Dear Friend,

Women with breast cancer use integrative therapies more often than any other group of people with cancer.

But despite the widespread use of integrative breast cancer therapies, informed guidance in integrating conventional and complementary breast cancer care is difficult if not impossible to find.

Your Breast Cancer Handbook › is designed to provide guidance on science-informed integrative breast cancer care.

Integrative breast cancer care has a remarkable amount to offer you. It can add to your treatment, help with side effects, benefit your quality of life, help you get well again, and reduce your risk of recurrence. Psychologically and spiritually, it can have transformative effects.

Let’s be clear: integrative cancer care means skillful choices in both conventional and complementary cancer therapies.

The very first step is deciding what your goals are. Your goals will guide you in choosing both conventional and complementary therapies. No matter what conventional therapies you choose, our 7 Healing Practices can be beneficial in many ways—physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. They are the foundation to strengthen you for rigorous conventional therapies, reduce side effects, build health and help reduce the risk of recurrence.

Beyond the 7 Healing Practices you will find many specific integrative therapies to explore. Don’t let the number of choices deter you. We’ve arranged them in an easy order to consider, starting with those with the greatest evidence for effectiveness. Also, don’t overlook our special category of Off-label, Overlooked or Novel Cancer Approaches (we call them ONCAs). They have a lot to offer even if lifestyle changes seem too hard at this point.

Through leading the Commonweal Cancer Help Program retreats › for over 30 years, I’ve known quite a few 20-year survivors of metastatic breast cancer—and I have known hundreds of women who have far outlived a metastatic prognosis.

We hope to help you live as well as you can for as long as you can with the optimal combination of conventional and complementary therapies. We hope to help you find a way to integrate the therapies that serve you best. That is how the best integrative oncologists do it—and we wish the best for you. Take it slow. Start with the simple things, like our seven healing practices, and move slowly toward the more complex decisions.

Don’t try to take all this in one bite. Take small bites, and come back as you are ready for more.

We do this for you. We hold you in our thoughts and prayers,


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About the Author

Michael Lerner

Michael Lerner is co-founder of Commonweal and co-founder of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, Healing Circles, The New School at Commonweal, and CancerChoices.

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Michael Lerner is co-founder of Commonweal and co-founder of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, Healing Circles, The New School at Commonweal, and CancerChoices. He has led more than 200 Commonweal Cancer Help Program retreats to date. His book Choices In Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches to Cancer was the first book on integrative cancer care to be well received by prominent medical journals as well as by the patient and integrative cancer care community.

Michael Lerner Co-Founder