While most of us hold out little hope of cancer research coming up with the goods, it is always useful to keep an open mind and open eye as to what is happening in that sphere. Paul Marks’ and Jim Sterngold’s book On The Cancer Frontier might therefore be worth a read through. Here is one review of the book
Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category
Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on March 10, 2014
Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on April 11, 2012
Coping with the Big C: Compassion by Jack and Colleen Pelar
I agreed to read this book because I believe in the importance of the individual experience of cancer. From the moment cancer is diagnosed to the end of treatment and beyond truly is a journey. We are changed. Just as you forget you have a thumb until you hit it, you forget you have a life until it is seriously threatened. And Jack and Colleen make this a particularly interesting journey because it is a dialogue between the two of them. The journey is not the same journey for Colleen as it is for Jack – it may be his cancer, but he is her husband.
What comes out of the book for me is the strength of their relationship – rock solid, despite the enormous differences between them. But what is interesting is how they are aware of these differences and work with them, around them even through them.
And then, of course, there are the details of how the cancer is treated by their doctors. There is nothing about ‘alternative therapies’ or diets or any of that stuff. The doctors are the experts and Jack and Colleen are unquestioningly committed to this route – and at the end of the book Jack has just finished a gruelling course of radiotherapy. So the book ends on a note of hopefulness about the future – and I do hope that hopefulness is justified (just as I hope Jack doesn’t just say: “Done that, Got the t-shirt” and go back to his sugary cereals and coca colas but does start to take an interest in diet and supplements and herbs)
What I particularly like about this book is how open Jack and Colleen are about their inner thoughts – so by the end of the book they are friends and we care about them.
This is a thoughtful, wry, funny and painful account of a year that Jack and Colleen will not want to revisit. Reading this book is very educative. This is a report from the front of a very personal war.
Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on August 11, 2009
The Townsend Letter for Doctors reviewed my book – Cancer Recovery Guide: 15 Alternative and Complementary Strategies for Restoring Health – calling it the year’s “best guide to alternative therapies”. To read the review go here:
Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on January 31, 2009
Beata Bishop, author of A Time to Heal, and a long term survivor of metastatic melanoma wrote this review in Network Review, the journal of the Scientific and Medical Network (January 2009):
Since hi-tech modern medicine, wonderful in acute and emergency cases, can only offer symptomatic treatment against chronic degenerative diseases, alternative methods should be objectively examined and, if found effective, widely used. This is the drift of Jonathan Chamberlain’s “Cancer – The Complete Recovery Guide”. The author is a former teacher, now full-time author, with no medical background. But when his wife was diagnosed with cervical cancer 15 years ago, he desperately looked for a book that would contain information on every possible alternative and complementary therapy to help her recover. He found no such book. She underwent all available orthodox treatments and died a year later. He decided to write the missing book – the one under review – himself. His sole purpose has been to inform and educate, not to recommend any of the thoroughly researched .alternative therapies. Like a good teacher, and unlike Professor Ernst, he respects the reader and keeps stressing that everyone must make their own decision as to which modality to choose, and be responsible for that choice. This “travel guide to the strange country of cancer” begins with an explanation of the essence of the disease and its many causes (“It hasn’t come from Mars”); it continues with an objective description of orthodox treatments, their risks and benefits, and ways to reduce their often distressing side effects. Throughout the tone is clear, objective, modest but knowledgeable. It becomes sharper when we reach the subject of cancer research and its many flaws. Ethics and the control of research by drug companies come under dispassionate factual scrutiny. So does the alarmingly close bond between medicine and Big Pharma, as defined by some distinguished doctors outside that bond. All in all, the first 96 pages of this big book give the lay reader the kind of all-round information that is invaluable in health and possibly life-saving once cancer has struck. Chamberlain is not against doctors, only against their lack of knowledge outside school medicine’s tight box. The rest of the book describes a large number of complementary and alternative approaches, including diet, nutrition, herbs and botanicals, biological therapies, energy medicine and more. Entries are arranged in alphabetical order, giving availability and other references but making no claims for any healing potential. Indeed, the all-pervading message to the reader is to read, research, compare possibilities and then choose responsibly – an important reminder in an area where most people are too reliant on “the experts” and too unwilling to do their own thinking. Chamberlain’s chapter on “Cancer Pioneers and Outcasts” shows the heavy penalties suffered by those who dare to step out of line and are more interested in finding new ways of healing than in their career chances. Case histories of recovered patients strike a positive note, just like the benefits of well-run support groups, which diminish the sense of isolation that many cancer sufferers experience.. As a recovered cancer patient myself, I believe that Chamberlain’s comprehensive book is filling a big gap in the available literature on CAM, which tends to concentrate on individual therapies and substances, without presenting all available modalities. This volume is almost too comprehensive, which is why the author has also produced a smaller “Cancer Recovery Guide” (Clairview Books, 2008, £9.95), with only 15 CAM strategies for restoring health, as a quick reference for people in a hurry. My only criticism is. that references are given within the text, not set out and listed in the usual way, and therefore are impossible to find quickly. I hope this will be put right in the next edition. There should be one soon.
Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on July 29, 2008
God’s Healing Word by Felicity Corbin-Wheeler:
I am not a Christian and the author of this book is a fervently devout Christian. It might seem as if we have little in common – but then she did cure herself of stage 4 pancreatic cancer. That is not a diagnosis that many survive. She did it following a Bibical inspiration which she interpreted as saying eat apricot kernels. She did this supplemented by B17 injections. This is her book of personal testimony. You cannot help being impressed.
Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on June 5, 2008
Healing: The Gerson Way.
Charlotte Gerson (with Beata Bishop)
The Gerson Diet is the definitive anti-cancer diet and this book is a robust – and very clear – restatement of its basic principles. What was a surprise to me was how many other ailments were benefited by the same diet – asthma, blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, lupus, migraines and indeed almost every other systemic condition (but not those like Parkinson’s which affect the nervous system) – because the diet does not ‘attack’ cancer specifically. Instead it rebuilds the fundamental health of the body. There are case histories here of recovery from even the most terminal of cancers – pancreatic cancer included. I would recommend this book to anyone seeking to regain full and vital health.