Helpful Books

Since my diagnosis, I have read a lot of books on cancer and diet so it seems like a good idea to give some of these books the mention they deserve.  I am grateful to the authors of these books for their guidance through a difficult time.  I still like to refer to them to remind myself what I need to keep doing to stay on track as it’s easy to forget why.  The more I read, the more I see consensus of opinion and confirmation that I’m happy with my approach:

Breasts An Owner’s Manual – Dr. Kristi Funk
This feels like the book we’ve all been waiting for. A specialist breast and breast cancer book written by a female breast cancer surgeon to celebrities Angelina Jolie and Sheryl Crowe. Its a bold move and I love it. It has a fun writing style with lots of pragmatic advice and doesn’t hold back on the science either.
Research referenced in the book can be found here:

Your Body in Balance – Dr Neal D. Barnard
A great book if you’re looking for a natural overhaul of your lifestyle and it’s impact on hormonal health. Many of us like to make an effort with self-care after cancer and this book has lots of suggestions for managing hormones for both men and women. Easy to incorporate dietary changes which help the body rid itself of toxic hormones. Everything we do is increasing or decreasing our risk so if we can make a few tweaks to get the risk down, then why not?

How to Starve Cancer – Jane McLelland
This is the book that gives you more than just hope.  It makes you realise there may actually be hope.  Wow, if my breast cancer ever comes back or progresses in the future, I feel like I have more weapons in my arsenal but that aside, as a breast cancer survivor, its good to check I’m doing the best I can to reduce risks for prevention of recurrence.  Jane fought her way back from 2 terminal stage IV cancers and is an inspiration.  A great read which weaves in useful knowledge amidst the daily copings of cancer and the impact on fertility.  I could really relate to a lot of Jane’s opinions, like being shocked that we haven’t scientifically fixed cancer yet – that did make me giggle because until you are catapulted into the world of cancer you don’t realise how complex the disease really is.

How Not To Die Cookbook – Dr Michael Greger
This book is based on Dr Michael Greger’s research on the website.  It’s full of tasty plant based recipes which are all nutritionally balanced.  I know if I want to throw any of these recipes together I don’t need to think about nutritional content as it’s all done for me.  The recipes are also really flavourful and I’ve learned some new techniques like frying onions in water! Whaaaaaat!  I had no idea this was a thing but it’s a healthier thing than using oil, I guess.  All proceeds from book sales are donated to charity.

Radical Remission – Dr. Kelly A. Turner
This book is about cancer patients surviving cancer “against the odds” and contains stories which I found inspirational during cancer treatment.  The 9 step process really helped me to overhaul my life and get back on track after going through cancer treatment: mentally and physically.

Anti-Cancer – Dr David Servan-Schreiber 
This book will always be special for me as it was the first book I read on the topic of cancer just after my diagnosis.  Dr Servan-Schreiber fought a brain tumour for many years and really made me feel I could cope with cancer, kick its butt and take back control of my life.  I recommend this for useful tips on diet during treatment, lifestyle and for exploring some of your worst fears.  Sadly, David passed away in 2011 but will always be a guiding light.

Beat Cancer – Prof. Mustafa Djamgoz & Prof. Jane Plant
This book is a really useful anti-cancer lifestyle guide.  It’s comprehensive and easy to refer back to quickly with good use of bullet points and information tables.  Particularly useful;  occupations associated with specific cancer types are discussed.

Your Life in Your Hands – Prof. Jane Plant
Jane Plant fought breast cancer multiple times and discovered things she could change in her diet and lifestyle which made a difference (in particular eliminating animal products).  This is a lovely book of her journey and I could really sense the urgency in her written voice that she needed people to “know this stuff”.   If you want to get straight to the point of “what to do” then ‘Beat Cancer’ is best for this (co-written by Jane Plant).  Sadly, Jane died not long before I was diagnosed but her advice stayed with me throughout my treatment and she will continue to be a guiding light.  

Oestrogen, the killer in our midst – Dr Chris Woollams
This book really makes you think about exposure to oestrogens in our modern society and what you can do to reduce this burden.  It also looks at the link between different hormonal cancers. 

The China Study – Dr T. Colin Campbell
This is an in depth study which looks at the relationship between diseases and lifestyle across China and was the biggest study of its kind. Colin Campbell’s work has revolutionised healthy eating through the plant based diet and is featured in the documentary “Forks over Knives”.  A really interesting read.

150 Healthiest Foods on Earth – Dr Jonny Bowden
This book was recommended to me by a friend and what a great book it is on food and nutrition.  The healthiest foods are in this book based on being voted for by a panel of top nutrition experts.

Whole Grain Vegan Baking – Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes
I bought this book for myself and for my Mum and Sister as they liked to bake goodies for me during treatment and I want to make sure I eat healthy, wholegrain and natural/reduced sugar. It’s a really good baking book as it uses lots of different grains, not just wheat and oats. As a family, this has transformed the way we bake treats, for the better.

Cancer – A Beginner’s Guide – Paul Scotting
If you’re anything like me and like to understand the science of your disease then this is a really good book which explains the basics of how cancer works. For me, understanding the disease was part of my acceptance of it but I understand that approach doesn’t suit everyone. It’s written in a scientific-but-fun and easy to understand manner and all royalties from this book go to McMillan Nurses.