Supportive book for non-medical professionals and those supporting folks recovering from cancer.
I got this because a friend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and she continues to fight the disease. I wanted a better understanding and I realize that as I age my risk only increases.
This book challenged me in a number of ways. The author comes across as a contrarian, almost a rebel in a medical establishment that focuses on pharma rather than wholeness. To be clear, many medical professionals share a view that cancer is avoidable by modifying lifestyle, and the dichotomy is more gray than the black and white impression I get. At the same time, I am challenged to think of providing my body the best support possible to combat the unnoticed tumors that probably arise frequently and (hopefully) are defeated by my immune system.
If nothing else, this book will get you to think seriously about working less, sleeping more, exercising daily, and eating as though your body is precious.
It now seems cliché to say that 2020 has brought unexpected challenges. We have all adapted to the constant of change. Personally, my biggest change was a diagnosis of bilateral breast cancer. Initially, I responded with calm analysis, keeping reality at arms-length by “doing” what needed to be done. I made a notebook, set up second opinions, read extensively, set up Zoom chats to tell family, and calculated the best days for treatment so I could still work, but below all the management and brave face, were two strong feelings – betrayal and knowing.
Anyone who has gone through cancer seems to have experienced shock that this is happening to them. As someone who teaches wellness and lives a very healthy life, it felt as though I had missed something, and this diagnosis had to have had a cause. That’s where the knowing came in. Ayurveda’s ancient teachings see cancer as originating in the soul and then expressing in the physical body. I was pretty sure that for me, the soul part of the equation was where I was out of balance.
Soon after my diagnosis, I came across Laura Nasi, MD’s book Cancer as a Wake-Up Call. She describes cancer as having four contributors, and this perspective helped me tease apart the impacts in my own life that created an environment that allowed this cancer to grow.
I came across this book by fate completely. I was freshly diagnosed and was perusing the non-fiction section at my local public library and this book was in the center of the shelving. Kismet. It was exactly what I needed to read after I experienced a medical team that only talked to me about the standard options. Before I even knew the book existed I told the team that I wasn’t a car at a mechanic getting a part replaced.
This book embodies that we must be treated as a whole human not just the symptoms of a disease. I absolutely appreciate the wholistic approach to understanding and figuring out what could have led to a diagnosis that jo one wants to ever get.
I suggested that my closest support people read it as well (and they have) because there is valuable life information in general about the interconnectivity of the tangible and the intangible occurrences in our lives that may affect our immune system that cannot be quantified by current medical metrics.
Upon reading some reviews, some readers may have misunderstood the main purpose of the book. This is not supposed to be a fix all or a solution to each individual case, but should be used as a guide and a tool to better understand how our body works.
I found this book to be incredibly accessible to the reader, especially given the emotional density of the topic. Didactic and easy to read.
“What Dr. Nasi has put forth here is a much needed contribution to taking care of ourselves at the deepest levels of our being…this should be required reading for everyone who wants to do their best to avoid cancer and take true care of ourselves – physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and in every other way.”
“[Nasi] makes the oncologist way of thinking more accessible…This is a practical book that offers readers a comprehensive awareness about our respective immune systems. We might be able to decrease our suffering with this way of thinking.”
As a recent ovarian cancer survivor, I’ve read a lot of books about cancer and healing, and this is one of my favorites. Dr. Nasi has the unique perspective of being an oncologist who was trained in traditional Western Medicine at Sloan Kettering, while also being very familiar with many integrative and holistic approaches as well. A cancer diagnosis is a HUGE wake-up call, and so much of Dr. Nasi’s book resonated with me as being true to my experience. It also got me thinking about the circumstances that led up to my diagnosis last year — many of which I believe had been negatively impacting my health — and what changes I could make to improve my overall health, well-being, quality of life, and happiness.
I also had to the opportunity to do a one-on-one session with Dr. Nasi via Skype (which I also highly recommend!). She is extremely insightful and intuitive, and I highly value her guidance and advice, both in her book “Cancer As a Wake-up Call” and in the individual session. I’d recommend this book to anyone facing a cancer diagnosis and going through treatment, and cancer survivors who’ve completed treatment and want to make healthy lifestyle modifications, as well as family members and friends acting as caregivers for a loved one with cancer. It’s clearly written and easy to understand, which makes it a great book to start with upon receiving a cancer diagnosis, but provides a wealth of information that is beneficial at any point during treatment and afterwards.
“In Cancer as a Wake-Up Call,Dr. Nasi gifts us with and engaging and entertaining overview of wholistic cancer care. This incredible resource presents a huge amount of information in easily digestible doses with the assistance of charming illustrations, valuable Take-Home Messages and vital Practice for Healthy Living recommendations. The patient interactions and quotations from a host of international sages really help target the message. A must read for anyone living with or beyond cancer, the people that love them, and, hopefully, for their oncologists!”
Chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at San Francisco General Hospital, an integrative oncologist at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine
Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, and editor (with Andrew Weil, MD) of Integrative Oncology (Oxford University Press).
“Dr. Laura Nasi is an internationally recognized figure in the field of integrative medicine. Her book, Cancer as a Wake-Up Call, is intended for patients and family members dealing with cancer, and is a MUST-read for medical oncologists and health professionals. This book is a welcome addition to the library of anyone interested in a holistic approach to cancer care or just simply interested in living a better and healthier life.”
Chief Hematology and Oncology, Columbia University School of Medicine, New York, NY
“In Cancer as a Wake-Up Call, Dr. Laura Nasi guides the reader through the importance of using an integrative approach to cancer care. To have the best possible outcomes and thrive as a cancer survivor, you must focus on healing the body, mind, and spirit. Cancer as a Wake-Up Call provides valuable advice and is an evidence-based resource to help foster cancer recovery.”
Professor and Director, Integrative Medicine Program
MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas