Cancer. This word alone makes many, many people today feel so uncomfortable. Most of us have someone in our lives who has been touched by this condition and know all too well the hardships associated with it. Some have been touched personally and had their lives turned around. While those of us who have no personal experience, simply hope silently that it never happens to us.

But what if we have cancer all wrong? What if the mainstream approach has conditioned us to have a completely false view of what cancer is and how it is treated?

These questions may seem hard to grasp for some, but this is the reality that is emerging with more and more strength each day. And this a lot of what Leigh Fortson’s newly released book Embrace, Release, Heal: An Empowering Guide to Talking about, Thinking about, and Treating Cancer is all about.

I have to admit when I first learned about this book, there were two opposing forces at play. A part of me slightly cringed and resisted reading this book, having never personally been touched by cancer directly or indirectly and thus feeling like I did not need to take any part in its discussion. Another part of me however, was deeply pulling me to this book. Something about it I just knew was calling me to read it… and so read it I did. It ended up being one of the best decisions.

In this book review I will share with you why I feel what I stated above. I will also share more about this book specifically, my thoughts on the content and why you may also want to read what promises to be a book that can redefine your life. In my opinion, this book is a must-read for most everyone today.

About the Author

Embrace, Release, Heal: An Empowering Guide to Talking about, Thinking about, and Treating Cancer is written by Leigh Fortson and is newly released May 2011.

Leigh has co-authored and edited numerous books about health, nutrition and alternative medicine. Leigh is also a wife and mother of two children, who was diagnosed with cancer three times. With each diagnosis Leigh pursued a different healing path from traditional to alternative cancer treatments and learned invaluable lessons along the way. Today Leigh is cancer-free and lives in Colorado with her family.

For more information on Leigh Fortson and her work, please visit her site

About the Format

Embrace, Release, Heal: An Empowering Guide to Talking about, Thinking about, and Treating Cancer is a thicker book and a substantial read. It contains a foreword by Dr. Mark Hyman. It is then composed of an introduction and 13 packed chapters. The chapters are as follows:

Chapter 1 – My Story
Chapter 2 – Forgiveness
Chapter 3 – Meaning
Chapter 4 – Authority
Chapter 5 – Energy
Chapter 6 – Belief
Chapter 7 – Mystery
Chapter 8 – Intuition
Chapter 9 – Fortitude
Chapter 10 – Faith
Chapter 11 – Gratitude
Chapter 12 – Dedication
Chapter 13 – Trust

The book ends off with an Epilogue, Notes, a resource-packed Appendix, Contributor’s Biographies and a very valuable Reader’s Guide.

Book Content

It is in the introduction where we as the reader are given our first glimpse into the author’s life. We learn within the first few lines that she was just given a 3rd cancer diagnosis. For most of us, we cannot fathom what such news means for our life, health and overall well-being. We are told that “this time” it really does not look well for Leigh. However this time, Leigh is determined in a new way.

Leigh shares here some of her profound insights of what having cancer 3 times has given her and introduces the conditioning of the all too commonly known Western medical approach to cancer. This time however, Leigh was taking things heavily into her own hands. This time she was determined to heal, once and for all.

Right away in the introduction, the reader gets pulled into Leigh’s wisdom and what will be some of the biggest eye-, mind- and heart-opening ideas. While the medical community may claim this or that theory about cancer, Leigh was finally getting to the root of the problem herself.

Healing from disease is about discovering the depth and breadth of who we really are, and then discovering what it means to live from our divine nature.

Leigh Fortson – Embrace, Release, Heal

Thus she states that the purpose of this book is to help empower others with cancer or any degenerative disease. I would also add that the purpose of this book is to serve as a most valuable resource of the numerous alternative healing and treatment approaches possible today when it comes to cancer and other diseases.

After the introduction, Embrace, Release, Heal begins with Leigh’s story. Unless you have been affected by serious illness personally or someone close to you, I urge you to brace yourself. Leigh’s story is deeply moving on every level. It is always awe-inspiring to see, what challenges the human being is capable of overcoming.

In this chapter, Leigh bares it all and almost no details are spared about her first diagnosis of anal cancer, second diagnosis of rectal cancer and third diagnosis of cancer around her sciatic nerve.

Throughout all this, Leigh takes the reader on a page-turning journey where the stakes are high and the end results seem so uncertain. The final victory is nothing short of a miracle—except it isn’t. What Leigh discovers and learns about herself, her life and most importantly the root causes of cancer are powerful to say the least.

From there on, chapters 2 through 13 follow a similar format:

  • there are some opening pages from Leigh about how the chapter’s topic relates to cancer, our personal healing and understanding of the matter
  • a story from another person who healed from cancer, their journey, experience and therapy(ies) they chose
  • 1-2 detailed resource write-ups and/or interviews with the founders, owners, doctors or practitioners of alternative healing options

Thus in total, the reader gets 13 stories of hope, healing and transformation and 18 alternative cancer healing options. These come with all the details one would need as to the scientific rationale, cost, location, protocol and more!

In the short epilogue, Leigh concludes with some very deep realizations and messages of hope for all of us. She talks about how the CDC keeps track of how many lives end because of cancer, but she is left reflecting on her experiences and those of all the people she interviewed – how many actually begin.

Personal Commentary

Well I cannot overemphasize how glad I am that I picked up this book. It isn’t because as I mentioned earlier I have ever personally been affected by cancer. In fact, I am one of the rare few people today who has never been affected by cancer in my family or friends.

Before I share what this book can do for you, allow me to share what this book did for me. For starters, I have not had a negative view or relationship with cancer, but I did not have an embracing one either. I knew what I needed to do to decrease my risk of it on a physical and spiritual level, and really didn’t want to have any relationship with it. I knew that the mainstream medical world and media have terribly skewed our view of cancer, and I knew enough not to be conditioned by their systems. It still wasn’t my topic of choice.

So the first thing this book did for me, is that it made me embrace and understand this condition like never before. Whatever unconscious fear that may have lingered in my subconscious mind about cancer, I feel it has dissolved. I definitely feel more empowered and more at peace with what cancer really is, its role and what it is trying to teach us.

Most importantly I feel blessed having read this book without having had any cancer experience. It is has opened my eyes and mind wider than ever. It has made me do even more soul searching and personal reflection about myself. And it has solidified my many hunches and theories as to the root causes of cancer being first and foremost emotional. The mind-body connection is a very powerful tool and it is time we start to not just recognize it and understand it, but most importantly respect it.

As Leigh shared, she thought she was eating and living a healthy life. I hear this from so many people I come across whether at talks or online. Why did so-and-so get cancer (or whatever disease) if they ate well and exercised and were generally happy, while so-and-so ate poorly, drank, smoked and never got any cancers? This is what so many people ask. Reading this book answers those questions and so much more. The answers to those questions lie in our deepest emotional patterns, responses and habits.

Finally, what else did book did for me, is gift me with a most valuable resource that I can now share easily with the people I speak to, know or come across. Being passionate about natural healing, I always thought of putting together my own resource as I have many people asking – if not chemo and radiation, then what should we do? And more importantly, if all these other alternative options are available, why don’t we know about them? Why didn’t my doctor(s) tell me, recommend them, etc.? Upon reading this book, you too will learn all these answers, with crystal clear ideas as to why the system is as it is.

So what else can you get from this book? First off, whether you have had cancer, know someone with cancer or are intrigued by this topic and how to prevent this – I strongly recommend reading this book. In today’s society, I would go as far as to say it should be “required reading”. It is truly an outstanding wealth of resources and insights to one of the most crippling diseases we have today.

Yes, the stories from Leigh and all the people who healed from cancer that she interviews are inspiring, encouraging and brimming with hope and potential—each in their own way. And yes, the book can offer you so many insights on how to deal with, approach, embrace and make peace with cancer. But again, above all else, the valuable resources in this book for alternative healing that Leigh put together, trump this book and stood out most for me.

The experts she interviewed and the alternative cancer treatment options and centers she shares were all so valuable. Names include Dr. Bruce Lipton, Dr. Larry Dossey, Dr. Tullio Simonicini, Dr. Abram Hoffer, Dr. Gerson and many more! When you start to expand your mind to what is out there, and what experts who are not pawns to the pharmaceutical industry know and are capable of, the results are astounding!

Being a natural health proponent and understanding the biochemical, nutritional and natural healing power of the human body, I strongly advocate alternative treatment for too many reasons to list here. Bottom line, the best part is that today we DO have so many outstanding options and do not have to subject ourselves to the destructive chemo or radiation. We also do not need to seek a cure for cancer. As Leigh also mentions in her book—and I wholeheartedly agree—it is so deceptive to make people think that there is some “one cure”. Cancer is over 200 different diseases! There is no one-size-fits-all, not even close! Ironically, we already HAVE many natural healing methods that are capable of treating and healing cancer.

In the end, the book is an eye-opener on many levels. It is emotion-stirring. You will most likely shed some tears while reading it and enjoy some laughs.

It was written in a super easy and friendly reading format, suitable for most everyone to grasp easily. It is also a book that is so well-rounded touching upon the physical and spiritual equally, as this is the core of who we are—spiritual beings, having a physical experience.

I intend to share this book and recommend to anyone and everyone, whom I think would greatly benefit from it. If you personally have or had, or know of someone who has or had cancer, or any degenerative disease, or wants to prevent it, or know their options before anything should happen to be more educated—then consider picking up this book.

Leigh has definitely done it with this book! She is a ray of hope and light for others, and gives us a resource that can transform our life physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally when it comes to one of the most difficult topics of our time.