A balanced, reassuring guide to managing breast cancer through information and empowerment.

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KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

WHAT EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BREAST CANCER

In this debut book on women’s health, Citrin (Fatal Error, 2010), a breast cancer specialist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, provides an easy-to-follow, no-nonsense explanation of cancer detection and treatment.

Citrin’s primary goal is to convey the seriousness of breast cancer without striking an alarmist tone, and as a result, he acknowledges that misunderstandings and a lack of communication often prevent women from receiving proper treatment. “I believe the main reason women delay seeking treatment is fear,” he says. “Some women deny the presence of cancer, others refuse treatment, and many are not appropriately educated about their cancer or given the opportunity to completely understand their condition and the options before them.” The book guides readers through basics, including the biology of breast cancer and the usefulness of diagnostic techniques from mammogram to biopsy. Citrin, a veteran physician, then proceeds through an explanation of cancer treatments, with particular emphasis on recent developments that produce more effective and less debilitating results. He advocates an integrative approach to treatment as the best way for patients to make informed decisions and receive the most accurate, effective care. The driving theme throughout the book is one of empowerment, as Citrin counsels patients to continue asking questions until they feel fully informed; he chastises doctors who dismiss patients’ beliefs or wishes and lay out treatment plans in impenetrable jargon without ensuring that patients understand and agree. While the tone is generally upbeat, focusing on the fact that properly diagnosed breast cancer is nearly always treatable, the book does not shy away from acknowledging that complicating factors exist, and a concluding chapter goes into detail regarding situations that require a more careful approach, from genetic risk factors to breast cancer in males. Throughout the book, patient stories offer concrete examples of the topics discussed, serving as examples of different stages of progression and the varying levels of success. Appendices offer further resources, including a glossary and a comprehensive list of questions patients should ask their doctors.

A balanced, reassuring guide to managing breast cancer through information and empowerment.

Pub Date: March 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-1493573561

Page Count: 289

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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Authoritative and, most helpfully, accessible.

HEALING OUR VILLAGE

A SELF-CARE GUIDE TO DIABETES CONTROL

Self-help guide for diabetes sufferers, mostly in question-and-answer format, with an emphasis on helping racial and ethnic minority diabetics.

Coleman is a pharmacist with a doctorate in her specialty, Gavin a Ph.D. and M.D. Aside from acknowledgments and a foreword signed by Gavin alone, their voices and expertise are indistinguishable, offering lucid, simple solutions for diabetes patients. Gavin relates watching his great-grandmother endure debilitating pain as a result of diabetes while he visited her as a youngster. He remembers hearing adults mention that sugar killed her, and he wondered how something that tasted sweet could cause so much harm. As an adult, he realized that his great-grandmother's affliction could be controlled through treatment. The authors focus on Type 2 diabetes, the most common form in minority populations. An estimated 18.2 million Americans are diabetic, with perhaps 5 million unaware of their situation. About 11 percent of U.S. diabetics are African-American, and about 8 percent are Latino. The question-and-answer format begins with an overview section about diabetes, with an emphasis on risk factors. Section Two covers management of the disease, including nutrition, exercise, blood-testing, oral medications and insulin use. In addition, the authors continually recommend smoking cessation, as well as instructing patients on the readiness of self-treatment. Section Three explains the complications—high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease—that could arise if the condition remains untreated or treated ineffectively. The questions in all of the sections are worded simply, and the answers are usually free of medical jargon. Though the sudden shifts in tone and voice are occasionally jarring, the writing remains clear enough to distill the facts. The real downside here, though: patronizing, laughable illustrations that degrade the overall product.

Authoritative and, most helpfully, accessible.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2004

ISBN: 0-9746948-0-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2010

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There's a clear and intelligent gadfly at work here, offering much food for thought through his outrage.

CANCER-GATE

HOW TO WIN THE LOSING CANCER WAR

An astute—and sadly revealing—collection of articles from the past 15 years covering a wide number of topics related to the state of cancer research in the United States.

While it's true that Epstein—a physician and professor of occupational and environmental medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine—is clearly distressed by the current situation regarding our nation's approach to seeking cures and causes of cancer, this is far from a screed or conspiracy theory. He and a small number of contributors explain clearly why they feel the cancer fight has been stymied from the beginning. Epstein suggests the elimination of two impediments immediately: blaming the victim and putting the emphasis on diagnosis and treatment instead of prevention. He further suggests that there ought to be a distance between research institutions and those who fund the research. Since that likely means state intervention, he would like to see that ideologically biased individuals are not put in positions of power, dispersing funds (as happened under the Reagan administration, with its closed-door sessions with industry executives); too often the economic and political strings are held by those with a conflict of interest, such as the makers of products with suspicions of carcinogenic properties, or those with a vested interest in selling drugs to cancer patients. He also suggests that groups like the American Cancer Society stop spending three-quarters of their massive annual outlay on administrative costs, and start working more closely with environmental and occupational groups. Finally, he addresses the potential threats from pre-menopausal mammography, and the food industry's use of growth hormones.

There's a clear and intelligent gadfly at work here, offering much food for thought through his outrage.

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2005

ISBN: 0-89503-310-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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