Of the 29 books we read initially,
The Definitive Guide to Cancer – Third Edition
by Lise Alschuler
was by far the most useful

A look inside and synopsis of the book

After finding a secondary cancer under my arm in 2011, there was a prolonged search over weeks and months to find the primary cancer. As the doctors did not have all the answers quickly, I did much research myself. “The Definitive Guide to Cancer” is the best of the many books I have read on the subject.

Why do I like it so much?  It is comprehensive, scientific, easy to use because it is very well organised and extremely practical. It helps you counteract the nasty side effects of chemotherapy and other cancer treatment drugs.

The authors are Lise Alschuler and Karonlyn Gazella. Lise is a qualified and experienced ND (natural physician/doctor) and FABNO (Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology). Karolyn has many years experience as an author and publisher in natural health. Both authors have experienced cancer personally.

The illustrious editorial advisory board consists of ten highly qualified doctors in the fields of natural health, traditional western medicine as well as medical and radiology oncologists.

This book was an integral part of my treatment for cancer.

Editorial Advisory Board

Shauna Birdsall, ND – Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Alexandria Concorde, MBBS, PhD, FRSM – Concorde Initiative (UK)

Mitchell Gaynor, MD – Gaynor Oncology and Cornell University

Jeremy Geffen,MD, FACP – Geffen Visions

Heather Greenlee, ND, MPH, PhD – Columbia University

Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC – Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine

Tina KacZor, ND – Private clinical practice

Matthew Mumber, MD – Harbin Clinic

Dan Rubin, ND, FABNO – Rubin Medical Center

Susan Ryan, DO – Rose Emergency Medical Center


The first parts go through the causes of cancer and overviews of conventional, alternative, complementary and integrative treatments. The third part explains key body functions that can play a part in contributing to and in recovering from cancer. The fourth part addresses 21 specific cancers.

List of 21 Specific Cancers

  • Bladder cancer
  • Bone cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gastric cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Sarcoma (Soft Tissue)
  • Skin cancer and melanoma
  • Testicular cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Uterine cancer

Table of Contents

Part 1 Understanding Cancer

  • The Cancer Experience
  • Causes and Diagnosis of Cancer
  • Prevention Is Paramount

Part II Treatment Approaches

  • Building a Strong Foundation with Diet, Nutrition, and Stress Reduction
  • Treatment Approach Overview
  • Supporting Your Body during Conventional Treatment
  • Healing Support after Conventional Treatment
  • Nutrient and Herb Interactions with Conventional Cancer Treatments

Part III Key Body Functions

  • Immune System
  • Inflammation
  • Hormonal Influence
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Digestion and Detoxification

Part IV Addressing Specific Cancers

  • Bladder Cancer
  • ….
  • Uterine Cancer


Charts showing nutrient and herb interactions with conventional cancer treatments

One of the best parts is the well laid out tables showing side effects of treatments, useful herbs and nutrients as well as substances that might interfere with treatment. The treatments included are:

  • Chemotherapy drugs and their nutrient and herb interactions
  • Radiation and nutrient and herb interactions
  • Hormone drugs and their nutrient and herb interactions
  • Targetted therapies

Example chart

List of drugs and treatments with helpful nutrients to counteract side-effects

Chemotherapy charts

The book has a chart for each of these chemotherapy drugs (trade names in brackets) showing side effects, helpful nutrients and nutrients to avoid:

  • Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
  • Cisplatin (Platinol, Plationol-AQ)
  • Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar)
  • Doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Doxil)
  • Etoposide (VePesid or VP-16)
  • Flourouracil, floxuridine, capcetibine (5-FU, FUDR, Xeloda)
  • Gemcitabine (Gemzar)
  • Irinotecan (Camptosar, CPT-11)
  • Methotrexate (Amethopterin, Folex, Mexate)
  • Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)
  • Paclitaxel, docetaxel – taxanes (Taxol, Taxotere, Abraxane)
  • Topotecan (Hycamtin)
  • Vinblastine (Velban)
  • Vincristine (Oncovin, Vincasar PFS)

Radiation chart

    This chart shows helpful nutrients and herbs and those to avoid.

Hormone therapy charts

There is a chart for each of these hormone drugs showing potential side effects, helpful nutrients and nutrients to avoid:

  • Antiestrogens
    • tamoxifen
    • raloxifene
    • toremifene
  • Aromatase inhibitors
    • letrozole
    • anastrozole
    • exemestane
  • Luteinizing hormone – releasing hormone (LHRH) agents
    • leuprolide
    • goserelin
    • triptorelin
  • Antiandrogens
    • bicalutamide
    • flutamide

Targetted therapy charts

These are newer therapies with less research. The charts show cancers treated, side effects and nutrient and herb considerations for:

Monocolonal antibodies:

  • Cetuximab (Erbitux)
  • Panitumumab (Vectibix)
  • Trastuzumab (Herceptin)
  • Lapatinib (Tykerb)
  • Bevacizumab (Avastin)

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors:

  • Eriotinib (Tarceva)
  • Imatinib (Gleevec)
  • Sorafenib (Nexavar)
  • Sunitinib (Sutent)


  • Bortezamib (Velcade)

Integrative cancer care supplement guide

This is an excellent guide with a list of natural substances used in integrative care showing:

  • specific cancer used for
  • effectiveness rating
  • trials and studies done
  • comments and concerns

There is also an appendix showing dosage.

Example supplement guide

Rating system for cancer treatments

Get the book

The Definitive Guide to Cancer by Lise Alschuler

Of the 29 books we read initially,
The Definitive Guide to Cancer – Third Edition
by Lise Alschuler
was by far the most useful

My experience with cancer gave me a very keen interest in nutrition and is what led to creating Vitamin Inspector.

Health Advice Warning

The information in this website is intended for personal interest and educational purposes and should not be construed as health advice. Read more…

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