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Book review

The Definitive Guide to Thriving After Cancer


Discover how to thrive after cancer and reduce the risk or recurrence.

The Definitive Guide to Thriving After Cancer
By Lise N. Alschuler, ND, FABNO, and Karolyn A. Gazella
Ten Speed Press, 216 pages, $17.95
ISBN: 978-1-60774-564-8

If you or someone you love is dealing with cancer, allow me to save you some time and trouble. In fact, there’s no need to read this review—the bottom line is that you will absolutely want to introduce this team of authors and their five-step plan into the healing protocol.

Thriving After Cancer should be available in every oncologist’s waiting room. I say with conviction that there is no one I’d rather see influencing post-cancer health strategies than Dr. Lise Alschuler and Karolyn Gazella.

Alschuler is a highly respected naturopathic oncologist, and both authors are cancer survivors who have also lost parents to cancer. As leaders in the field of integrative health strategies for cancer care, they have previously co-authored The Definitive Guide to Cancer and an earlier edition of Thriving After Cancer, published as Five to Thrive.

The authors’ deep and personal understandings of the cancer process have been reworked into a clear and concise approach, and it’s these factors that make the book so usable.

By combining the best conventional, natural, and alternative therapies, they focus on supporting five physical aspects or “pathways” that have the most influence on wellness: immune system support, inflammation reduction, hormonal balance, optimized digestion and detoxification, and prevention and reduction of insulin resistance. (Learning about the relationship between insulin resistance and cancer is another good reason to read this book.)

After core pathways are identified, Alschuler and Gazella go further to describe actions that contribute to positively affecting these pathways. What follows are short manageable chapters with easily adaptable strategies. They include spirit, movement, diet, dietary supplements, and rejuvenation. When there is a scientifically proven positive connection between a strategy and a pathway, the book suggests ways to modify behaviour, allowing patients to take steps toward thriving.

It’s refreshing that the authors’ focus is on “thriving” rather than on “cancer.” Their approach is easy to follow and the unintimidating straightforward presentation is what makes Thriving After Cancer a book that can be used successfully by a great number of patients and survivors.

There is science between the lines of this book, but the text reads like a set of friendly bite-sized pointers for how to recover and thrive after a devastating illness. I think it’s just what the doctors would order, if only they knew about this book.

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