The way we live affects our health.

Cancer is not simply about cells growing at an abnormal pace, but also about the incapacity of our psycho-neuro-immune-endocrine intelligence network (PNIE) to recognize these cells and defeat them. Becoming aware that cancer is multi-causal is the first step toward regaining health. A healthy diet, exercise, rest, stress control, self-awareness and a positive attitude are key points in the process of healing.

With thirty years of experience in medicine and almost a decade as an oncologist, Dr. María Laura Nasi suggests in her new book, Cancer as a Wake up Call, ways to confront this illness from a holistic point of view, as a whole person.

Based on scientific investigations, her patients’ testimonies, and her own life experience, she explains the possible causes of internal imbalance and teaches how to reverse these to arrive at the fundamental conclusion that in most cases, combining conventional medical treatment with other treatments that strengthen the immune system, we have the potential to cure this illness from its core.

Cancer as a Wake-Up Call is for those who face this illness, not only as protagonists, but also as witnesses. It is a valuable and brave contribution for everyone who wants to connect body, mind and soul to sustain and regain health and live a simple and happy life.Article Sponsored Find something for everyone in our collection of colourful, bright and stylish socks. Buy individually or in bundles to add color to your sock drawer!

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  • Karen Tiede

    If you’re going to read one book about cancer+, this is a good book to read. (I’m a “read everything,” so I wouldn’t stop here.)

    What I liked best was the clear statement that by the time you HAVE cancer, you don’t have time to wait for the alternatives methods to work. Cancer moves faster than a plant-based, whole-foods diet. (Limited experience with oncologists suggests than many doctors practice according to the idea that if it doesn’t work 100%, it has no effect at all, which is short-sighted, IMO.)

    So, if you or someone you know has cancer, this is a good book to read to open your eyes to what to do afterwards. If you live with fears of cancer, you might as well implement as many of the ideas as possible. There’s nothing here that will hurt you. (I marvel at the people who “would adopt the Gersten diet if they got cancer, but dammit, nothing’s going to make them stop eating their cheesydoodles until then!”)

    I wish it were possible to know more about how much you can actually affect the odds of cancer and/or metastasis using some or all of these methods. One hears “cancer is completely random,” and at the same time, “exercise et al affects 50% of your risk.” We’re simply not there yet. If you’re willing to run an N=1 study on your family’s health, this is a place to start.

  • Donna Di Giacomo

    What Dr. Nasi, a traditionally trained oncologist, has offered here is not only the proverbial wake up call (hence the title) to people with cancer, but for those who are looking NOT to get cancer.

    Dr. Nasi takes Western medicine – with their pills and surgery, radiation and chemotherapy that, too many times, do not work and treat the patient as a glorified guinea pig – and combines it with what every single doctor in this country should be doing with every one of their patients: Spending more time to know them head to toe, especially what’s going on in their lives.

    Unfortunately, for the naysayers, more and more doctors realize this and some are going off the beaten track, implementing this approach into their practice, but, in the U. S., insurance companies have ensured this will never be implemented fully thanks to policies they have put into place and their many advertising campaigns to legitimize those policies.

    And, when all is said and done, why is this approach considered “radical” or “holistic” or “New Age?” Addressing cancer by just giving someone pills or administering radiation and chemotherapy by themselves has been proven to be, on average, a massive failure. Sure, some people take well to those methods and recover, but I’ve read and heard of too many people who have had recurrences of their cancer(s) because they failed to address the underlying cause.

    Mainstream medicine is (slowly) latching on to the idea that changing your diet is a surefire way to help beat cancer and keep it from recurring, along with the aforementioned methods … and people are seeing positive results.

    What Dr. Nasi has put forth here is a much needed contribution to taking care of ourselves at the deepest levels of our being. Yes, it is geared towards people with cancer, but 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

  • Steve

    Dr. Nasi advocates for a “whole person approach” in conjunction with traditional treatments. She looks at cancer as an overly feared (because cure rates a lot of types of cancer) disease that can lead to a re-evaluation of lives that can bring about a positive change. This book looks at non-traditional ways to address cancer, its symptoms (and the symptoms of the treatments) as well as preventative changes such as mental and nutrition factors. A good reminder of things that you can loose focus on when you or someone you love gets a cancer diagnosis

  • Kavak

    Nasi presents a condensed and attractive combination of the best of Western and Eastern medicine in regards to cancer treatment and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She includes her advice with snippets of her conversations with past clients, reassuring us that she has indeed spoken the same advice while on the job. There are also bullet point summaries for people who only want quick reminders for each major section. Each are reasonably spaced between her explanations and prevents the book from being a dry technical read.

