Cancer is a life-changing condition, that can affect anyone, at any age. A lot goes into fighting the disease and successfully beating it at its root to emerge cancer-free. However, its is easier said than done. Mental strength and optimism are great tools that help one stay motivated to undergo the various steps in the cancer treatment journey. Different people find strength and support in different places– family, friends, hobbies, career, travel, reading, meeting other cancer patients and survivors in support groups etc. 

There have been many cancer patients and survivors who have confessed their new found strength in books. Infact, a patient even said ‘everyday is  world book day’ for her. But, in reality, World Book Day is celebrated on 23rd of April. 

Today, we have a list of cancer-related must-reads and the best books on the shelves for those who love reading and find immense strength in fighting the disease.

                                              So, What’s on Your Book Shelf?

How to Starve Cancer: Jane Mcleland

This is one of our favourite books. A modern-day ‘Cancer Sherlock Holmes’, Jane discovered that a cancer-starving diet, powerful supplements and a handful of old, forgotten, low-toxicity drugs, when taken together, acted synergistically, magnifying each of their anti-cancer effects many times. Like magic, her terminal cancer just melted away.

In this truly ground-breaking book, Jane takes us through her remarkable, heart-breaking journey, and the medical discoveries she made on the way. Using herself as a human guinea pig, she worked out the best drugs and supplements to starve her own cancer in an easy-to-follow ‘Metro Map’. She has expanded this route map to show which fuel pipelines you need to block for every type of cancer, so you too can create your own cancer-starving cocktail. Tragically many simple old drugs have been overlooked in the race for the latest patentable ‘game changers’. Is the answer already out there? Jane believes it is. Bit by bit she has pieced the puzzle together, demystified its complexity, and produced a simple protocol.

This book will answer all the burning questions you face when you begin to explore complementary cancer care. Which ‘off-label’ drugs and supplements should you take? Should you try the ketogenic diet? Should you fast? Is fat safe? How much and when should you exercise? Jane explains why each patient needs a personalised approach and, importantly, how to work this out.

This book, part Erin Brockovich, part Dallas Buyers Club, is a compelling story of resilience and determination in the face of impossible odds. If you or a loved one has cancer, you absolutely must read this book. Even if you have been told that nothing more can be done, Jane will show you this is almost certainly not true.

Help me Live: 20 Things People with Cancer Want You to Know

This is not your regular run-of-the-mill book with stories about how to stay calm and positive during your time of turmoil. This book, written by journalist Lori Hope, talks about how to react or what to say when someone you love is diagnosed with cancer. This book is comprehensive when it comes to the answers and questions a caregiver, friend or family member might not understand or know how to convey.

What Helped Get Me Through

Having someone to share your pain or knowing what experiences other patients with a similar condition went through is very comforting in the tough times of fighting cancer. This is exactly what the book, written and edited by a breast cancer survivor Julie K. Silver called What Helped Get Me Through provides. Patients who have been diagnosed often find it difficult to express their feelings and pain to those who aren’t fighting the same disease. This book can be your companion for sure!

I’m Sorry You Have to Be Here

This book is one that is based on a practical scenario where Lois Bhatt, a 39-year-old mother of very small kids, talks about her diagnosis with stage 2 breast cancer. The book gives an account of her journey that includes misdiagnosis, the surgeries she went through and other treatments along with her anxieties, fears and uncertainties of being a mother, and fighting cancer.

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer 

This Pulitzer winning book by Siddhartha Mukherjee is a must-read for those who want an optimistic and a comprehensive take on the disease. This book is a refreshing read among many others and has a different take on the disease.

Dr. Susan Love’s Breast book : 

This book is popularly called the ‘bible’ of breast cancer. It provides lots of updated information about breast cancer – right from diagnosis, genetic testing, treatment options, long-term effects of chemotherapy, and other effects on both young and old women. The book acts as an accurate and a complete resource for those looking to understand all aspects of the breast cancer experience. The best part? It is constantly updated with each edition.

Looking out for more such wonderful books? Here’s a list of some other books that are sure to help you in your cancer journey: When Breath Becomes Air by Dr. Paul Kalanithi, Cancer Made Me a Shallower by Cartoonist Miriam Engelberg, Let’s Take the Long Way Home by journalist Gail Caldwell’s memoir, A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles- A True Story of Love, Science and Cancer by Mary Elizabeth Williams and many more.

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