The Everything Health Guide to Living with Breast Cancer: An accessible and comprehensive resource for women [NOOK Book]


The diagnosis of breast cancer challenges a woman's sense of self, her body image, and ultimately her own mortality. In this health guide, breast cancer survivor and nurse Lucia Giuggio Carvalho provides a basic overview of breast cancer, its biology, psychology, and treatment options. This comprehensive approach to facing breast cancer covers:
  • Physical changes that occur with treatment, such as hair loss, early menopause, fatigue, sexuality, ...
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The Everything Health Guide to Living with Breast Cancer: An accessible and comprehensive resource for women

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The diagnosis of breast cancer challenges a woman's sense of self, her body image, and ultimately her own mortality. In this health guide, breast cancer survivor and nurse Lucia Giuggio Carvalho provides a basic overview of breast cancer, its biology, psychology, and treatment options. This comprehensive approach to facing breast cancer covers:
  • Physical changes that occur with treatment, such as hair loss, early menopause, fatigue, sexuality, and weight gain/loss
  • Treatment options, including surgery, chemotherapy, clinical trials, radiation, hormonal therapies, and reconstructive surgery
  • Support systems, medical insurance coverage, and financial considerations
  • Complimentary alternative medicine choices, and more
The breast cancer journey is not about doing everything right for the right outcome. This book shows you the importance of living life to the fullest in each stage of breast cancer treatment and to find from within yourself the strength, courage, and spirit to survive it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605506685
  • Publisher: F+W Media
  • Publication date: 8/18/2009
  • Series: Everything
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,416,008
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Lucia Giuggio Carvalho (Longmeadow, MA) was diagnosed with breast cancer sixteen years ago, and is actively and joyfully participating in life. She has twenty-five years of healthcare experience. A nurse with a master's in community health nursing, she is currently the Director of Case Management for the Jewish Geriatric Services. She has been a longtime volunteer for the American Cancer Society, a director for a local hospice, and is the recipient of several community awards, including the Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts. Carvalho coauthored The Journey: A Personal Journal for Those Living with Breast Cancer. In 1994 she founded the Rays of Hope Walk Towards the Cure of Breast Cancer, which has raised more than $6.5 million and supports local women and their families as well as research.
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Table of Contents

