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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Betsy Frank, RN, PhD, ANEF (Indiana State University School of Nursing)
Description: This overview of treatment options for breast cancer provides general facts about the nature of breast cancer and discusses a woman's expected psychological response. An excellent glossary is incorporated within the chapters.
Purpose: This book is targeted at women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer. The information provided is intended to guide a woman through the trajectory of care.
Audience: Written at a lay level, the book is straightforward without being condescending. Family members and other support persons as well as patients will find this useful.
Features: The book takes newly diagnosed women through the process of initial diagnosis to the follow-up care needed after initial treatment. The decision-making process is stressed. The author focuses on the need for arming women with as much information as possible so that they can ask questions of care providers and take control of the decisions regarding treatment options. Quick decision-making is discouraged. The author's upbeat approach should instill in women the sense that breast cancer is generally not fatal and living a full life is possible perhaps during and certainly after treatment. The author spends considerable time on describing care given at academic health science centers, as well as the breast reconstruction option following mastectomy. Some women may not choose to seek care at these centers, nor have access to them. In addition, some women may not want to feel pressured into seeking breast reconstruction.
Assessment: This book is a good starting place for women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer. The web sites listed in the book will help women and their support system to seek further information needed to consider all treatment options.