds" have become more "I want tos."

Thank you Dr. David, for opening your heart and sharing your insights. I know you say you don't believe in God, but I can see how he has used you in my life just like he did in the young man you mention in the book. You have shown that you are open to change - I think that your journey has a lot more to do with finding faith than you want to admit.
163 of 169 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for people fighting cancer 24 Nov 2010
By Jeffrey Cohan - Published on
The shame about David Servan-Schreiber's book "Anticancer" is that if you don't have cancer, you're unlikely to read it.

It's a shame because the book's recommendations for lifestyle changes apply to everyone, whether you're battling cancer or not.

Besides, everyone has cancer cells and everyone is bombarded with carcinogenics, so it behooves us to do all we can to protect our health in the face of these internal and external threats.

Servan-Schreiber covers an enormous amount of ground in 220 pages, dispensing advice in the areas of diet, meditation, spirituality, exercise, and even cell phone use (thank you, Devra Davis).

But only on the topic of diet and nutrition does he really go into depth, and here even people well-read on the topic might learn a thing or two. For instance, did you know that cooked tomatoes offer more lycopene, especially when they're cooked in olive oil?

"Anticancer," though, is mainly a repackaging and compiling of some of the most common-sense ideas out there.

Unfortunately, most people never stop to consider these ideas, which explains why we have epidemics of cancer, diabetes and obesity in our country, not to mention of personal and family dysfunction.
94 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing experience. 7 Mar 2010
By Hanting Lin - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a medical oncologist, I thoroughly enjoy this book! The story is compelling that it comes from a cancer survivor and an outstanding scientist who really put together wonderful information in regard to life style management to fight cancer. The information provided is not from one's wild imagination but with sound scientific data. This is what we were desperately lacking in oncology practice for so long. It is not only a good read for cancer patients and care providers, also a wonderful book for anyone who cares about a healthy life style to prevent diseases in general. I have bought many copies for colleagues and friends. I recommend this book highly to all my patients!
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waited 15 Years 18 Oct 2011
By Charles Bluestein - Published on
Steve Jobs' pancreatic cancer was cured in 1994. It came back and the results were different. John Edwards' wife Elizabeth had her breast cancer cured. She later died of breast cancer. The author of this book is an MD and his cancer was cured by MDs. But then it camce back.

So then he went on to learn all that he could about how lifestyle affects cancer and changed his lifestyle. Then he waited 15 years of being free before writing this book. This is an excellent book with a wealth of information. Each little bit of information lowers your chances of getting cancer and it all adds up fast.
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