Introduction xv

1 An Overview of Breast Cancer 1

Risk Factors for Breast Cancer 1

BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genes 5

The Role of the Immune System in Cell Growth and Metastasis 5

What to Expect-a Basic Timeframe 6

Think about Your Treatment 8

2 What Does Breast Cancer Mean? 11

Types of Breast Cancer 11

Tumor Size 13

Tumor Grade 14

Lymph Node Status 15

Lymphedema 17

Stages of Breast Cancer 22

Estrogen Receptor Status 24

Biomarkers 25

3 Tests to Diagnose Breast Cancer 27

Traditional Mammography 27

Digital Mammography 29

Ultrasound 31

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) 31

Breast Biopsy 34

Genetic Testing 36

The Waiting Game 38

4 Exploring Your Options 43

How to Choose Your Physician 43

Learn as Much as You Can about Your Choices and Challenges 45

Examine Your Decision 48

Slow Down-Make an Informed Decision 49

Make the Best Decision with the Information You Have 49

Getting Rid of "What If?" 51

Try Not to Jump Ahead of Where You Are 51

5 Treatment Options and Side Effects 53

Surgery 53

Chemotherapy 57

What Are Clinical Trials and Are They for Me? 62

Hormonel Therapies 63

Radiation Therapy 64

Which Treatment Option Is Best for You? 68

Making the Right Decision for You 68

6 Personal Resources and Support Systems 71

Know Your Support Systems 71

Bring Someone You Respect to Your Appointments 73

Friends and Family Will Keep You Going in the Midst of Adversity 74

Health Care Providers as Partners 75

Spiritual Strength: Build Upon Your Spiritual Self 76

Financial Resources 77

Health Insurance 78

Employment Benefits/Resources 81

7 Feelings of Being Overwhelmed: Why Me? 85

The Reality Hits: I Have Cancer85

Questioning Your Everyday Life 86

The Gloom and Doom Stage 88

Accept Full Responsibility for Your Life 89

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Depression 90

Fear of Recurrence 93

Commit to Growth, not Perfection 94

Keep Your Goals in Mind, Reassess, and Make Changes 94

8 Sharing Your Diagnosis 97

How to Tell People You Have Breast Cancer 97

Telling Your Spouse/Partner 99

Telling Your Parents, Siblings, and Family 102

Telling Your Children 103

Telling Your Friends 105

Telling Acquaintances 107

Telling Future Mates/Dates 108

9 Going Through Treatment 111

It's All on Your Head-or Was 111

How Do I Pick a Wig? 112

Dealing with Fatigue 115

Recognizing the Role of Energy in Healing 116

Cancer and Sexuality 118

Why Does My Body Feel Different? 120

Feeding Your Body-What Is Right for You 121

Vitamins and Health Food 123

10 Healthy Coping 127

Let Friends and Family Help 127

Past Coping Patterns-What Worked? 128

Loss Is the Overriding Theme 130

Do What You Enjoy Best 130

Seek Out Humor 131

Try Journaling 132

Be Kind to Yourself 134

Join a Support Group 134

Exercise 136

Grow Yourself 137

11 Exploring the World of Complementary Therapies 139

Meditation 139

Yoga 142

Pilates 149

Reiki 151

Massage 152

Acupuncture 154

Healing Touch 155

Art Therapy 156

Diet 156

12 Positive Mental Attitude 159

Develop a Positive Mental Attitude 159

Choose to Find Hope in All You Do 161

Do Whatever It Takes to Stay Positive 162

Life Is a Process, so Is Having Breast Cancer 163

Surround Yourself with Positive People 164

13 Opportunities 169

In All of Life's Crises Lie Opportunities 169

Evaluate What Is Important to You 170

Find an Opportunity to Reach Out to Others 171

Volunteer to Help a Local Breast Cancer Cause 172

Breast Cancer Awareness and the Pink Ribbon 175

Discover the Wisdom That Cancer Brings 179

Living Life the Way It Was Meant to Be Lived 179

14 Empowerment and Capturing Your "New Normal" 181

Your Greatest Growth Comes from Your Greatest Difficulties 181

Find Out What Is Important to You 185

Know You Are in the Driver's Seat 186

Listen to Your Heart and Follow It 188

The Benefits of Loving Your Life with Purpose and Design 189

Accept That Your Old Self Is No Longer 190

Identifying What Your "New Normal" Is 191

Deciding How You Want to Live the Rest of Your Life 192

Be Sensitive to Family and Friends as They Adjust 195

Embracing the Freedom You Deserve 196

15 The Future of Living with Breast Cancer 197

Getting Down to the Business of Life 197

What about My 401(k)? 200

Continue to Question How You Spend Your Time and Money 201

Reassess the Status of Your Will/HCP/DPOA 201

Assess Any Special Considerations and Plan for Them 203

Make Plans-Expect to Live 205

16 Write Your Own Story 207

Trace Your Family History; Create a Legacy 207

Plan a Family Reunion 208

Write Letters to the Special People in Your Life 209

Wisdom That You Would Like to Pass On 210

Family/Friend Traditions 210

Family Recipes 211

Special Memories in Your Life 212

How to Write the Story of Your Life 212

17 Stages of Grief 215

The Grief Cycle 215

Denial 216

Anger 217

Bargaining 219

Depression 220

Acceptance 221

Survival 222

18 Riding the Waves 225

Riding the Ups and Downs 225

The Ups 226

The Downs 227

The Calm 227

The Storm 228

Weathering the Storm 228

Navigating It All 229

19 When Someone You Love Is Diagnosed with Breast Cancer 231

Your Role as Supporter 231

How Can You Help Your Loved One During Breast Cancer Treatment? 235

Share Your Talents 236

Do Everything Out of Love 236

What if She Rejects My Help? 237

Follow Your Heart and Be There for Her 238

If Your Mother, Sister, Aunt, or Grandmother Is Diagnosed 239

20 What's New in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 241

The Present 241

New Chemotheraphy Combinations and Treatments 243

New Therapeutic Advancements-Precision Guided Cancer Treatment 244

Breast Cancer Stem Cell Research 248

Quality of Life Research 249

Breast Cancer Vaccines Targeting HER-2 Breast Cancer 251

What Is Translational Research? 251

A Word about the Environment and Other Cancer Suspects 253

Appendix A Glossary 255

Appendix B Resources 265

Appendix C Breast Cancer and Cancer Organizations 269

Appendix D What to Bring to Your Chemotherapy Appointments 277

Index 281

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