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An invaluable companion and guide for those undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Medical journalist Bruning underwent chemotherapy herself at age 31 for breast cancer; here she lays out ""information in order to weight your options sensibly. . . guidance so you can help your cancer specialist help you. . . practical suggestions to make living under chemotherapy more confortable""--and reassurance ""that others have entered the special world of chemotherapy, have come out the other end, and are managing to adapt to the new life."" On the question ""Should You Have Chemotherapy?,"" Bruning sets forth today's understanding of cancer; the state-of-the-art of its treatment; specifics on chemotherapy (including why it sometimes doesn't work); and how to get the best care (details on choosing an oncologist and a treatment center). She then offers ""Help for the Mind, Body, and Spirit""--explaining what to expect in chemotherapy (right down to the specifics of taking pills most comfortably) and how emotional support (from family and professionals), stress-management techniques (like the Simontons'), diet and nutritional measures, and exercise can each ease the way and contribute to recovery. Lastly, Bruning looks carefully at ""Side Effects"": from life-threatening temporary damage to bone marrow and blood; to more cosmetic but still distressing changes in hair, skin, and nails; to long-lasting emotional upheaval (including ""survivor's syndrome""). Bruning is straightforward and comforting throughout: ""Take from this book what you need, when you need it. . . you're probably not too interested in the history of chemotherapy if your hair has just begun to fall out in handfuls."" As she notes, this is a quickly changing field--but right now, this is the best help a reader undergoing chemotherapy could hope for.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1985
Publisher: Dial/Doubleday