Coming to Terms with Cancer 2nd Edition


A veritable dictionary of cancer that provides background on medical terms and resources for patients and their loved ones.
Laughlin, a doctor, presents a revised edition of his 2001 alphabetized catalog covering oncology topics from a patient’s perspective. The book has entries on diagnoses, medications, treatment types and side effects, ranging from ablative therapy (cancer treatment that uses extreme cold or heat instead of radiation) to Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (a disorder involving excessive gastric acid production that leads to painful ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding, and a possible symptom of stomach cancer). Each entry offers an overview and provides context in terms of cancer pathology and treatment. Some entries debunk myths with passing references to medical studies, such as the entry for “fruit intake,” which indicates that a study of 9,000 cancer patients showed that a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables offers “little to no protection from cancer” in adults. Laughlin also includes terms that highlight cancer’s ripple effects: Sufferers of bone cancer and other metastatic cancers are likely to suffer from bones that “fracture.” Longer entries cover oncology basics, such as “radiation therapy,” “staging” and “tumor marker.” Through these terms, readers unfamiliar with epidemiology will be able to piece together a disease’s origins and behaviors and get a glimpse into the treatment process. Although the guide often eschews medical jargon, the informal, passive voice and occasional oncology vocabulary (such as the use of the term “osteogenic sarcoma” rather than “bone cancer”) can sometimes make the guide feel clinical rather than consolatory. The middle section breaks down oncology terms into specific cancer types, with sections describing risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis and staging in detail, and the final section groups support services by category, with contact information listed alphabetically. The listing of agencies helpfully points to organizations and hospitals that specialize in certain cancers or provide particular services, such as Camp Keser, a free sleep-away camp in California for kids whose parents have cancer.

An often useful primer for readers dealing with a recent cancer diagnosis.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1484908228

Page Count: 564

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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