Comprehensive Cancer Care: Integrating Alternative, Complementary and Conventional Therapies


"This book represents truly pioneering work. It brings much needed information about the best of new cancer treatments to those who need it most and it does so with compassion and an inspired bedside manner."-Dean Ornish, M.D.Drawing on the studies and critiques of many of the world's most gifted researchers and clinicians, this book scientifically explores the most promising complementary and alternative therapies-and sifts through the often frustrating and confusing barrage of information and misinformation about them-to provide readers with ...

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"This book represents truly pioneering work. It brings much needed information about the best of new cancer treatments to those who need it most and it does so with compassion and an inspired bedside manner."-Dean Ornish, M.D.Drawing on the studies and critiques of many of the world's most gifted researchers and clinicians, this book scientifically explores the most promising complementary and alternative therapies-and sifts through the often frustrating and confusing barrage of information and misinformation about them-to provide readers with the direction and help they need to create an individualized cancer-care strategy. Comprehensive Cancer Care includes reports on the most accepted and researched complementary and alternative practices, empowering advice for patients with clear action steps for speaking to doctors, and critical discussion of cutting-edge interventions.

" authoritative guide...draws on studies & critiques from the world's most gifted researchers & clinicians... reports on the most accepted & researched alternative practices...covers efficacy, side effects, cost, & more."

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Editorial Reviews

Dean Ornish
This book represents truly pioneering work. It brings much needed information about the best of new cancer treatments to those who need it most and it does so with compassion and an inspired bedside manner.
Library Journal
Gordon (Manifesto for a New Medicine), a former chair of the Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health's Office of Alternative Medicine, and Curtin, a former cancer patient and medical writer, base their book on the findings of the annual Comprehensive Cancer Care Conference, created by Gordon and cosponsored by the Center for Mind-Body Medicine and the National Cancer Institute. Their text begins with a chapter on cancer types, diagnosis, and treatment, followed by chapters on mind-body therapies, nutrition, exercise, group support, acupuncture and Chinese herbs, and evaluation of the most promising alternative therapies. Each chapter presents stories of real cancer patients and how they made complementary and alternative therapies part of their treatment. While the book does not focus on step-by-step guidance but on presenting scientific research data and history of alternative medicine, cancers patients will still find it informative. Recommended for large public libraries.--Lily Liu, Arkansas Children's Hosp. Lib., Little Rock Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738204864
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.09 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

James S. Gordon, M.D., author of Manifesto for a New Medicine, is the Chairman of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. A clinical professor of medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, he is also director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C., and creator of the Comprehensive Cancer Care Conference.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: In the Beginning . . .

SARAH FOUND A lump in her breast on May 1, 1995. As usual, she was doing several things at once: taking a shower, planning her day, and performing her regular monthly breast self-examination. Naked, slick with soap, she was thinking about how she could manage to shop for groceries, finish her project at work, and get the kids new sneakers all in that one day. Those few moments alone in the shower were the only time she had for herself; privacy and quiet were associated with the sound of running water, the smell of lavender soap, the smoothness of tile, and the pebbled glass door. When her fingers first found the lump, she hesitated, then probed the spot. She felt her body quiver, as if there had been an earthquake. She immediately thought, 1 don't have time for this.

That moment of discovery was a beginning-and an end. It was the end of her peaceful and lavender-scented sanctuary, the end of her unquestioning and thoughtless confidence in her body. Once she felt this new thing in her breast, the shower became a cold tiled place, where the play of morning light in the water cast a shadow across her skin. She saw her hand groping for a towel and turning off the water. Her hand, her arm, her body, her breast, were suddenly unfamiliar and strange. I'm not ready, she thought. 1 don't want to begin this, not now.

Then came the doctors, the diagnostic tests, the biopsies; the search for information, options, resources, trustworthy experts. Sarah sat silently as her body was scanned by mysterious machines and watched as computers talked and technicians said nothing. She stared at the ceiling, naked to the waist, as white-coated strangers felt her breast and discussed her case. She felt vulnerable, as if every time her breast was bared she was being attacked. She tried not to think, not to feel fear. Don't borrow trouble, she chanted silently. Wait until you know. She smiled, nodded, chatted politely. Inside, she felt herself disappearing, erased and abandoned.

Finally, Sarah sat in her doctor's tasteful office and watched her husband's face turn white with shock as the physician talked about her cancer. She supposed she should comfort her husband, listen carefully to the doctor, ask thoughtful, quiet questions. But all she could think of was how woefully alone and unprepared she was. Panic smothered her, and she sat numb and silent, compelled to hide fear and unable to raise a single issue. It was as if she were only a spectator, standing outside and alone.

Even as she waved away the tissues offered and took her husband's hand, her mind locked on that word. Cancer. He said it was cancer. The word set loose an echo in her head, a wave of sound crashing against her skull. She reminded herself that she was a competent, practical woman. 1 may want to run screaming from the room, and I may resent that I bave to tbink about otber people rigbt now, she thought, but I bave to deal witb tbis. Finally, the echo faded and she could hear the doctor's voice again.

