Book Review: Foods to Fight Cancer

>>Book Review: Foods to Fight Cancer

By Professor Richard Beliveau and Dr Denis Gingras, published by Dorling Kindersley, March 2017 Second Edition.

This book is a major update of the original 2007 first edition that moves the emphasis from cancer fighting complementary therapy dietary advice, to major risk reduction dietary advice, based upon studies completed in the last decade. This will be a positive review because the science behind the advice is explained both highly in-depth and broken down into easy to understand summaries, a book for all reading levels. The dietary advice is handled in a similar way.

The authors propose that two-thirds of all cancers can be avoided by simple changes to our lifestyles, including dietary habits. The statistics provided do indeed appear to support this proposal, and the advice given is solid enough to help you achieve this.

Part one of the book is where the big science lives. Very in-depth discussions of cancer risks; a fully up-to-date description of cancer, its causes, evolution, and its preferred environment; a discussion regarding food choices and the role of anti-inflammatory properties; and finishes with the ‘breakthrough’ role of phytochemical compounds, those compounds that have our scientifically measured cancer risk reduction properties.

Part two is where the advice lives, and is the place to dip into for quick guides. Ten large sections that each discuss a recommended food both scientifically in-depth and summarised helpfully. This is where we find that cancer cells loathe cabbage and that tomato ketchup is better for you than raw tomatoes! This section ends with some useful anti-cancer biodiversity advice, moving away from the phytochemicals and into the more general goodness that exists in the likes of coffee and chocolate!

Part three concludes the book with recommended common sense lifestyle changes, and summarises the dietary advice.

This is a book I can thoroughly recommend to all interested in the subject, and to those looking for general good dietary advice. I have been impressed by the discussion of our carrying immature tumours inside us throughout our lives and the target of preventing their progression beyond the normal human life-span. The range of recommended foods is large and practical, something that helps a ‘knows what he likes to eat’ chap like me. Every chapter ends with a very useful small summary box that brings all the information into simple bullet points, perfect for all reading levels. Are there negatives? Some might like to see recipes in a recommended foods book, but I found there was enough useful ‘how to eat this food’ information that you could easily implement. If you were a scientist reading this then a lack of in-page references might be off-putting, but this isn’t for academic reading, you’ve been given a 10 page reference bibliography at the back though if that’s your thing. I will return to this book again.

Review by Dave Crosby