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Book Review: The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide & Cookbook

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I was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and so was elated to receive The Essential Cancer Treatment and Nutrition Guide and Cookbook by Jean LaMantia, RD, with Dr. Neil Berinstein, MD, to help me sustain my body during treatment. I had been to an oncology nutritionist and received specific directions for diet and supplement plans to implement. It was refreshing to read in this book much of what was explained to me.

For example, “In patients undergoing chemotherapy, the most common cause of anemia is suppression of red blood cell production by chemotherapy medicines. This is a cumulative effect that may occur after several cycles of chemotherapy. Iron replacement will not help this type of anemia.” The chart indicates that pork liver has the highest amount of iron, while other sources could be chicken or beef liver, oysters, beef, shrimp, sardines, lamb, turkey, tuna, chicken, or salmon. If taking an iron supplement, it is suggested it be taken throughout the day in two or three doses; it is also suggested to eat foods with high vitamin C at each meal, and to cook with cast-iron or stainless steel cookware to help absorption.

The book contains information on managing side effects such as constipation, depression, heartburn, nausea, and many more that are common. It also contains complementary cancer care, menu planning for side effect management, and recipes for cancer treatment and beyond.

I decided to test one recipe and I chose “Suppertime Lentil Soup.” It is recommended for constipation, with bonus features of high fiber, high protein, and low fat. I used my own prepared chicken broth that I had previously made and frozen, and to this added dried green lentils, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, and parsley. I simmered this combination for about 45 minutes and then served it. It was hearty, and my husband enjoyed it with a buttered crusty roll. Because I’m on a low glycemic diet I couldn’t add the roll because the serving already had accounted for 30 grams of carbohydrates. The soup was tasty and easy to make.

I encourage anyone diagnosed with cancer or with a family member show has been so diagnosed to check out The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide & Cookbook. It will give you a better understanding of the importance of nutritional health and how to achieve it. Cancer diagnosis is devastating enough, but with nutritional support many of the side effects from treatment can be eliminated or lessened. Being proactive in our own recovery is important; LaMantia and Berinstein offer support as well as information to help us achieve our goals of overcoming the challenges that come from cancer treatment. It’s an excellent resource!

(Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views)

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About Cristina Lanzi

  • Jean LaMantia

    Thank you very much Irene for reviewing my book. I wish you good health and a full recovery. I am so pleased to hear that my book is providing you with assistance during your cancer treatment. My goal in writing it was to provide help to cancer patients and their loved ones, so reading your review has confirmed that I was able to provide some support, and for that I am grateful.