Book Review: Anti Cancer

Anti Cancer, A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD

Death is inevitable for all living things. Many of us go about our life focused on our wants and desires, combined with negative worries, and lose sight of the more meaningful aspects of life. Why does it take a life-threatening illness for individuals to make the necessary shift in lifestyle changes? Part of the reason is that serious illness brings forth a realization that death is closer than we thought it was.

As a child, I generally followed the advice of my adult role models (i.e., parents, teachers, doctors) without much thought. I also remember a few rebels at school who would act the opposite way, always dismissing the advice of adults. I believe that there must be a middle ground between these two schools of thought. It is most important to nurture our own intuitive abilities so that we can make our own decisions based on how we truly feel and think about things. Yet, it can be extremely useful to learn from others who have experienced life situations that we have not. I am grateful to this author for writing this book to help others learn from his knowledge and experience. This book sums up the most important practices that we can use to “expand our lives”, whether or not our lives are extended. I do not want to “wake up” near the end of my life. I want to live it now to the fullest. But how? The author’s three main points are the importance of tending to our “terrain”, being in awareness, and the use of natural forces to heal.

In order to make positive changes, we need to change from within, beginning with compassion and love for ourselves. We need to create an environment that allows us to inwardly and outwardly express our true selves. We also must do things that we thoroughly enjoy, without worrying about how others will perceive us. Our goal is not to be “happy” all the time as it is also necessary to accept the negative aspects of life that present themselves, with the goal of identifying the underlying cause, as this can lead to additional learning, growth and behavior modifications. Ridding ourselves of feeling “helpless” is the key. We do have the power to live our lives in a way that brings us up, that gives us joy, and that provides a deep sense of meaning. By creating these changes, we are “tending to our terrain”. Nutrition and exercise are also intricate components towards leading a fulfilling and “expanded” life.

The author provides a multitude of nutrition information, specifically identifying those foods that give inflammation and illness a passageway to our bodies, while also identifying foods that strengthen our immune system and healing capabilities. Eating a variety of vegetables, grains and fruits is the main focus, with variety being the key as the healing powers are multiplied when certain foods are combined into one meal.

No doubt, it is a challenge to eat properly in this Western culture, where these healthy foods are hard to find. The following quote by Rich Beliveau is scary.

“If I were asked to design a diet today that promoted the development of cancer to the maximum, I couldn’t improve on our present diet!”

Yikes! And from the author:

“People who want to protect themselves from cancer should seriously reduce their consumption of processed sugar and bleached flour.”

Sugar and flour make up a large portion of foods sold in the supermarket. We must not remain passive consumers and allow the big corporations to promote the status quo solely for the benefit of their profits. The price of organic foods are through the roof too. It may be time to create my own organic garden. Although, I’d need to have a talk with all the rabbits, birds and other creatures that roam the yard.

This was a great book. Build a solid foundation in your own life based on Dr. Servan-Schreiber’s anti-cancer lifestyle, with the goal of living life to the fullest each day.

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