4 out of 4 stars
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A hardworking French research scientist marries an equally industrious academician; both based at an institution bearing the name of a revered French pioneer, it was hard to see what would stop them from becoming innovators themselves. And indeed, it wasn’t long before their laborious work began to pay off, at least judging from the endless queues of people forming outside their apartment.
The book Winning the War on Cancer by Sylvie Beljanski is a memoir about the author’s parents, Mirko and Monique Beljanski. What is remarkable about the book is the expose on the web of deceit being perpetrated by our political institutions bankrolled by large pharmaceutical companies. Part of Beljanski’s description to point out government meddling reads like a scene from any of Don Winslow’s novels on drug busts, except that in this case the drugs involved are legit and a lifesaver.
According to Beljanski, the “War on Cancer” was declared on December 23, 1971, by President Richard Nixon. Years later, billions of dollars have been expended on cancer research worldwide. Sadly, however, the World Health Organization predicts new cases of cancer will rise from an estimated 14 million annually in 2012 to 22 million within two decades.
With such grim statistics, one would think any government would embrace the discovery of an anticancer and antiviral botanical extract from one of its citizens. Regrettably, however, as Beljanski narrates, her parents were thrown into jail, and as for her, she was forced by circumstances to carry on her father’s legacy and research programs from the safe precincts of New York.
Using a persuasive writing style honed from a short legal career, Beljanski extols the virtue of integrative medicine. To substantiate further, she quotes Dr. Katz of Columbia University who’s had the opportunity of working at an integrative medicine center in New York City (Atkins Centre). According to Dr. Katz, integrative medicine offers the best of both worlds – the best of conventional medicine and the best of alternative medicine (based on evidence-based approaches).
Furthermore, under the direction of Dr. Aaron Katz and his colleague, Dr. Debra Bemis, Beljanski’s father’s extracts, “Pao Pereira” and “Rauwolfia Vomitoria,” were examined for anticancer properties. Using rigorous tests in vitro (cell-based studies), they showed that the extracts inhibit the growth of human prostate cancer cells by inducing either apoptosis (cell death) or cell cycle arrest (also leading to cell death).
Isn’t it therefore ironic that growing up Beljanski wanted to distance herself as much as possible from her dad’s patients? She felt her life was overrun by “those people,” and swore she’d never get involved. Obviously, she wasn't one to be careful with her wishes; instead, as she quickly found out, fate had grander designs for her. In retrospect, judging from her compassionate tone, she’s quickly transformed. Besides, she’s well on course to fulfilling all her father’s deathbed wishes.
The book seems to be professionally edited and formatted. Nevertheless, I would want to cite three errors I identified. The first one involved a sentence which I thought was an introductory phrase, hence, should have been followed by a comma and not by a period. Additionally, there were two sentences which had some missing words.
To wrap things up, my rating takes into account the strengths of this book. To me, in summation, this beautiful book represents a paradigm shift from the traditional way of handling cancer – cutting (surgery), burning (radiotherapy) or poisoning (chemotherapy), to something more effective and life-saving. In a nutshell, its treasure trove lies in the concept of integrative medicine, which applies to many other ailments besides cancer. I, therefore, rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
Lastly, I recommend the book to patients suffering from cancer, hypertension, heart disease, toxicity, and diabetes. Health care providers will also benefit from the holistic approach to diagnosing and managing diseases. Last but not least, this will be a great read to the general public who have been denied vital information about their health by the establishment. As the author says, the duty is ours to share this life-saving information.
Winning the War on Cancer
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