Useful book

Hi, just finished a book which I highly recommend.

Kicking myself for not reading this PRE-diagnosis, but it’s not only about preventative measures but how you can ensure that your lifestyle compliments your surgery/oncologists treatment and helps you protect against reoccurance afterwards.

We are told all the time to eat more veg, have less stress, more excercise etc, but this guy actually explains really well how cancer develops and how lifestyle affects cancer cells, which I find a lot more motivating! Scientific but made very easy to understand.

It’s called ‘anticancer - a new way of life’ by Dr David Servan-Schreiber, a physician & neuroscientist who has suffered from cancer himself:

thanks for this gardenbeetle, sounds like a positive way forward and I’m going on now to order it
monica x

Great, let me know what you think. It made me feel a little more ‘in control’ - after a cancer diagnosis I think a lot of people feel completely helpless, at least I did.

I agree with one of the Amazon reviewers - the best way to reduce the ‘cancer epidemic’ in this country would be to include this book as part of the school curriculum!

The Mail on Sunday did a piece on him and this book last year. I kept a copy of it as I found it interesting. However, I think the bit he wrote about cancer feeding off sugar was dismissed recently.

Unfortunately, someone we know was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year. He is currently in remission but they can’t give him a prognosis beyond another 2 years. His wife bought this book and she is now absolutely paranoid about his diet, she is convinced the cancer will come back if he eats sticky toffee pudding and is trying to police everything he eats or drinks. I had to gently say to her recently that she needed to ease off a little bit as they were constantly arguing about it.

Sorry to hear about that. Yeah I do agree you can go too far with diet ‘policing’. I don’t think this is the author’s intention, just to state that it is one of the many factors that can cause problems, when consumed in excess, as so many of us do.

Refined sugar is believed to be bad for health for loads of reasons, not just cancer, but an occasional treat I doubt it would do harm. I’ve given it up several times in the past for other health problems (on the advice of two different nutritionists). Found that after a couple of weeks of abstaining I completely lost the taste for it anyway and felt much better overall.

See your point though - arguing is just counterproductive - everytime I row with my boyfriend my chest tightens up and it’s hard to breathe - which can’t be good for my health at all!

I think part of the problem is the husband was a big fit guy (a real outdoor type who went climbing etc) and the diagnosis came totally out of the blue. He thought he needed new glasses and went to the optician who referred him immediately as she was worried about what she saw during the eye exam. He then went into total denial after the tumour was removed making his wife really nervous as he would not discuss it. I think reading this book has really blown her fears out of all proportion. I do try to talk to her about things when I see her, but she feels she shouldn’t burden me as I’ve had cancer too, although I try to assure her it’s ok to tell me how she’s feeling. She joined a support group for couples going through all this, but her husband refused to attend with her.

Poor poor things (both of them).

Sounds like she’s desperate to do everything she can to help him, but it’s got to come from him really doesn’t it? Diets and support groups can’t help unless your heart is in it I guess, I think the feeling you get that you are doing something positive (for yourself) and the sense of control you get over your body is just as beneficial as the lifestyle change itself. Doubt if one will work without the other.

Men do seem prone to going into denial! My boyfriend is in total denial about my cancer (either that or he just doesn’t care). I’ve got flu at the moment and he’s saying things like “bloody hell you’re always ill” - one of the factors affecting my decisions about whether to accept chemo. That’s why the book is so good in my case, because nobody else is going to take care of me!

Anyway I hope she takes you up on your offer of support. Maybe there are threads on this forum that might help her too? Like the ‘Family, partners and friends’ one.

Garden Beetle

I saw your thread and ordered this book. It was just the book i was looking for. I am 8 months post diagnosis - had chemo, mastectomy, radiotherapy and now am on tamoxifen and herceptin. Just started back to work this week. I’ve just about finished reading the book and would also highly recommend it. Not only are his suggestions for diet and lifestyle changes interesting without being too prescriptive, but he explains the science behind the recommendations in a very readable way. I also connected with his comments on how cancer changed his outlook on life. I am hoping I will be able to use some of his advice and feel a bit more in control of my life now I am trying to get back to some kind of normality again.

Thanks so much for highlighting this book.


I too enjoyed this book - got some good stuff from it. Think I will have to read it a few times as I have a terrible memory at the moment
thanks again Gardenbeetle!

Glad you enjoyed it!

I have now ordered his other book ‘Healing without Freud or Prozac’ which sounds good.

Have also bought a juicer so that I can incorporate more of the foods he recommends. are doing very well out of me at the moment!

Just finished reading the Anti-cancer book - many thanks for the link Gardenbeetle: it is very interesting, and well researched with full academic citations, in contrast to some other publications.

I intend to incorporate his advice into my life from now on - none of it can do any harm, and it also makes me feel that I am doing something positive.


Glad it helped! Maybe we should have a little ‘book club’ thread - I’m a compulsive reader and would be interested in anyone’s recommendations for books they have found useful.

If you want to start a book club please come and do it on my facebook page - Chemo Chic!

I’ve set it up for people with breast cancer as well as friends and families to discuss lifestyle stuff; make-up, wigs, diet, books, travel and all that jazz.

I am undergoing chemo at the moment and learning how to cope with all that entails but when my friend told me that her aunt had died because she was too ashamed to tell anyone she had b.c. and too frightened about the negative effect on her looks to have surgery I felt that I must do something. So I started Chemo Chic! It’s not about saving your life - it’s about saving your sanity.

I think you could find it by searching ‘chemo chic’ on facebook but if that doesn’t work let me know and I will get precise details about the url.


Could not find chemo chic on facebook - lots of people with first or second name chemo though! Please let us have url address Lyn x

Afraid I can’t look, I don’t have a Facebook account!

Try this?

or if that doesn’t work you can go to my blog:

and there is a facebook link on the right hand side of the page

Just wanted to say, I received my copy of the book yesterday and spent last night having a skim read. I’ve found it very interesting and I was pleased he wrote the bit about mind/body connection after talking to Jon Kabatt Zinn as I use his meditations and have a CD of him reading one of his books.