    I would say that Nasi’s compassion is one of the greatest assets of the book. She reminds us multiple times that cancer takes many forms and treatment is unique to the individual. Just because your next door neighbor could avoid chemotherapy doesn’t mean you will. A healthy diet and yoga alone can’t suppress cancer if it has progressed too far into your body. Nasi is careful to never advise a “cure-all alternative” to her client’s medical treatment; if you really need the surgery but don’t want it, she will tell you to get the surgery.

    And she is wise to remind us that mental and emotional health are important too. Cancer is more than a hindrance in our lives. An active and supportive group can lead to unexpected friendships and reunions with distant loved ones. It’s a strategic plan for most insecurities, and one that borrows heavily from Eastern practices. Considering the emotional neglect that my family members went through for their respective cancer treatments, I can see where Nasi is coming from for her recommendations. Positivity apt for many families as well.

    Nasi’s advocation for restoring balance to a person’s PNIE may not be groundbreaking, but it is a wholesome reminder that cancer is more than a lump or tumor. Citations and online updates to her information are included too, so it’s not all “hooky” New Age garble either. Give it a try if you want to think of cancer as something more than the big elephant in the room.

  • J. Loscheider

    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.

  • Jeralyn Brossfield, MD

    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.

    Psychologic. My family of origin has always focused on service. We lived in places of poverty, and the needs of others were visibly profound. I count this background as a blessing, but it also made it easy to see my only value was in serving others. It seemed wrong to have needs or prioritize myself when it meant another child might die, or someone would go without health care because I needed my parents. I trace my calling to be a physician to these years and have a clear sense of purpose for my life. What I didn’t develop well was the ability to have compassion and priority for my own needs. I’m learning how to set boundaries and how to ask for what I need. My reminder right now is a phrase, “Stop feeling guilty for doing what’s best for you.” This mindset will be a life-long process, but I believe I can do it and learn a new harmony between care for others and myself.

    Nervous system. It took pulling away from my work to recognize that I am an “adrenaline junkie,” unaware that I am running on elevated cortisol. A few weeks after my diagnosis, after clearing my schedule of unnecessary work, I wanted to celebrate a friend’s birthday with a socially-distanced lunch. I needed to pick up a gift and time the food pick-up to meet her at noon. Everything took longer than I had allotted…and I could feel my anxiety rising. I realized suddenly that this was how I had been living most days of my life – expecting myself to do more than is reasonable in limited amounts of time. I took special notice of how my anxiety felt and made a commitment to recognize my built-in alarm system. While I know my tendency is to work like an energizer bunny, I know I’m going to have to be just as diligent at refilling my batteries and living life at a gentler pace.

    Immune and endocrine systems. Initially, I dismissed these parts of my story because I have such a healthy lifestyle. But as I’ve thought more about it, I realize I have had little clues along the way that these systems were suffering the consequences of over-work and living in the “fight or flight” state of elevated cortisol. Stress has been the fuel to the fire for me, and I ignored it. My antibodies indicating reactivation of the Epstein-Barr virus, along with early menopause, had been clues to slow down. I missed the messages and kept on pushing until cancer stopped me.

    Cancer has indeed been a wake-up call for me. I am going through a broad treatment approach that includes chemotherapy and surgery, along with qigong, Ayurveda, acupuncture and naturopathy. I know I will come through this with a new understanding and ways of living.

    If my example can help you, please know that health is multi-dimensional, and the efforts you make now to build wellness in ALL areas of your life are worthwhile.

  • mcsquared

    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.

  • Amazon VINE VOICE Donna

    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.

  • Amazon VINE VOICE Greeny

    [Dr. Laura 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.

  • Jennifer Garam

    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.

  • Fritjof Capra

    In her integrative and systemic approach to cancer, oncologist Laura Nasi attends to the biological, cognitive, social, ecological, and spiritual dimensions of health and healing. Her advice on how to improve our quality of life in all these dimensions will inspire not only cancer patients but anyone desiring to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

  • Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD

    This book is for anyone with cancer, anyone who works with those who have cancer, and for all of us who know someone who has cancer. It offers a treasury of approaches to living with and beyond cancer, bringing holistic perspectives into focus as a path on the journey of cancer.

  • Donald Abrams, MD

    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!

  • Gary Schwartz, MD

    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.

  • Lorenzo Cohen, PhD

    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.

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