EVERY WOMAN'S GUIDE TO BREAST CANCER: Prevention, Treatment, Recovery by

EVERY WOMAN'S GUIDE TO BREAST CANCER: Prevention, Treatment, Recovery

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A concise, comforting, and prevention-minded update on the disease that afflicts one-in-eleven women. Seltzer (from New York's Queens Hospital Center) clearly defines the current state of affairs regarding breast cancer: over the last decade, treatment has improved both in terms of success and in lessening the devastating effects on patients--but still relatively few women perform the periodic self-examination that so increases the odds for survival. Seltzer begins by describing the magnitude of the problem (the most likely cause of death in women aged 40-45), makes a strong argument for self-examination (detailed instructions here), and explains medical screening techniques. She goes on to explain what happens when a lump is found: biopsy is now done first, followed by a period in which to plan treatment--gone are the days when women didn't know if they would awaken from biopsy with a breast gone. New conservative therapies--lumpectomy, not mastectomy, sometimes in conjunction with new forms of chemotherapy--are proving as effective as more radical (and disfiguring) surgeries, when the disease is caught early. Seltzer discusses breast reconstruction for those who do have mastectomies, psychological considerations (including ""factors that prevent early diagnosis"" such as fear and denial), sexual readjustment after surgery, living with breast cancer (she here addresses coping with the day-to-day fear of recurrence), breast cancer in pregnancy, and in men. Finally, she stresses prevention once again--diet is the chief way that women can alter their risk, although other risk factors such as heredity, while non-alterable, can alert women to trouble. Knowledgeable and informative, with a sound emphasis on prevention and early detection.

Pub Date: Aug. 5th, 1987
Publisher: Viking