Excerpt: Dean Ornish's 'The Spectrum'

In these studies, we also documented that other chronic diseases may be reversible simply by making comprehensive lifestyle changes. Our findings are giving literally millions of people worldwide new hope and new choices, options that are more caring and compassionate as well as more cost-effective and competent.

More recently, we published the results of a randomized controlled trial in collaboration with Peter Carroll, M.D. (Chair, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco) and William Fair, M.D. (Chief of urologic surgery and Chair of urologic oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, now deceased) showing that the progression of early-stage prostate cancer may be slowed, stopped, or perhaps even reversed by making similar changes in diet and lifestyle. This may be the first randomized controlled trial showing that the progression of any type of cancer may be modified just by changing what we eat and how we live. What's true for prostate cancer may be true for breast cancer as well, as I describe in chapter 14.

Our research has been conducted in collaboration with the most credible scientific investigators at major academic medical centers. Our findings have been published in the leading peer-reviewed medical journals, including The Lancet, The Journal of the American Medical Association, The American Journal of Cardiology, Circulation, Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Journal of Urology, Yearbook of Medicine, Yearbook of Cardiology, The New England Journal of Medicine, Homeostasis, Urology, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Hospital Practice, Cardiovascular Risk Factors, World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics, Journal of Cardiovascular Risk, Obesity Research, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and others.

Our program has also been featured in the leading standard medical textbooks, including Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, Clinical Trials in Cardiovascular Disease (companion to Heart Disease, the Braunwald standard cardiology textbook), Harrison's Advances in Cardiology, and Clinical Trials in Cardiovascular Disease (second edition), as well as a number of general-interest books, including Bill Moyers's Healing and the Mind, among others.

Research findings documenting the benefits of our program have been presented at numerous scientific meetings, including the annual scientific meetings of the American College of Cardiology, beginning in 1982; the American Heart Association, beginning in 1983; and the Society of Behavioral Medicine, beginning in 1988, as well as many other scientific and medical conferences. On several occasions, our research was highlighted at these meetings and featured at press conferences convened by these organizations.

I say this just to emphasize that the program described in this book has been proven to work in the most rigorous and credible peer-reviewed evaluations. And that matters. A lot.

I have spent so much of my time conducting scientific research because it's important to be able to substantiate and validate whatever health promises are made. In 2000, I was appointed to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. More than a thousand people testified before our committee.

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