Reviewed By: Carolyn Vachani, MSN, RN, AOCN
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: July 27, 2007
Dr. Richard Weeder is the founder of the Aloha Cancer Education Institute, which describes itself as a school devoted to cancer patients. Dr. Weeder is an oncology surgeon and cancer survivor who has long been interested in complementary and alternative health care and "a panoramic view of cancer treatment." He feels that cancer is not the cause of illness, but rather the result of a failure in the complex mechanisms of immunity, energy, and spirit that usually protect us. He does, however, see current treatments of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation as necessary steps in the treatment of cancer. Dr. Weeder proposes that by strengthening our immune system and energy stores through complementary practices, such as yoga, acupuncture massage and others, we can assist our bodies in reaching the goal of a cure.
This book is a nice introduction to various complementary therapies, giving a description of each, how they can help a patient, and how to access reputable practitioners. The complementary practices addressed include: acupuncture, massage, exercise, naturopath physicians, yoga, oriental medicine, attitudinal healing and mindfulness.
My main complaint with the book is the message that combining these practices, in the right combination with traditional therapies, leads to a cure. While I have no doubt that these practices will enhance the lives of any patient with cancer, I believe Dr. Weeder's theory is oversimplifying a very complicated disease. I think if the reader is interested in learning more about complementary therapies, this book is a nice introduction.