BMJ 2011;343:d5128 doi: 10.1136/bmj.d5128 OBITUARIES
David Servan-Schreiber
Author of a bestselling book that promotes natural cures for cancer David Servan-Schreiber, author (b 1961; q 1984, Laval University, Natural Approaches to Curing Stress, Anxiety and Depression, Quebec City), died on 24 July 2011 from brain cancer.
David Servan-Schreiber, already successful as a psychiatric and Four years later, he published Anticancer, which told his story neuroscience researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, was 31 and those of other patients with cancer. He advocated a natural years old when the unthinkable happened. It was autumn 1992.
and holistic lifestyle that included a healthy diet with foods such He and two colleagues had planned to conduct research using as vegetables, olive oil, garlic, and green tea, which he believed magnetic resonance imaging, but a student “guinea pig” had had anticancer properties, as well as plenty of exercise and failed to show up. Dr Servan-Schreiber volunteered to lie down optimism. The book became an international bestseller translated in the scanner for the experiments, his arms tight at his sides, into more than 30 languages. He became a hero to other patients “a little like [in] a coffin,” he later wrote in his bestselling book with cancer and their families, speaking around the world and Anticancer: A New Way of Life. Before the experiment was over, a colleague in the control room told Servan-Schreiber over the intercom, “Listen, there’s something wrong. We’re coming Edouard Servan-Schreiber, his brother, said that after the first relapse in 2000, David was not fighting the cancer in attempt It was malignant
to defeat it but rather was focusing on “living with the cancer,” accepting that in the end the cancer would win and that he would Servan-Schreiber, a native of France who the year before had die. “In his mind,” Edouard said, “it was a question of, ‘How worked in Iraq with Médecins Sans Frontières, studied the should I live my life? Do I give up or do I do all I can to extend images of his brain. He saw “a sort of a ball the size of a walnut” in the right hand region of his prefrontal cortex. Follow-up tests However, many remained sceptical of Servan-Schreiber’s confirmed his fears: it was malignant. “No longer wrapped in anticancer message. A review written by a doctor in the New the comfortable mantle of physician and scientist, I had become York Times described the book as “worthy of the finest in nighttime television infomercials, where among all the financial He underwent successful surgery, and the cancer went into advisers, kitchen gadget guys and acne specialists is one with remission. But in 2000 the cancer returned. After more surgery a story so personal, heartfelt and sensible that you suddenly and chemotherapy he asked his oncologist for advice on leading need exactly what he has to sell” (2008 Sep 6, a healthy life and avoiding another relapse. He was told there was “nothing special to do. Lead your life normally.” Edouard said that his brother had no hard feelings about such Servan-Schreiber, by then a clinical associate professor and scepticism. “He felt that scepticism is what moves science chief of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical forward,” he said. But he added that his brother also felt that Center, Shadyside Hospital, was not happy with the advice. A natural methods for preventing cancer would have trouble being founding board member of the US branch of Doctors Without embraced by the medical community because “they were not Borders, he had been exposed to traditional Asian medicine, patentable. You can’t make money off of them.” such as acupuncture, meditation, and nutrition, while on a Most importantly, Edouard said that his brother always mission to Tibet. “I decided to learn everything I could to help recommended that patients with cancer undergo “classical, my body defend itself against the illness,” he wrote. He knew standard medical treatments. He never recommended against chances of long term survival were not good but vowed to uses his medical and research skills to “change the odds.” David Servan-Schreiber was born on 21 April 1961, in the Paris He came to believe that the body has natural defences to “fight suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine into a prominent French family.
the process of tumour development” noting the lower rates of His father was Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, a politician and breast, colon, and prostate cancer in much of Asia compared journalist who cofounded the magazine L’Express. After earning with the West. His first book, Healing Without Freud or Prozac: a bachelors degree in 1977 at the Académie de Paris, he studied BMJ 2011;343:d5128 doi: 10.1136/bmj.d5128 medicine for four years at the University of Paris before moving brain tumour was found. He underwent several treatments and to Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, where he earned was in and out of the hospitals. Another tumour—“the big one,” his medical degree in 1984. He completed an internship in as he described it—was found in February. Having survived for internal medicine and psychiatry at McGill University’s Royal 19 years after his first diagnosis of brain cancer, he believed his natural methods had changed the odds, allowing him to live Edouard said that his brother decided on a career in medicine longer than he might have, his brother said.
at the age of 12, adding, “He and our father were always deeply He wrote a final farewell book that has already been published impressed by the North American medical achievements and in France, We Can Say Goodbye Several Times, which will be scientific achievements. David wanted to be trained in the same published in English. He leaves his wife, Gwenaelle Briseul “The big one”
After his second relapse in 2000, he quit daily medical practice and curtailed academic responsibilities. In June 2010 another

Source: http://www.h2mw.eu/redactionmedicale/2011/08/Servan-Schrebeir_bmj.d5128.full.PDF




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