THE CAUSES AND PREVENTION OF CANCER by Frederick B. Levenson

THE CAUSES AND PREVENTION OF CANCER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An opinionated but responsible argument for psychological factors as the cause of all cancers. Psychoanalyst Levenson (Hofstra Univ. Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies) is reviving this out-of-vogue theory on the basis of his positive experiences treating cancer patients over the last ten years. Cancer, he theorizes, is ""the ultimate primitive psychosomatic representation of an extreme separation of the self-contained positive and negative forces motivating our lives""--essentially, a physical response to psychological ""irritants"" (e.g., inadequate nuturing). We can learn early in life to suppress all reaction to such irritants; once this pattern is set, the suppressing behavior continues in all relationships and cancer is likely to occur. Levenson dismisses the supposed physical causes of cancer (there are, of course, smokers who never get lung cancer): the real cause of the disease must be present in every case, he maintains, and in his experience the psychological factors are always there. Levenson's is a hopeful view: if such suppression or unhealthy response to stressors and irritants can be recognized and healthier responses learned, cancer can be prevented or even cured (such cases are reported here). Levenson makes his points without hype; and despite some analytic jargon, the basics are clear. He is careful, moreover, never to suggest foregoing traditional medical treatment for cancer; he hopes, rather, that readers will consider these other possibilities. His arguments, while not new, are worth such consideration.

Pub Date: Jan. 8th, 1984
Publisher: Stein & Day