Thursday, December 4, 2008

AntiCancer and Anti-Genocide

My friend Mona, herself a breast cancer patient, recommended a book called AntiCancer, by the physician/psychiatrist David Servan-Schreiber. It is an amazing book, a journey inside cancer and the research labs, as well as a book with a premise about living. I recommend it highly because of the personal narrative of the author, a brain cancer survivor -- and because it echoes so many other recommendations about food, about environment, about inflammation and the immune system, and about healing mental wounds, and finding peace. As a psychiatrist, he manages also to pepper the book with stories from various patients on how they came to terms with adjustments they had to make in their lives and outlooks to live through or with cancer.

As I was reading the book last night, I was also watching "Scream Bloody Murder," Christiane Amapour's tough program on CNN last night on how little progress we have made in the world over 70+ years on genocide. She profiled leaders who asked other governments and the United Nations to intervene in countries where genocide was taking place. No one listened.

The book was actually more comforting than the program. I feel as if I am topped up and topped out on genocide and on cancer. We need to open our eyes around the world and step up in countries such as in Rwanda and Darfur. On the cancer side, we must ensure that early detection and cutting edge research and clinical trials are available to those sure to be marginalized in such a tough economic environment.

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