A fine, encyclopedic reference to a vast general area, this guide is made infinitely more valuable by providing sound specifics for individual cases. Teeley (press secretary under the Bush administration) and Bashe (You Don’t Have to Die: One Family’s Guide to Surviving Childhood Cancer, not reviewed) begin by describing Teeley’s successful 1981 treatment for Stage III colon cancer. They acknowledge that even as the specifics are being written out here, they are going out of date—therefore, besides laying out what is known about the 25 most common cancers and their treatment, the authors emphasize where to go next to be sure that diagnosis and treatment are state-of-the-art. Teeley and Bashe first describe what cancer is, in detail, with charts describing what is known about the etiology of each of the 25 variants (the five most common are prostate, breast, lung, colorectal, and lymphomas). They then examine at length diagnosis and staging (how far the disease has progressed helps determine treatment) and try to put survival rates into some kind of individual perspective. The various treatment types are exhaustively detailed, both in general and then for the disease type. Emotional health is addressed, and exhaustive resource and reference lists are included. Teeley and Bashe push for an aggressive, expert attack (this is no time to be in a community hospital, no matter how early the disease is caught), and recommend considering experimental treatments.
First rate help, clearly organized—a way out of the confusion and fear that accompanies a cancer diagnosis.