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In a friendly, conversational style, Dr. Benjamin provides dozens of specific, well-tested strategies cancer patients can use to maximize the effect of the immune system, including visualization, nutrition, exercise, and enhanced personal relationships. These are the same methods used each week by more than 3,500 cancer patients at the Wellness Community.
Since opening in 1982, the Wellness Community has provided free psychological and social support to more than 25,000 cancer patients and their families. It is now the largest program of its kind in the United States. In this book, its founder, Harold Benjamin, distills nearly two decades of experience into an easily understood program you can use to fight for your recovery.
“Harold Benjamin is one of the leading pioneers in demonstrating the importance of psychosocial factors in cancer. In this book, he empowers cancer patients with the tools and support needed to enhance the likelihood of their recovery.”—Dean Ornish, M.D. President and Director, Preventive Medicine Research Institute
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Here are two books on coping with cancer in the long term. Written by the director of the largest cancer program devoted to providing free psychological/social support to patients and their families, The Wellness Community Guide to Fighting for Recovery from Cancer aims to reach some of the more than one million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year. In this revised version of From Victim to Victor (LJ 10/15/87), Benjamin takes a relentlessly cheerful, upbeat, and positive approach, emphasizing stress reduction, visualization techniques, immune system maximization, improved diet, exercise, and use of the Patient Active concept, which blends psychology and psychoneuroimmunology in an effort to convince patients that they can counter their disease. He argues that in fighting to recover, patients will improve the quality of their lives and, by following specific suggestions, will gain hope, control, and the ability to take advantage of partnerships with their healthcare providers, support groups, family, and friends. This energizing book has valuable appendixes to aid in this process and is enthusiastically recommended. Gaynor is associate director at New York's Strang-Cornell Cancer Prevention Center and a professor at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. His Healing Essence, which addresses many of the same concerns as Benjamin's book, offers a seven-step technique called ESSENCE that stresses mind/body connections. An acronym for experience, see, surrender, empower, nurture, create, and embody, ESSENCE is recommended as a means of handling fear, going beyond suffering, ending melancholy, and creating hope. While both these books focus on empowerment and self-work, Benjamin's book has the edge with its energetic message and gentle yet firm guidance through the processes of taking control while working within a medical framework. Recommended for consumer health and patient education collections.
Janet M. Coggan, Univ. of Florida Libs., Gainesville
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Benjamin, founder of the Wellness Community, a psychosocial support program for cancer patients, expands upon his earlier title, From Victim to Victor (1988), with this empowering, empathetic guide. Reiterating the concept of the Patient Active and its take-home message that cancer patients who fight for recovery are likely to improve the quality of their lives and may enhance their chances for recovery, he explains the mind-body connection underlying his approach: a strong immune system can resist disease better, and the immune system can be strengthened by psychological means. To that end, he details practical techniques for controlling stressful, negative emotions?anger, hopelessness, helplessness?and maximizing pleasant ones. Benjamin makes it clear that these efforts are not an alternative to traditional medicine but an adjunct; while urging cancer patients to take control, he emphasizes that no guilt should be attached to getting cancer or to its progression. Appendices include a nutrition handbook and lists of resources for cancer patients.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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