Kirkus Star


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A thorough, responsible exploration of breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Berger and Bostwick endorse reconstruction as both a safe procedure and a reasonable measure to help women overcome the psychological and physical trauma of cancer surgery. (It's not just a concession to the overly distraught or unbalanced.) They first describe normal breast structure, explain techniques of breast self-examination, and discuss what breast lumps may mean. They give the latest information on breast cancer treatment, with the help of contributing specialist authors. (Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapies are all progressing markedly.) The bulk of their guide is then given over to breast reconstruction: the timing (it can be immediate, during the same operation as mastectomy, though results are probably better with an interim recovery period); the actual procedure (what incisions are made, and so on); the materials used (some natural, some synthetic); and what to expect post-operatively, both physically and mentally. Berger and Bostwick support their information with case stories--first-person accounts, from patients and their husbands, that are enlightening and realistic. This covers the same ground as Mary Spletter's 1982 A Woman's Choice, with some helpful update; its solid, straightforward guidance complements the newly-appearing personal testaments, like Marilyn Snyder's An Informed Decision (below).

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Mosby/Times Mirror