4 out of 4 stars
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Silvie Beljanski grew up feeling that she was not her parent's priority. But, unlike other parents, Mirko Beljansk, her father, was busy finding a natural cure for cancer. Sadly, this brilliant French scientist, his wife, and his research team were silenced by the French military.
Winning the War on Cancer describes Silvie Beljanski's quest for justice and her personal crusade to bring these cancer-curing extracts to the world after her father's research was violently censured. It also dives into the science of how these plants work and the research done on their efficacy. A lengthy list of publications and resources is offered for readers who wish to dive deeper into the subject.
There's much to praise about this book. First of all, it is outstandingly well-edited. The first part of the book is very engaging and reads almost like a mystery novel.
What I liked the most was that the author offers an honest portrait of herself. For example, she recognizes how jealous she was of her parent's patients when she was a child, and how desperate and lost she felt at times. On the other hand, she stands out for her ethical behavior. The emphasis that she places on fair trade (since these plant extracts come from South America) is admirable.
I also appreciate that the book doesn't only focus on the cure for cancer but on the causes of this disease, especially in how the mind and body are connected. Discovering that there are personality traits that make you more cancer-prone was fascinating.
Winning the War on Cancer is eye-opening. The author explains how science, which should be moved by curiosity and open-mindedness, has become dogmatic. She also describes why and how the pharmaceutical industries operate to extend sickness instead of to eradicate it, and offers empowering insight on the importance of being an active participant in the decisions taken for your health instead of accepting everything doctors say as irrefutable truth. However, and perhaps this is the most admirable given her personal history, the author doesn't dismiss traditional treatments, she endorses a well-rounded approach to health.
The book has two main flaws, in my opinion. First, some passages are extremely hard to understand or boring for someone who's not familiar with scientific terms. I realize the author wanted to prove the legitimacy of her claims, but this resulted in some dreary passages for the layman. The appendix devoted to dosage is tedious. For this reason, some readers might prefer to approach this as a reference book. Second, I didn't like that the author used the appeal to authority as an argument when it was not appropriate. The fact that Mahatma Gandhi used Rauwolfia serpentina says nothing about its efficacy or safety because Gandhi was a lawyer, an activist, and a politician. He was undoubtedly an admirable man, but his field of expertise was not medicine.
Winning the War on Cancer by Sylvie Beljanski presents a truly innovative solution for multiple cancer forms, as well as a thought-provoking reflection on health and its place in our society. For this valuable information, the honesty of the narrative, the accuracy of the scientific facts, and the outstanding editing, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
The book has only two minor profanities and no obscene or erotic references. I would recommend it to medical and health professionals, both alternative and allopathic ones, to people struggling with cancer or who have a loved one that is fighting this disease, and anyone who wants to know why it's important to take our health into our own hands. Readers who notoriously dislike science might prefer to stay away from this book.
Winning the War on Cancer
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