The Definitive Guide to Cancer

Interview with the Authors | Praise Quotes

Definitive Guide to Cancer: An Integrated Approach to Prevention, Treatment and Healing, 3rd edition (2010) is an unique new book for those who have been diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones. Compassionate while reflecting the most recent science, this book offers a thorough examination of integrative cancer prevention and treatment in an accessible and practical manner. Readers will develop a better understanding of what cancer is, what causes it, how to best prevent it, and how to include complementary therapies into their treatment.


Dr. Alschuler and Karolyn Gazella talk about their book


Dr. Alschuler and Karolyn Gazella talk about their own cancers


Karolyn Gazella talks about co-authoring Definitive Guide to Cancer

Unique attributes of this book:

What’s new in the 3rd edition?

Definitive Guide to Cancer, 3rd Edition: An Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment, and Healing by Lise Alschuler and Karolyn Gazella | $25.00 paperback | ISBN 978-1-58761-358-6 | 496 pages | April 2010


Interview with the Authors, Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO and Karolyn A. Gazella

Q. Why did you write this book?

A. [Dr. Alschuler]
People diagnosed with cancer deserve to become empowered, informed promoters of their own health and wellbeing and should have trustworthy resources available to help them on this journey. As a naturopathic oncologist, I endorse holistic, comprehensive healing that includes the best that medicine has to offer—conventional medicine and complementary medicine – focused on the needs and capacities of the patient. To me, joining forces with Karolyn was an opportunity to touch the lives of the countless individuals touched by this illness and to give them a reliable, trustworthy, and compassionate tool that they can use to navigate their way through the complex experience of cancer. I have been in awe of the strength of my patients and have learned a great deal from their courage. In addition to my patients, my own experience with my father’s cancer intensified my sense of the extreme need for this book.

A. [Karolyn]
My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, my mom died of advanced pancreatic cancer, and I was operated on for ovarian cancer—all within 8 months! Cancer has profoundly touched my life. I have been on a mission to help ease the pain and suffering that can accompany a cancer diagnosis. As a health writer, I feel information is power and the way to impact many lives is to create a practical, responsible consumer reference book that will help people with cancer navigate through arguably one of the most challenging times of their lives.

Q. What makes this book different from other cancer books?

A. [Dr. Alschuler]
This is the only consumer reference book of its kind that comprehensively presents information on both conventional and complementary therapies for cancer prevention and treatment. This book also features hundreds of scientific references giving patients the confidence they need to educate and gain support from their oncologist. Cancer is a very serious illness and this book stands up to scientific scrutiny. Additionally, this book encompasses the holistic and personal aspects of cancer and provides a resource that people with cancer and their loved ones can be inspired by.

A. [Karolyn]
In addition to the solid scientific foundation of this book, Lise and I share our personal stories about how cancer has touched our lives. We also feature stories from patients and their loved ones. We can relate to the reader because we understand that cancer is more than data, tests, and treatment—it can be an emotional roller coaster. The combination of compassionate perspective and practical scientific evidence is unique and critical to successful navigation through the experience of cancer.

Q. Why do you feel using an integrative approach is better than strictly conventional or alternative?

A. [Dr. Alschuler]
There is only one kind of medicine – good medicine. Good medicine focuses on the well-being of the patient and embraces all avenues of healing that promote that wellness. It is my belief that treating cancer demands a high level of scientific rigor in all therapies. At the same time, all therapies that confer benefit and do not harm should be available and encouraged for each person with cancer. People should not be victimized by the disease or its treatments (conventional or alternative). Instead, people should become empowered and transformed through their illness and the treatments they undergo – and this is best achieved through an integrative approach.

A. [Karolyn]
I used an integrative approach to treat my cancer. The surgery probably saved my life. But I chose not to use chemotherapy. Cancer is a daunting opponent. We need to do everything we can to defeat it. That means using the best medicine—the best of conventional and the best of complimentary. Successful cancer prevention and treatment requires the most comprehensive approach possible and that approach is integrative oncology.

Q. What’s the most important message your want your readers to get from your book?

A. [Dr. Alschuler]
In order for lasting and positive change to occur, the patient, their doctors and their other healthcare practitioners need to work together for the good of the patient.

A. [Karolyn]
We want to empower people with cancer. We want readers to understand that they have choices and that this illness can, in fact, be defeated. The best chance that people with cancer have is to use an integrative approach. It’s not an “either-or” proposition. We need to take away our biases and put the patient first. Let’s join together to give the person with cancer the best opportunity to heal.

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Praise Quotes

“This is a remarkable survey of holistic cancer treatment. If I had cancer, I would read this book.”

—Mehmet Öz, MD, author of You: The Owner’s Manual

“In this beautifully written, authoritative, and accessible book, Alschuler and Gazella offer stateof-the-art advice, direction, and companionship to anyone diagnosed with cancer. The Definitive Guide to Cancer is a unique synthesis of information and wisdom, research and loving kindness. This book is a lighthouse for anyone frightened and adrift in the dark.”

—Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, clinical professor at UCSF School of Medicine and author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings

“This is an outstanding resource for every family facing cancer. The future of medicine—full integration of conventional and natural medicine—can be found here. I especially appreciate the authors’ rigorous scientific approach for evaluating the validity of unconventional theories, diagnostic methods, and therapies. This is the resource to trust.”

—Joseph E. Pizzorno, ND, founding president of Bastyr University and coauthor of Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine and Natural Medicine for the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer

“This book is a remarkable resource. From helping readers understand cancer prevention, causes, and diagnosis to compiling information about specific cancers and conventional and alternative treatment options, the authors combine compelling science with a compassionate, integrative perspective. This integration of conventional and natural medicine is the hope for the future of both cancer prevention and treatment.”

—Tori Hudson, ND, author of Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine and program director of the Institute of Women’s Health and Integrative Medicine

“If knowledge is power, then expect to be empowered by Alschuler and Gazella’s thorough and comprehensive review of cancer. They tackle difficult and complex subject matter without losing sight of the fact that each of us is mind, body, and spirit.”

—William T. O’Donnell, Jr., founder of Miraval, Life in Balance Resort and Spa and the Sierra Tucson Treatment Center

“This is currently the best book available for cancer patients. It is well researched and well written, with eloquent patient stories and invaluable, easy-to-use information on chemotherapy and herbal contraindications. Alschuler and Gazella provide a concise review and evaluation of popular alternative therapies that should be assigned reading for anyone who has been touched by cancer—and that’s all of us.”

—Leanna Standish, ND, Ph.D., L.Acup, research professor at Bastyr University

“The world has been waiting for someone to speak clearly to patients faced with cancer. The Definitive Guide to Cancer provides clarity and direction to patients who must navigate a treacherous path of information, fact, and misinformation. It illuminates a confused world and brings together in one volume a comprehensive guide to cancer that goes beyond conventional and alternative approaches. For the first time, all the necessary information to support a cancer patient through difficult treatment decisions as well as help them address the underlying causes of disease can be found in one clear and sensible guide. It's about time!”

—Mark Hyman, MD, editor in chief of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine and author of UltraMetabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss.

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