In 1986, I was diagnosed with stage 4 adenocarcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer. My medical treatment included removal of my lower left lobe followed by 35 radiation treatments. My road to recovery was long and difficult.
At the time, there was little information out there for patients like me – no Internet to research and few natural medicine practitioners – but I always believed there had to be more I could do for myself.
When Lauren asked if I would read and review
Dr. Eric Presser’s book An Empowering Guide to Lung Cancer: Six Steps to Taking Charge of Your Care and Your Life, I was intrigued to see how far the advances in treatment had come.
Dr. Presser is a Palm Springs thoracic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive surgery and an associate professor at the UC-Riverside School of Medicine. He serves on the board of the Desert Cancer Foundation and the medical advisory boards of CancerPartners (formerly Gilda’s Club of the Desert), the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
In his innovative career, he notes that he has successfully maintained his affiliation with traditional allopathic medicine while associating with – and learning from – a wide range of complementary practitioners. In the foreword to the book, Andrew Ordon, MD, says it well, “What impressed me so much about the approach offered [in his book] is Eric Presser’s willingness to look to outside sources for those things that fall outside his expertise. His extensive consultations with experts, including physicians, mental health professionals, and folks working in the field of complementary and alternative medicine, have added a layer of credibility to the information presented.”
First and foremost, I want to thank Dr. Presser for writing such a comprehensive, informative book. An Empowering Guide to Lung Cancer is an encyclopedia of the disease, a multitude of education, diagnoses and treatments outlined in an easy-to-read form. He covers and recommends both medical and complementary therapies and shares what has worked for him and his patients.
Dr. Presser also talks about empowerment and how important it is in healing. He writes about the patient/doctor relationship and outlines all the questions you should ask, which would have been invaluable to me when I was battling the disease. He provides answers on where to find support and how to put together your “dream team” to help you through your research, diagnoses, treatments and most importantly, the aftermath, which in my case still affects my day-to-day living.
This information didn’t exist when I was diagnosed – no dream team, no minimally invasive thoracic surgery, and most importantly, no complementary alternative therapies encouraged by doctors. I used supplements, meditation, self-help books and yoga throughout my radiation treatments, and while I’m sure the surgery and radiation were primarily responsible for eradicating my cancer, being my own advocate was the most empowering thing I could do for myself.
My biggest takeaway from his book is Dr. Presser’s true passion for doing all he can to attack this dreaded disease with the most advanced medical and technical thinking. He is an avid speaker on lung cancer prevention and a champion for changing the dynamic of lung cancer treatment. His advocacy for minimally invasive surgery which results in less scarring, less down time, and getting patients back to enjoying their lives shows just how far the medical world has advanced.
I think Dr. Presser says it best: “The book lays out a blueprint for anyone to be able to investigate and research what their best mode of lung cancer treatment could be.” I would encourage anyone facing – not only lung cancer, but any life-threatening disease – to read An Empowering Guide to Lung Cancer.
Reesa Manning is a retired financial advisor who enjoys traveling with her husband Steve and living a healthy and fulfilling life. An Empowering Guide to Lung Cancer is available on Amazon.com. For more from Dr. Presser visit www.EricPresserMD.com.