The best books to read after a cancer diagnosis

Who am I?

I was 32 when diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As a clinician, and now cancer survivor, I’ve become increasingly focused on empowering cancer patients through and beyond remission. Nearly two decades of clinical practice have taught me that an informed and committed patient makes better decisions about their care, harmoniously interfaces with their healthcare team, and stays focused on living a healthy lifestyle. I’ve read countless books about cancer, but this list outlines the essentials that I recommend to patients beginning their healing journey.


I wrote...

Cancer, Stress & Mindset: Focusing the Mind to Empower Healing and Resilience

By Brandon LaGreca,

Book cover of Cancer, Stress & Mindset: Focusing the Mind to Empower Healing and Resilience

What is my book about?

I believe the most important anticancer strategy is an engaged and healing mindset. Cancer, Stress & Mindset explores the contribution of stress to the initiation and progression of cancer; how stress affects the body and mind; and simple strategies to cope with the stress of being a cancer patient, from diagnosis through remission. This is the book I needed at the onset of my cancer journey, mired in the stresses of decisions related to my care. Years later, I wrote this as a starting point to help patients and caregivers cultivate an anticancer mindset.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Radical Remission

Brandon LaGreca Why did I love this book?

Radical Remission compiles the stories of cancer patients who have achieved remission against all odds. Pulling from over 1000 case studies published in the medical literature, reported across nearly all cancer types, Kelly Turner, PhD, structured her doctoral thesis around nine key principles common among long-term cancer survivors. She later published her work for the lay reader, categorizing these principles around body, mind, and spirit interventions that can be implemented alongside conventional oncology treatment. After my cancer diagnosis, this book gave me a vision of a future in durable remission.

By Kelly A. Turner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Radical Remission as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In her New York Times bestseller, Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, Dr. Kelly A. Turner, founder of the Radical Remission Project, uncovers nine factors that can lead to a spontaneous remission from cancer—even after conventional medicine has failed.

While getting her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkley, Dr. Turner, a researcher, lecturer, and counselor in integrative oncology, was shocked to discover that no one was studying episodes of radical (or unexpected) remission—when people recover against all odds without the help of conventional medicine, or after conventional medicine has failed.  She was so fascinated by this kind of…


Book cover of The Cancer Code

Brandon LaGreca Why did I love this book?

After a cancer diagnosis, it is natural to wonder what causes cancer. Our understanding of cancer etiology continues to evolve as the science of genetics deepens. The Cancer Code reviews this research in laymen’s terms such that each reader can construct a narrative about what factors may have contributed to their illness. A successful cancer patient is an informed cancer patient, navigating the system with an appreciation for why some standard of care therapies are more effective than others. This book allowed me to look under the hood of cancer in a way that guided my decisions before and after remission.

By Jason Fung,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cancer Code as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Author of the international bestsellers The Diabetes Code and The Obesity Code Dr. Jason Fung returns with an eye-opening biography of cancer in which he offers a radical new paradigm for understanding cancer-and issues a call to action for reducing risk moving forward.

Our understanding of cancer is slowly undergoing a revolution, allowing for the development of more effective treatments. For the first time ever, the death rate from cancer is showing a steady decline . . . but the "War on Cancer" has hardly been won.

In The Cancer Code, Dr. Jason Fung offers a revolutionary new understanding of…


Book cover of Outside the Box Cancer Therapies: Alternative Therapies That Treat and Prevent Cancer

Brandon LaGreca Why did I love this book?

Many holistic cancer treatments exist, but how do you separate hype from effective, evidence-based therapies? Authored by two seasoned naturopathic oncologists, Outside the Box Cancer Therapies is a meticulously referenced guidebook to what’s working right now in integrative oncology. Many forward-thinking cancer clinics are employing naturopathic oncologists and are consistently getting better outcomes combining therapies, such as intravenous vitamin C, alongside conventional oncology protocols. This book will give you the confidence and the research to best communicate options with your healthcare team.

By Mark Stengler, Paul Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Outside the Box Cancer Therapies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'[A] calm exposition of the latest research and not a rejection of mainstream treatment.' - Cygnus Review

With approximately 40 percent of men and women in the United States being diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime, very few of us escape having cancer touch our lives in some way - whether it is our own life or that of a loved one. Scientific research continues to prove the benefits of nutritional and holistic therapies, yet, for the most part, these approaches to treatment still remain unexplored by the conventional medical establishment. With integrative and holistic healing being…


Book cover of The Metabolic Approach to Cancer: Integrating Deep Nutrition, the Ketogenic Diet, and Nontoxic Bio-Individualized Therapies

Brandon LaGreca Why did I love this book?