The doctor, a surgical oncologist recommended by her family physician, spoke slowly, explaining the standard treatment for her stage of breast cancer. Surgery: a simple mastectomy, the removal of the breast and the lymph nodes in her axilla, or armpit, sparing much of the underlying muscle that is lost in a radical mastectomy. Radiation: local, precise radiation to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. Possibly chemotherapy, now or later, depending on what they found during surgery and on how she responded to radiation. Side effects? Minimal and tolerable. They, the cancer experts, would take care of this for her. This is what they knew, this is what must be done. Wbat can 1 do? Sarah asked.

Notbing. Just do what we tell you. Our experience shows really good results, and your particular diagnosis suggests a high likelihood o f successful treatment.

Nothing? Sarah felt a gap opening between her and her caregivers. There was their reality-a breast, a lump, a biopsy, the careful scientific studies, the surgeon's experience-and then there was Sarah. The disconnection widened and darkened as the oncologist labored to reassure his patient. He was highly skilled, a recognized expert in breast cancer. Everyone said so. She chose him, believed him to be the best available surgical oncologist. It was tempting, maybe even easier, to adopt the doctor's viewpoint. He would actively perform and coordinate the best interventions medical science could offer. She just had to cooperate, show up, follow the plan, be a good patient. The oncologist spoke in a flat, cheerful voice that reminded her of high school health classes. He sounded censored, as if confined to some sanitized script. The bad news had the ring of truth, but the reassurances fell flat and false.

Sarah didn't speak of her uneasiness with the proposed treatment or with the way her doctor was talking to her. She wondered if her need for more help and information was something peculiar to her alone. The medical care she would receive would be the best, and she suspected that it was her own weakness that now demanded more.

Until now, Sarah had followed all the guidelines: regular physical examinations, mammograms, self-examination of her breasts each month. She knew early detection and treatment were important factors in successful cancer care, and indeed it seemed that she had found her tumor in a timely manner. Sarah tried to focus on the facts, the numbers, the survival rates, the chances of recurrence, the plans for long-term follow-up care. She noticed her husband's color returning and he began to nod sagely, asking a few questions. Everyone but the patient felt confident, she thought. Sarah was appalled to hear her own voice echo that of her husband's, the quiet and polite response of agreement. They can always count on that, she thought...

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xiii
1 In the Beginning... 1
Coping with Cancer 7
Sarah's Call 18
2 Facts for Life 21
What Is Cancer? 23
The Kinds of Cancer 27
Finding Out What You Need to Know 28
Mike's Misinformation 32
Choosing Your Medical Team 34
Understanding Terms, Interpreting Data 37
The Evolution of Cancer Therapies and Clinical Trials 40
Scientific Studies and You 44
Making Your Choices 46
3 Mind-Body Medicine 51
Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science 54
Stress as a Cause of Cancer: What Do We Know? 59
Stress and the Diagnosis of Cancer: Where Do We Go? 61
4 Healing Connections 77
What Kind of Social Support Will Support You? 80
The Power of Small Group Programs 85
Healing Communities 88
Making the Spiritual Connection 89
5 Diet and Nutrition 91
You Are What You Eat 93
What We Know About What We Eat 97
Macronutrients--Fats, Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fiber 99
Micronutrients: Supplements 103
6 Traditional Chinese Medicine 109
Traditional Chinese Medicine 110
TCM and Cancer 115
The Marriage of Chinese and Western Medicine 116
Comprehensive Cancer Care Studies 122
Tai Chi and Qi Gong 124
A Few Words of Summary 126
7 Immunomodulating Substances: Coley's Toxins, MTH-68/H, Mistletoe 129
Julie's Quest 132
Coley's Toxins 134
MTH-68/H 136
Mistletoe 138
Julie's Search Continues 140
8 Nature's Pharmacy: Phytonutrients and Nutraceuticals 143
Shark Cartilage 144
Hoxsey's Formula and Essiac Tea 148
The Therapeutic Use of Mushrooms: Maitake-D 149
Green Tea 151
Coenzyme Q10 152
Melatonin 153
9 Prostate and Breast Cancers 157
Steve and Grace 158
Prostate Cancer 162
Breast Cancer 170
Next... 176
10 Therapeutic Diets 177
The Gerson Diet 178
The Macrobiotic Diet 182
The Block Medical Center 187
A Last Word 189
11 Changing the Paradigm of Cancer Care: Drs. Burzynski and Gonzalez 191
Stepping Outside the Mainstream 192
Dr. Burzynski's Antineoplastons 194
Testing the Limits of Cancer Care: Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez 200
A Final Word 208
12 Next Steps 209
Dr. Fair's Tumor 209
Step 1 You Can Do Something 213
Step 2 Finding Healing Partners 214
Step 3 Self-Awareness and Self-Care 216
Step 4 Balancing Treatment Decisions 217
Summing Up 220
Appendix A Comprehensive Cancer Care Resources 223
Appendix B Guide to Internet Resources 253
Notes 265
Bibliography 291
Index 305
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