Choices in Healing

James Metz, M.D.
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

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Author: Michael Lerner, Ph.D.
Publisher: MIT Press
Price: $18.50 (USA)
ISBN: 0-262-62104
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Michael Lerner, Ph.D. is president and founder of Commonweal, which is a health and environmental research institute. He served as Special Consultant to the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment for his study Unconventional Cancer Treatments. He wrote Choices in Healing for the cancer patient who wishes to consider complementary treatments in the disease management strategy. The author states "I will help you begin to learn how to think critically about choice in complementary and unconventional therapies, just as I have suggested ways of thinking critically about choice in conventional therapies."

The book is an excellent resource for patients and health care providers. It sheds new light on the topic of complementary medicine and will undoubtedly open the eyes of many who read this book. Each section of the book is self-contained and addresses a specific topic. The author includes reviews of pertinent literature and scientific studies that support or refute specific treatments. He helps the reader critically evaluate unconventional therapies to choose which ones may enhance the quality of their life and promote general health. There is an excellent chapter on the psychological approaches to cancer. There is an extensive resource section included at the end of the book.

The author emphasizes these treatments are complementary to those recommended by your physician. They are not intended to replace your conventional medical treatments. He states "after more than 10 years of study in the field, I have seen no documented cure for cancer among complementary cancer therapies." Although he does feel the use of complementary therapies may allow a patient to take charge to their life, become a healthier patient, and enhance the quality of their life.

For those patients interested in complementary therapies, this book is a "must read". The author objectively evaluates complementary medical therapies and makes sound, reasonable recommendations. It is an excellent reference for the health care professional who will be expected to understand more about these therapies as patients become more educated on the subject.


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