The topic of diet and cancer is a veritable minefield; it can be overwhelming to know where to start after a cancer diagnosis. The Metabolic Approach to Cancer cuts through the rubbish and provides the clinical basis for a healthy and healing diet that minimizes exposure to dietary carcinogens while maximizing nutrient density and diversity. Diet doesn’t have to be a taboo topic, and the whole family (cancer patients and caregivers) will benefit from being well nourished along the healing journey.

By Nasha Winters, Jess Higgins Kelley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Metabolic Approach to Cancer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Read this important book to learn how cancer is an environmental, metabolic disease with many small causes that stack up-and what you can do to prevent or even reverse it."-Dave Asprey, New York Times bestselling author of The Bulletproof Diet

The Optimal Terrain Ten Protocol to Reboot Cellular Health!

The Metabolic Approach to Cancer offers an innovative, metabolic-focused nutrition protocol that works. Naturopathic, integrative oncologist and cancer survivor Dr. Nasha Winters and nutrition therapist Jess Higgins Kelley have identified the ten key elements of a person's "terrain" (think of it as a topographical map of our body) that are crucial…


Book cover of Spontaneous Healing: How to Discover and Enhance Your Body's Natural Ability to Maintain and Heal Itself

Brandon LaGreca Why did I love this book?

The perennial classic on a healing mindset, legendary integrative medical doctor Andrew Weil, shares stories of natural healing with case studies covering many disparate health challenges, including a chapter dedicated to cancer. Dr. Weil reviews his eight-week program for optimal healing and how to avoid obstacles to wellness, such as medical pessimism and environmental toxins. Spontaneous Healing leaves little doubt that the body’s natural ability to heal can be enhanced when the power of the mind and spirit are properly leveraged.

By Andrew Weil,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spontaneous Healing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this work Dr Andrew Weil aims to show how the the concept of spontaneous healing can change all our lives for the better. Examining the mechanisms and processes of the body's own healing system he describes the operation of this system and explains its interactions with the mind, its biological organization and its methods of self-diagnosis, self-repair and regeneration. Numerous case histories provide evidence of the success of spontaneous healing in dealing with serious medical conditions, ranging from arthritis to heart disease to cancer. Calling on his traditional training as a medical doctor, and his knowledge of alternative treatments,…


You might also like...

Brother. Do. You. Love. Me.

By Manni Coe, Reuben Coe (illustrator),

Book cover of Brother. Do. You. Love. Me.

Manni Coe Author Of Brother. Do. You. Love. Me.

New book alert!

Who am I?

As a gay man born into an evangelical Christian family, my coming out story was wrought with pain, trauma, and separation from family and loved ones. In the same year I lost my best friend in an accident. My world tumbled and I had to crawl back to a place of reckoning. Walking became my path to healing. So when my brother Reuben, who has Down's syndrome sent me a message from the isolation of a care home in the pandemic, I knew he was in trouble. Those five words - ´brother. do. you. love. me.´changed our lives. I thought I might know a way to save him.

Manni's book list on memoirs that capture the struggle of everyday life

What is my book about?

Brother. Do. You. Love. Me. is a true story of brotherly love overcoming all. Reuben, who has Down's syndrome, was trapped in a care home during the pandemic, spiralling deeper into a non-verbal depression. From isolation and in desperation, he sent his older brother Manni a text, "brother. do. you. love. me."

This cry for help, this SOS in the sand unleashed a brotherly love that had Manni travelling back to the UK mid-pandemic to rescue his brother from the care home, and together they sheltered from the world in a cottage in deepest, darkest Dorset. There began a journey of recovery and rediscovery. Little by little, the brothers had to piece back together Reuben's world, help him to find his voice and find ways for him to trust the world again. This is a book about care, about Down's syndrome, about love. It is a story of resilience and patience in a world that Reuben thought had abandoned him.

Brother. Do. You. Love. Me.

By Manni Coe, Reuben Coe (illustrator),

What is this book about?


The story of two brothers, one with Down syndrome, and their extraordinary journey of resilience and repair.

"Profoundly moving and hugely uplifting."—Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Reuben, aged 38, was living in a home for adults with learning disabilities. He hadn’t established an independent life in the care system and was still struggling to accept that he had Down syndrome. Depressed and in a fog of antidepressants, he hadn’t spoken for over a year. The only way he expressed himself was by writing poems or drawing felt-tip scenes from his favorite musicals…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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