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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Book Review: The Cancer Solution: Taking Charge of Your Life with Cancer by Jack C. Westman M.D. M.S.

This book is full of thought provoking arguments and practical recommendations.
The Cancer Solution: Taking Charge of Your Life with Cancer
by Jack C. Westman M.D. M.S.
  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: ArchwayPublishing (January 15, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480813087
  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: February 8, 2015
This book should be read as a requirement for anyone diagnosed with cancer. It will serve as a tremendous practical guide for cancer patients and their families.
—Thomas N. Seyfried,
Professor of biology at Boston College and author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer.

I am glad that I received this book for review. I took a bit of time reading it so that I could absorb the depth of information.

The author lays out his data and rational arguments in distinct sections with clear support and references. The information is presented in direct fashion that makes it understandable, even by a lay person. I appreciated all of the information but particularly the explanation of the nature of cancer as neoplasia, a decease of cells that take a turn from normal deterioration to a mutated deterioration that results in cancer. This would explain why there are so many different types of cancer. As the author explains, unfortunately the focus of research has most often been on treatment of the symptoms without determining a way to stop the cause.

There is an interesting discussion on the definition of cancer that implies that there is a large incidence of over-diagnosis resulting in over-treatment. But what is a patient to do? Does the patient take the advise of the doctor (the expert) or risk refusing the “standard” diagnosis and the “standard” treatment recommendations? This is a major dilemma facing many patients, including me when my cancer was diagnosed. As much as I appreciated the information gathered and provided by Dr. Westman, this book doesn’t resolve that patient dilemma.

I liked the chapters presenting nutrition therapies and known factors (ultraviolet light, smoking and others) that stimulate neoplasia. I would certainly seek to choose foods that strengthen my immune system while minimizing those negative factors in my life. The chapter on Taking Charge of Being a Care Recipient or Caregiver offers positive and practical suggestions for coping with either situation. It is important to realize that caregivers have a special role and they often need support too.

As Dr. Westman notes, a known problem with Chemotherapy is that it not only attacks malignant cells but it attacks good immune cells that every person needs to fight off other deceases. I was aware of this negative factor which was a reason I hesitated on agreeing to the Chemo. Although I appreciated the important information shared in this book, if I had read it before my experience I think my decision would have been even more difficult.

I would recommend this book as a source of data to understand the nature of the decease of cancer, alternative approaches to diagnosis, treatments, research and the current state of affairs relating to these issues. There are good practical details that would help any person facing a situation involving cancer. The information is helpful even if it might not help make a final decision regarding personal treatment. That involves a lot of uniquely individual factors, professional provider advise and personal character and faith.

I received this book for an honest review through The Cadence Group.


  1. Sounds like a good book for another layer of support at an incredibly difficult time. I appreciate your specific perspective, Martha.

  2. I am surprised that a psychiatrist wrote a book about beating cancer. I know about your battle and I have a precursor to cancer, MGUS. My numbers are slowly getting worse. I think the best advice that I would give anyone is to read a book by a person in the specific field of cancer that they have. With blood cancer, the nutrition does not matter, it hits people with the best diets. I am worried about They use chemotherapy in the kind of cancer that I have but it is becoming smarter. The newer drugs are called
    smart bombs'. They hit the cancer cells rather than the normal ones. And the latest is an immunological approach where your own immune system is helped to fight cancer. Also, an update to what he said. I am going to participate in a research study that will follow me and many others to learn what are the targets for the causes of this kind of blood cancer. Unfortunately, I think he needs to uodate his book.

    1. Thanks for sharing your comments and advise Carol. The more I read the more I agree that each illness has to be addressed for its own issues and you are right that patients need to seek experts in their illness/threat. It is encouraging that treatments are becoming more targeted. I'll be praying for your health. I hope that the research study is helpful for you!


Your comments are always appreciated!


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