Article first published as Book Review: The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide & Cookbook on Blogcritics.
I was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 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 is taken throughout the day in two or three doses, eat foods with high vitamin C at each meal, and cook with cast-iron or stainless steel cookware to help absorption.
This 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 in fat. I used my own prepared chicken broth I had previously made and frozen and to this I added dried green lentils, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, thyme and parsley. This combination was simmered for about 45 minutes and then served. It was hearty and my husband enjoyed it with a butter crusty roll. Because I’m on a low glycemic diet I couldn’t add the roll because the serving already had taken up 30 grams of carbohydrates. The soup was tasty and easy to make.
I encourage anyone diagnosed with cancer or any family member 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 much 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. Excellent resource!
The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide & Cookbook: Includes 150 Healthy & Delicious Recipes
Jean LaMantia, RD with Dr. Neil Berinstein, MD
Robert Rose Publishing (2012)
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (5/12)