4 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever thought about how cancer medications are developed? Have you wondered how researchers know which medications work best? If you have ever pondered how alternative cancer therapies work and want to know why someone would choose an alternative over chemotherapy, this book is for you.
Winning the War on Cancer by Sylvie Beljanski will answer your questions and more. Beljanski, the daughter of research scientist Mirko Beljanski, has crafted a memoir mixing the non-fiction account of her father’s research and clinical results with her memories of growing up in his shadow and her desire to carry on his legacy. Her style is novel-like in approach. She opens the book with the daunting news that many cancers are on the rise. Despite the fact that the National Cancer Institute has spent $90 billion on cancer research and treatment, cancer is more common than ever. Even childhood cancers are on the rise.
She goes on to explain why food-based supplements will never be patented. Therefore, they could never support the kind of research needed for FDA approval as cancer therapies. The same is true for herbal medications. In my opinion, this brief discussion on how medications come to market and why alternatives will never be pursued by big pharmaceutical companies is worth the price of the book. If you read nothing else, peruse this chapter, and you will be a much savvier consumer.
The remainder of Winning the War on Cancer details several things. Ms. Beljanski describes how her father made his research breakthroughs and why he was arrested by the French government. I was saddened to read that Ms. Beljanski resented her parent’s dedication to their work because she was often ignored by them. However, she gets over her resentment and becomes dedicated to reviving her father’s products. This admission added an emotional edge to the non-fiction part of the narrative. By the end of the book, I had a full understanding of the uses for and the research behind the botanicals Pao pereira and Rauwolfia vomitoria. The stories of the people who had their cancers reversed by these products was very touching. I felt fully involved in Ms. Beljanski's fight to keep these supplements available.
I know that there are skeptics out there. Many will have personal reasons that make them want to defer to the cancer experts who only use chemotherapy or radiation. Others will be on the flipside, having a natural desire to question everything whether it comes from a family member or an expert. As an alternative health care provider myself, I can only say that more information is more power. I recommend this book to all adults, including the skeptics, not to convince them to use therapies that they do not want to use but to expose them to an accurate description of how pharmaceuticals and alternative therapies are viewed and presented to the medical consumer.
I found this book exceptionally well written and edited. I did not notice one grammatical or formatting error. The formatting, which contains quotes, footnotes, photographs, and graphics, was excellent. I don’t think I've ever seen a better-formatted e-book. The research presented was from many sources, including top-notch universities and peer-reviewed journals. This was all packaged in an easy to manage memoir.
There was very little that I did not like in this book. Of course, managing appendices and footnotes in e-books is always a chore, but I can’t detract from her rating for that. I found this book enlightening and important. I rate it a 4 out of 4 stars.
Winning the War on Cancer
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