Dr. David Servan-Schreiber believes
we have the power to fight cancer
By Hope Katz Gibbs
BEFORE HE WAS diagnosed with brain cancer at age 31, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber
could be found scarfing down a bowl of chili
con carne on the elevator at the University of
Pittsburgh School of Medicine in between
teaching classes and seeing patients.
“I’d sometimes add a bagel to the mix,
and wash it all down with a can of Coke,”
admits Servan-Schreiber, the author of
Anticancer: A New Way of Life, which hits
bookstores in September. “It’s a pretty scary
mix to me now.”
However, it took an other
bout with cancer seven
years later, when he was
38, before the neuropsychiatrist could bring
himself to slow down or
change his habits.
Although both times Servan-Schreiber—who co-founded the Center fo r
Integrative Medicine at th e
University of Pittsburg h,
and wasafoundingmemb er
of Doctors Without Borde rs
in the U.S.—fought his tum or
with traditional methods su ch
as chemotherapy, the second time around he
also decided to learn everything he could to
help his body defend itself against the illness.
“I felt then, as I feel know, that it is completely unreasonable to try to cure cancer
without the best of conventional Western
medicine,” the French-born physician tells
The Connection. “But I also firmly believe that
it is completely unreasonable to rely only on
this purely technical approach and neglect the
natural capacity of our bodies to protect
The Costco Connection
Members can find copies of Anticancer: A
New Way of Life, at most Costco locations
and on costco.com.
against tumors. We can take advantage of this
natural protection to either prevent the disease or enhance the benefits of treatments.”
The reality is that cancer cells lie dormant
in all of us, Servan-Schreiber explains. But
with some simple changes, it is possible to
keep those cells from becoming life-threatening tumors.
“In the West, one person in four will die
of cancer, but three in four will not,” he says.
“Their defense mechanisms will hold out.
The trick is to keep the cells from developing
i nto life-threatening tumors by turning
“The trick is to keep
the [cancer] cells from
developing ... by
turning on the body’s
—Dr. David Servan-Schreiber
o n the body”s cancer-fighting capacities.”
He points out in his book—which is part
personal account, part reader-friendly biology lesson—that some foods specifically prevent or inhibit cell growth by more than 80
percent in certain cancers, such as brain,
colon, lung and prostate. These cancer-inhib-iting foods include beets, Brussels sprouts,
cabbage, garlic, kale, leeks and scallions.
Getting at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day is also important, he adds, as is
steering clear of household cleaning products
that contain alkylphenols. He also advises
avoiding deodorants and antiperspirants
with aluminum and not heating foods in
plastic containers made with PVCs, polystyrene or Styrofoam.
He also recommends taking time every
In his book Anticancer, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber writes that eating the foods
listed below, along with changes listed on
the next page, can help prevent cancer.