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10 Recommended Reads for Those Diagnosed with Cancer

  • 09.19.2017
books to read when you have cancer


Catching up on your reading is likely not at the top of your list when faced with a cancer diagnosis. However, the right read can provided helpful information, timely comfort, inspiration or the healing power of a good laugh. Here are 10 books that offer 10 unique approaches to facing cancer head on.


1. Because laughter is good medicine: Cancer Vixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto

“What happens when a shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, about-to-get-married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life finds a lump in her breast?” That’s the question that sets this powerful, funny, and poignant graphic memoir in motion. 


2. Because survival is inspiring: Picture Your Life After Cancer by Karen Barrow

Six years ago, the New York Times asked people who had survived cancer to submit their photos and answer the question, “How is your life different after cancer?” The result is a book of photos and essays that will inspire you, humble you and lift your spirits.


3. Because young people get cancer, too: Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30s by Kairol Rosenthal

Rosenthal was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in her late 20s, and when she emerged from treatment she became a patient advocate and traveled the country talking to people in their 20s and 30s who were battling cancer. It’s part guidebook, part memoir, and it includes advice about everything from dating to coping with pain.



4. Because it feels good to be inspired : Every day I fight by Stuart Scott

This memoir by renowned ESPN commentator Stuart Scott documents his personal story, as well as his long battle with cancer. Determined to be there for his teenaged daughters and to provide them with a living example of courage and determination, Scott’s book is a testament to strength and living your life in a meaningful way.




5. Because changing your perspective can change you long after cancer: A Year to Live, by Stephen Levine

Though not specifically written for those facing a cancer diagnosis, Levine’s book documents his own experience in choosing to live each day, hour and moment as if it were his last. His experiment, which is eye-opening in its revelations, lasted for one year. He speaks of how taking this perspective radically changes one’s priorities and provides a new way of approaching life. Particularly meaningful for those who have received a terminal diagnosis, Levine’s book can provide a powerful map for those seeking a more meaningful way to spend their final year.


6. Because you play a vital role in your survival: Anticancer, a new way of life, by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD

Anticancer has been a bestselling phenomenon since Viking first published it in the fall of 2008, offering practical advice that enables cancer patients to overcome their initial feelings of helplessness and to adopt a proactive attitude of survivorship. This new edition addresses current developments in cancer research and offers more tips on how people living with cancer can fight it and how healthy people can prevent it.



7. Because food can heal and gratify: The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery, by Rebecca Katz

This book includes 150 new and updated recipes that bring the healing power of delicious, nutritious foods to those whose hearts and bodies crave a revitalizing meal. It features science-based, nutrient-rich recipes that are easy to prepare and designed to give patients a much-needed boost by stimulating appetite and addressing treatment side effects, including fatigue, nausea, dehydration, mouth and throat soreness, taste bud changes and weight loss.

8. Because even when we feel alone, we are not: Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen

Dr. Remen’s unique perspective on healing comes from her background as a physician, a professor of medicine, a therapist and a long-term survivor of chronic illness. Inviting us to listen from the soul, this remarkable collection of true stories shows us life in all its power and mystery and reminds us that the things we cannot measure may be the things that ultimately sustain and enrich our lives.



9. Because it’s good to have a roadmap on a new journey: Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do, by Greg Anderson

This guide empowers cancer patients and their loved ones to move beyond their disease. Greg Anderson, a cancer survivor, has designed this book for the recently diagnosed, those with recurring symptoms, and those who are well, but have a lingering fear that the disease may strike again. Informative and inspiring, this book complements a patient's medical treatment and is an invaluable roadmap to recovery.




10. Because tips about surviving cancer can come from unlikely places, like celebrities: Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips, by Kris Carr

This book gathers the lessons learned and advice offered from actress and photographer Kris Carr’s own journey, as well as the experiences of her cancer posse. Full-color photos accompany personal stories and candid revelations in this scrapbook of advice, warnings and resources for the cancer patient. Chapters cover your changing social life, dating, sex and appearance; essential health tips on how to boost your immune system; recipes; medical and holistic resources; and information on young survivor support groups. The resulting book is a warm, yet informative tool for anyonen ewly diagnosed with the disease and for those who love them.



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