Cancer Research & Reading List
Since my diagnosis in June 2016, I have read many books on cancer, nutrition, natural medicine, repurposed drugs, immunotherapy and more. Here are some of my favourites below. However, in order to be on top of the most up to date research, these days I tend to stick to online content from the following websites:
I have a daily email sent to me withany research pertaining to cancer
I have set up alerts on google so any news pertaining to areas I am interested e.g. my current treatment (Tagrisso), a drug I am considering adding to my protocol etc, is automatically emailed to me
I would also like to credit the blog alunglife.com for inspiring me to fight this disease from even more angles than I knew imaginable.
Radical Remissions: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds by Kelly A. Turner Ph.D
When I was diagnosed, at the age of 39, with stage 4 bile duct cancer, my world understandably collapsed. The first two weeks were no doubt the darkest of my life as I waited for a treatment plan and began idly googling the morbid survival rates. A friend gifted me Radical Remissions which I credit for hauling me out of that abyss and giving me the confidence to fight and believe recovery was possible. The author has gathered together many accounts of patients who have made radical remissions despite difficult odds, then drawn parallels between them to explore possible patterns. Many for example have radically changed their diet, added a comprehensive natural supplement regime and improved their emotional well being. The book is ordered into chapters which look into each of these, and a must "first" read for any newly diagnosed cancer patient, to give hope.
Anti Cancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan Schreiber: this book was my second read post diagnosis after Radical Remissions, and I believe this is the correct order, as while Radical Remission touches upon diet and lifestyle changes in fairly simple language, Anti Cancer develops these themes with more detailed medical and scientific explanations as to be expected by the author, an MD in neurology who himself has recovered from a brain tumour. I strongly recommened this book as a natural sequel to Radical Remission to pad out similar themes with more scientific reseearch.
Beyond the Magic Bullet: The Anti Cancer Cocktail by Raymond Chang, MD
This book is a basic introduction to repurposed drugs, which are pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for one condition but which may also benefit another condition such as cancer. Metformin is the most famous example of this. A commonly prescribed diabetic drug, there is a huge amount of data supporting its benefits for cancer patients. I believe it may have contributed towards my superior response to chemo, long time to recurrence and survival beyond my expected time. In December 2017, I added more and more repurposed drugs to my protocol, which may have slowed the progression of my cancer. The author runs a practice in NYC charging around 1000USD a consultation and also has a website cancercocktail.info/author/soledancer/
but I note that like his book, this has not been updated since 2013 so is lacking current research. It's a good preliminary read however on the subject. My key take away was to add cimetidine (Tagamet) to my protocol at the time of reading.
Beating Cancer with Nutrition by Patrick Quillan I have always had a huge interest in nutrition so it made sense me for to explore this subject in more detail when guiding my own recovery. This book certainly does this, detailing the mechanisms of action behind just about every vitamin, mineral and herb in terms of cancer with far more granularity than the above, but I do note that it was last updated and reprinted in 2009 so is lacking the latest nutritional research. It does come with a handy pull out page of foods to target and avoid based on their glycemic index and cancer fighting properties. Also note that the the author uses a few pages to sell his own supplements for immune support during cancer treatment, so independence may be slightly lacking!
Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr
Written in a fun, relaxed style, Kris Carr takes us through her own US based journey of living with a slow growing cancer for over 12 years now. It would definitely appeal to younger cancer patients and is a more light-hearted read, covering all the main natural areas, healthy recipes plus tips on wig shopping and how to avoid "scanxiety". I remember reading how she went shoe shopping while waiting for scan results and wondering how on earth she had the mindset to think about shoes while waiting for such news. A year on, I make a habit of going clothes shopping around scan times, to remind myself I am not going anywhere anytime soon! She also has a cookbook alongside this: Crazy Sexy Diet.
How Not To Die by Michael Greger M.D with Gene Stone
This was probably the 10th (brilliantly named) book I had read on nutrition post diagnosis at which point I thought I had read all there was to read, as many of the above seemed to repeat each other. I was wrong! Dr Michael Greger, who came to fame with his bovine knowledge in Oprah Winfrey's lawsuit regarding mad cow disease (rememeber when she said on live TV that she would never touch a burger?!) taught me something new on every page and provides the most up to date clinical research on nutrition. Note he also has a website Nutritionfacts.org which is entirely independent and does not accept advertising. He is however a staunch vegan and writes his book from a slightly one-sided perspective disregarding any possible merit from eating meat or its derivatives. His book is ordered into chapters "How not to die from heart disease", "How not to die from lung disease" and a further 13 illnesses before breaking down our diet into chapters such as beans, berries, nuts and seeds, herbs etc. It's definitely in my top three and is a fascinating read for anyone, with cancer or not. We are all going to die of something one day, and this book tackles each fatal condition and how one might prevent it from breast cancer to Parkinson's. And while it's 6 months since I read it, and could possibly do with re-reading it, he is the reason I incorporate turmeric, amla and flaxseeds into my daily diet while paying special attention to the way I cook my broccoli!
Spontaneous Healing by Andrew Weil, M.D
Written by a medical doctor turned naturopath, a rare but interesting combination, Weil examines many other cases of radical remission and explores the spiritual side of illness and recovery. The part I remember best concerns life expectancy. This is an obviously sensitive topic in any doctor's office, when a patients asks the terrifying question "how long do you think I have got". Thankfully I was never given a firm answer to that with my doctor quite rightly telling me "it depends on how well you respond to treatment". There is the theory that if given 3 months, you will have 3 months, and in that way the doctor has behaved in almost shamanistic manner, planting a curse. This is a subject that Weil tackles, giving hope for any patients so-called terminal. We are all terminal believe it or not, and no one knows our expiry date. Indeed I am well past mine, according to Google!