Choices in Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches / Edition 1

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Written by one of the country's leading authorities on alternative and complementary cancer treatments, Choices in Healing is designed for the cancer patient or health professional who seeks a comprehensive overview of the available choices, both in treatments and in living with cancer.Choices in Healing offers valuable information and guidance for the whole life cycle of cancer — from the initial shock of diagnosis to decisions about choosing a physician and conventional therapies, selecting complementary therapies, coping with treatment, and the art of living fully with the possibility of recurrence.There are detailed explanations and evaluations of a wide range of complementary therapy programs, including spiritual and psychological approaches, nutritional therapies, physical therapies,pharmacological therapies, and traditional medicines from around the world. There are sections on prayer and other forms of spiritual healing; psychotherapy, support groups, visual imagery and hypnosis; massage, therapeutic touch, yoga, and Qi Gong; macrobiotic diet and other cancer diets; acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines; and numerous other unconventional therapies used by American cancer patients.With an unusual combination of compassion and objectivity, Michael Lerner describes his conclusions following more than a decade of study of unconventional cancer treatments in North America, Europe, India, and Japan. He also draws extensively on his work with hundreds of cancer patients who have participated in the Commonweal Cancer Help Programs, the residential support program depicted by Bill Moyers in his 1993 PBS documentary "Healing and the Mind."

Incl. spiritual & psychological approaches/nutritional therapies/traditional medicines worldwide/visual imagery/etc

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this well-researched and thought-provoking look at cancer and its treatment, Lerner argues that several alternative options hold promise and should be further explored. The author, a MacArthur Prize Fellowship recipient who has served as a special consultant to the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment for a study of alternative therapies, notes that the reasons why such alternatives are sometimes not taken seriously are as often the fault of their practitioners as of the establishment bureaucrats who categorically consider them quackery. He evaluates complementary programs--spiritual, psychological, nutritional, pharmaceutical--and also describes unconventional approaches in Japan, Germany, India, Great Britain and Canada. Make no mistake: Lerner does not advise forsaking conventional for alternative treatment. In fact, he believes that people with cancer should be under the care of an oncologist. This is a must read for people facing decisions in their cancer treatment and for anyone who cares for them. (June)
Library Journal
Alternative cancer therapies tend to be more controversial than other forms of alternative medicine. Many physicians feel that by using such therapies patients may avoid or delay treatments that have been proven effective. However, both these books offer a balanced treatment of the topic. Choices in Healing is a compassionate guide that discusses the science and politics of cancer therapy and describes alternative therapies as well as the spiritual aspects of coping with the disease. Lerner, an expert on alternative and complementary cancer treatments, pulls together research on alternative approaches and provides numerous references so that patients can make their own choices. Even those who choose only mainstream therapies will appreciate this book because of its helpful tone. Patrons looking for brief descriptions of immune enhancement therapies will find them in Alternatives in Cancer Therapy. There is some bias here-Pelton, a pharmacist with a Ph.D. in psychology and holistic health, is the operator of the largest holistic health hospital in the world offering alternative therapy for cancer-but on the whole the book indicates whether treatment effectiveness is based only on anecdotal evidence. There are numerous references plus a good resource section for patrons interested in further information. Both books are recommended for public libraries. Keep Pelton's in reference and let Lerner's circulate.-Natalie Kupferberg, Montana State Univ. Lib., Bozeman
a rare and remarkable guidebook for cancer patients and health professionals, providing a comprehensive overview of the available choices, both in treatment and in living with cancer. Lerner objectively presents detailed explanations and evaluations of a wide range of complementary therapy programs, including spiritual and psychological approaches, nutritional therapies, physical therapies, pharmacological therapies, and traditional medicines from around the world. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262621045
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1996
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 693
  • Sales rank: 977,159
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Paths of Hope and Ways of Healing 1
1 On Never Giving Up Hope: Three Stories 3
2 Healing and Curing: The Starting Point for Informed Choice 13
Pt. 2 Choice in Conventional Cancer Therapies 27
3 The Crucial Difference: International Variations in Conventional Cancer Therapies 31
4 The Debate Over Conventional Cancer Therapies 47
5 American Cultures of Conventional Cancer Therapy 57
6 Choosing Conventional Physicians, Hospitals, and Therapies 63
Pt. 3 Choice in Unconventional Cancer Therapies 77
7 The Debate over Unconventional Cancer Therapies 83
8 A Framework for Evaluating Unconventional Cancer Therapies 93
9 Spiritual Approaches to Cancer 113
10 Psychological Approaches to Cancer 137
Pt. 4 Mainstream Nutritional Science and the Unconventional Nutritional Cancer Therapies 195
11 What Science Says about Nutrition and Cancer: Macronutrients 197
12 Can Vitamins and Minerals Help? The Scientific View: Micronutrients 219
13 Unconventional Nutritional Approaches to Cancer - An Overview 251
14 The Gerson Diet - A Radical Anticancer Therapy 261
15 Macrobiotics - A Diet and a Way of Life 285
16 Virginia C. Livingston - Integrating Diet, Nutritional Supplements, and Immunotherapy 319
17 Keith Block - Integrating Diet, Fitness, and Psychological Support into an Oncology Practice 335
Pt. 5 Physical, Traditional, and Pharmacological Therapies 353
18 Physical and Energetic Approaches - Exercise, Massage, Therapeutic Touch, and Chiropractic 355
19 Traditional Chinese Medicine - A Favored Adjunctive Therapy for American Cancer Patients 369
20 Unconventional Pharmacological Therapies - An Overview 397
21 Stanislaw Burzynski - Antineoplastons on the Edge of Medical Credibility 405
22 Joseph Gold - Does Hydrazine Sulfate Prevent Weight Loss and Extend Life with Cancer? 433
23 Emanuel Revici - Will His Unique Therapy Ever Be Scientifically Assessed? 443
Pt. 6 Living with Cancer 455
24 Living with Cancer 457
25 Controlling Pain 471
26 On Living and Dying 489
27 Making Your Choices 521
Appendix A Choice in Resources 537
Appendix B Professional Training Programs in Spiritual and Psychological Approaches to Cancer 607
Glossary 611
Acknowledgements 619
About the Author and Commonweal 623
Index 625
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