3 out of 4 stars
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Certain things in life make you question everything you know. Sylvie Beljanski's Winning the War on Cancer is one such thing. She raises a lot of questions in this book that I felt I was not advanced enough to answer. She also made me question a lot of people that I never expect to answer.
As a little girl, Sylvie Beljanski was both worried and saddened by the fact that her parents did not seem to give her as much attention as she thought she deserved. However, unknown to her was the fact that her parents were busy researching and testing a ground-breaking treatment for cancer and other viral diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Pao Pereira and Rauwolfa vomitoria extracts, according to Sylvie's father, were the most effective, cheapest, and best answers and cures to cancer. However, Sylvie asserts that the war against cancer is so high-profile and brings in a lot of money that pharmaceutical companies and the government could not stand seeing a cheap cure being found. To make sure that they retained their profits, the France government destroyed all of the research on the extracts and incapacitated Sylvie's dad who could no longer continue his research. This twist of events led Sylvie to continue the research and scream it out to anyone who will listen.
First of all, this is a very technical book. And neither the blurb nor the title alludes to this fact. I was just hit with the fact that I might have picked up a book that required a lot of attention and effort from me. However, once I decided to stick with it, I found that it is pretty fascinating and worth the read. I started to care and make sense of the statistics and some of the science behind them. However, this is not a book for the faint-hearted. You have to be interested and willing to make the effort to understand it.
I believe that the author could have separated her story from the statistics. It would have been refreshing to read the story then get the facts and figures elsewhere. However, I have to give credit to the author because the story seems factual enough and draws you in. You keep wondering why the government would not invest in such a miraculous remedy to one of the gravest problems facing human beings right now. I cannot, however, speak to its credibility.
I will have to rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. This is because I truly enjoyed reading it and felt that it was important information to have. However, I believe that it could have been simplified a bit to pass the message that I know the author wanted to pass. The book was also very professionally edited and I only managed to spot one grammatical error. It should be enjoyed by all those that enjoy scientific books, medical books, and all those curious to learn of different cancer treatments.
Winning the War on Cancer
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