cover image Stopping Cancer

Stopping Cancer

American Institute for Cancer Research, American Institute for Cancer Research. Golden Guides from St. Martin's Press, $16.95 (336pp) ISBN 978-0-312-25467-4

Balanced and sensible, this volume provides a clear and informative introduction to cancer; it contrasts cancer facts and fictions, then reviews optimal lifestyle choices for disease prevention. Its recommendations: regular physical movement (not necessarily formal ""exercise"") and the maintenance of energy equilibrium, a less well-known but potentially powerful strategy that requires persons to eat only enough calories to maintain their basal metabolic rate. The book's final two segments offer a general discussion of how to mitigate cancer risk by eating properly, as well as specific recipes and menus. Though the menu section is hardly comprehensive and the book sometimes offers more detail about the mechanics of biochemistry than a reader may need, it is notable for its combination of scientific accuracy with common sense and warmth. Throughout, it presents heartening evidence that most cancers are not caused by either irreversible genes or single lethal toxins but rather by a combination of forces that typically take decades to produce malignancy and can be halted at many points along the way. In fact, the AICR argues that, while there is no single miracle cure, healthy lifestyle choices and a varied, nutritious diet play a powerful part in stopping the disease before it starts. In the end, the authors emphasize, ""for most of us, much of our cancer destiny is in our own hands."" (Apr.)