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CANCER: Increasing Your Odds for Survival. This Emmy-nominated documentary, hosted by Walter Cronkite, is designed to help people survive cancer. It provides vital information which cancer patients and their families need to make informed decisions. The documentary and book deliver a comprehensive overview of the disease, treatments, latest developments, organizations and resources to assist cancer patients in doing all they can to win their fight against cancer, as well as, improve the quality of their lives.

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CANCER: A Turning Point - An Interview with Dr. Lawrence LeShan
VHS tape: approx. 40 minutes - $29.95

It was clear to me that Cindy's breast cancer very likely had a psychological component to it. She had a difficult childhood and had even that told me that, as a child, she imagined having cancer, and that this would result in her being loved and cared for by the people she wanted very much to be loved by. Cindy also began to believe that she might not achieve the kind of life she perceived as most satisfying. I only wish I had known about LeShan's approach earlier.

Dr. Lawrence LeShan is one of the grand masters of psychology, and the pioneer of psychological intervention for cancer. He is a psychologist who first began working with terminal cancer patients with classic Freudian therapy techniques and openly states, "they all died." LeShan learned that the traditional psychotherapy approach (searching for pathology and its roots) was ineffective. He began to do his own research and noticed that a majority of his clients had lost their enthusiasm for life. They had reached a point where they no longer believed they would be able to achieve the kind of satisfying life they desired. LeShan developed a new approach. It entails helping a person search for what would be a zestful and enthusiastic life to, as he calls it, "find their song." With this form of therapy, a majority of his terminal clients went into remission or their cancer resolved. Remarkable, but not unscientific according to LeShan. To him, and those that practice his form of therapy, it is simply a matter of relieving stress on the immune system, and allowing it to improve its ability to function. He emphatically states that it is not a matter of people creating their own reality. He says he has known people who have not wanted to live very much, but no one who wanted to die. He is critical of therapists who leave their clients feeling guilty that they were in some way responsible for their cancer. Skilled professionals do not have this as a problem.

Interview Questions:

  • When was the relationship between cancer and psychology first considered?
  • How do psychological factors effect the development of cancer?
  • Is traditional psychotherapy effective?
  • What is the basis for this new approach? What kind of success can it achieve?
  • Does this new therapy provide a different experience for the patient?
  • What questions should cancer patients be asking themselves?
  • Can a person who believes their "song" is unachievable find satisfaction?
  • Can psychological factors cause cancer?
  • How do you find a cancer therapist?
  • Does spirituality play a role?
  • What do you say to a person who is dying?
  • If you had one message to give to cancer patients what would it be?

Please be aware that these questions do not encompass the entire scope of the answers that Dr. LeShan provided. Dr. LeShan's responses were lengthy and far reaching and included much more information than apparent by the questions alone. He presents a practical presentation of a remarkable therapeutic approach that every person with cancer can benefit from.

VHS tape: approx. 40 minutes - $29.95

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