Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

By Dr. Patricia Yarberry Allen

I have always loved the times when something unexpected comes along to change my way of looking at things.  So many of the happy changes in my life have happened as a result.

I was invited to a book party on Monday night at the home of a friend to meet her cousin, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, author of “Anti Cancer: A New Way of Life”.  Dr. Servan-Schreiber is a psychiatrist, neuro-scientist, and co-founder of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Pittsburg where he is also a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry.

He has written a thoughtful, well researched book about cancer biology discussing what fuels cancer and how the body can effectively fight cancer development and growth.  Dr. Servan-Schreiber is a cancer survivor whose personal experience provided part of the impulse for the creation of this book.  His passion for science and knowledge, his background as a psychiatrist and his capacity to understand and share his emotional life with the reader has made this more than the usual medical advice volume.  Instead, it is a compelling and unusual guide to life change—one that came about as a result of his need to save his own life.

The memoir aspects of this book make the science and medical recommendations more accessible, but this is not merely a retelling of Dr. Servan-Schreiber’s cancer journey.  This is an important and accessible guide for anyone who is ready to, at least, learn about the world of the carcinogens that surround us and how we can make choices to improve our body’s immune function and its ability to destroy cancer cells.  For one thing, the description of how cancers develop is completely understandable.  Cancers have weaknesses just like human bodies have weaknesses and Dr. Servan-Schreiber helps us to comprehend the epic battle between the human body and cancer.  Understanding this battle helps us grasp the process of an anti-cancer program.  This able physician provides chapters on the anti-cancer environment, the anti-cancer foods, the anti-cancer mind and the anti-cancer body along with groundbreaking information for a way of living for better health.

Still, it is the descriptions of the change necessary that improves a cancer patient’s chance for survival that gave me and might give you a template for how we should all live:

Ask, “Who am I really?”

Find your true values

Give up the need to do the “right thing” for others while languishing in limited care for you.

Learn to love and nurture your spiritual and physical self.

Unearth the emotional toxicities of the past that prevent connection to others in a positive and loving way.

This is a book that you and everyone you know should read.  It combines a guide to contaminants and carcinogens with the insight into the way the mind, heart and soul are engines of health.

I must admit that when I began “Anti-Cancer:  A New Way of Life” I wondered what a psychiatrist could tell me about the deadly disease that has taken so many from me and everyone I know.  Now I understand that Dr. Servan-Schreiber’s shared wisdom and sharing of his personal journey combined with his meticulous reading of current research allowed him to create this important book.  Only someone with his experience and informed professional convictions could have written this miraculous book that does indeed describe and prescribe A New Way of Life—one I intend to make my own and recommend to you.

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