Kirkus Reviews QR Code
JUST DIAGNOSED by Arlene M. Karole


Breast Cancer: What To Expect, What To Know, What To Do Next

by Arlene M. Karole

Pub Date: Aug. 10th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-950892-82-2
Publisher: Clovercroft Publishing

A self-help work that offers a comprehensive overview of dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis.

At the start of her book, Karole, a certified health care professional and health administrator based in New York, makes an observation about breast cancer that will be familiar to survivors of all types of cancer: that it’s “a lifelong journey,” and it’s one that she hopes she can ease with this book. The author was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 49, and in these pages, she chronicles her own story to offer advice that readers can broadly apply to their own situations. The well-designed work enlivens its main text with insets that offer concise definitions of basics, such as chemotherapy and radiation, as well as medical devices, such as a Jackson-Pratt drain, and fields such as integrative medicine. There are also mentions of specific people who influenced Karole during her own journey and boxed “Mini-Mentions” that expand on the material at hand. The author’s inclusive approach—encompassing her own story, those of friends and acquaintances, and even occasional celebrities—allows her to touch on a wide spectrum of issues, from psychologically coming to terms with a diagnosis to navigating the complexities of the medical industry. Along the way, she offers generous helpings of low-key but helpful encouragement and advice. For example, she urges readers to ask questions and do research regarding their doctors but also stresses that one should not let this aspect act as a delay to the treatment process: “It's a tough balance,” she writes, “between figuring out in whose hands you will literally be putting your life and your breasts and how long you will take before actually getting treated.” Readers dealing with breast cancer, as well as their loved ones and other helpers, will find this book’s combination of information and good sense to be invaluable.

An empathetic and appealing handbook on all aspects of breast cancer and its treatment.