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From The CriticsReviewer: Robin Lehrhoff(Mount Sinai Hospital and Medical Center)
Description: This is an insightful book that heightens awareness of the many problems faced by low income women with cancer, as well as how these women deal with their illness and aftermath. The focus is on how social workers and other therapists can be of help to this population.
Purpose: The purpose is to help professional be aware of the many difficulties faced by low-income women with cancer. This is a worthy objective, and the author does a good job of meeting it.
Audience: This book is most helpful for a new oncology social worker. It would also be helpful to medical residents who have an interest in oncology patients. It helps raise awareness of how much position in society affects the way people cope with the diagnosis of cancer. The author seems very well versed on this subject and therefore this work is very credible.
Features: The diagnosis of cancer and its aftermath can be an extremely traumatic experience. This book illustrates how low-income women are at more of a disadvantage than others due to the many obstacles they face in accessing services. Using three patients' individual stories, the author successfully illustrates the hardships they face. I feel these case examples are very useful and help the reader identify with the patients. The book emphasizes the need to empower these women toward wellness and assist them in developing adequate coping skills. Case management, support group planning, and community models of care are all discussed in order to provide guidance to those professionals working with this population. I found the list of government agencies at the end of the book to be of great value.
Assessment: Although I found this book insightful and well written, as an experienced oncology social worker I did not learn anything new. As I mentioned above, this is a wonderful book for a new professional in the field of oncology. The one aspect of the book which disturbed me was the constant comparison of low-income women to middle class women. Throughout my years of experience working with women and cancer I have found that many middle class women share the same devastating issues as lower class women. Still, in some instances lower-class women get more services than middle class women.