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What You Really Need to Know about Cancer: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients and Their Families / Edition 1

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Overview

As a medical oncologist, Dr. Robert Buckman has been taking care of people with cancer for more than twenty years. For most of those years, he says, he has spent much of his time talking with patients and their families—describing what is known about cancer (and what isn't), explaining why specialists have recommended one type of treatment rather than another, or outlining the potential benefits and disadvantages of each treatment option. Many patients, he finds, are well informed about specific aspects of a disease or treatment, but few have a clear overall view. "The patients have a catalogue of the trees," he writes, "but not a map of the forest."

With this book, Dr. Buckman provides that much needed map: a concise and understandable guide to the basic facts about cancer and the general principles of treatment based on the most up-to-date medical information. Written for cancer patients and their families, it combines a complete and accessible general explanation of cancer with detailed information about specific kinds of cancer, all presented in a voice that is as authoritative as it is kind. Dr. Buckman's goal is to provide the background information patients and their families need to conduct more focused and productive discussions with their doctors about their own cases and concerns.

This easy-to-use guide covers the essential topics relating to cancer and its treatment:

• What is cancer? • What we know about the causes of cancer—what makes cells turn cancerous and triggers the various mech-anisms involved in that process • What do the words cure and remission mean? • An overview of the most common cancers • Descriptions of the sites of cancer and how specific cancers behave • Screening, early diagnosis, and prevention • The four types of conventional treatment • Surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and biologic therapy • Complementary, alternative, or unconventional treatments • Cancer, attitudes, and the mind • Can the mind change the outcome? • With so many breakthroughs, why is there no progress? • Why cancer research does not appear to be changing the situation for the cancer patient who needs help today • Living with cancer • How to control pain and manage common symptoms, how to recognize a medical emergency, how to communicate—with friends and family, and the medical team

The text is fully illustrated with 76 line drawings and supplemented by appendixes on commonly used medical terms and what they mean, commonly asked questions, further readings and references, and other sources of help. What You Really Need to Know about Cancer is now available for the first time in a U.S. edition—thoroughly revised for the patient in the U.S. health care system with the help of more than seventy cancer specialists at the renowned M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

"Dr. Buckman writes in a soothing conversational style and very effectively describes the pertinent facts about various malignancies and the types of treatment that are often employed. The book is an excellent resource for cancer patients and their families."—Robert A. Brodsky, M.D., Johns Hopkins Oncology Center

Johns Hopkins University Press

The book contains predominantly two-color illustrations, with some black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Mary Dee McEvoy, PhD, RN (Mount Sinai Hospital and Medical Center)
Description: This book is developed as a guide for patients with cancer as well as their families. The author believes that a well informed patient is better able to understand his or her disease, ask questions, and participate in decisions about care.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide extensive information to patients, their families, and friends. In this era of consumer involvement in healthcare, this is an important and worthy purpose.
Audience: The target audience is the healthcare consumer. Although the author has attempted to simplify the complex concepts involved in cancer care, this book will be understood only by an educated and sophisticated consumer. The author is certainly credible in his field. In addition, the contents have been reviewed by a host of interdisciplinary professionals.
Features: The text is arranged in a manner that is easily understood. It begins with a description of the book and a "How to Read" section, thus preparing the consumer for the information presented. It is written in black and white, using gold color to highlight certain areas. Each chapter begins with a boxed, gold area of "Summary of Key Facts." There are many illustrations and they are pertinent to the topic under discussion. Tables are used throughout and highlight the text.
Assessment: Directed toward the public, this text covers a variety of topics related to cancer, including the cause of cancer, descriptions of the most common cancers, conventional and unconventional treatments, attitudes of cancer, cancer research, detection and prevention, and living with cancer. It is useful only for the educated and sophisticated consumer of health care; less educated people will find it confusing. The appendixes are a useful addition, covering common medical terms, commonly asked questions, further readings, and sources for help.
Mary Dee McEvoy
This book is developed as a guide for patients with cancer as well as their families. The author believes that a well informed patient is better able to understand his or her disease, ask questions, and participate in decisions about care. The purpose is to provide extensive information to patients, their families, and friends. In this era of consumer involvement in healthcare, this is an important and worthy purpose. The target audience is the healthcare consumer. Although the author has attempted to simplify the complex concepts involved in cancer care, this book will be understood only by an educated and sophisticated consumer. The author is certainly credible in his field. In addition, the contents have been reviewed by a host of interdisciplinary professionals. The text is arranged in a manner that is easily understood. It begins with a description of the book and a ""How to Read"" section, thus preparing the consumer for the information presented. It is written in black and white, using gold color to highlight certain areas. Each chapter begins with a boxed, gold area of ""Summary of Key Facts."" There are many illustrations and they are pertinent to the topic under discussion. Tables are used throughout and highlight the text. Directed toward the public, this text covers a variety of topics related to cancer, including the cause of cancer, descriptions of the most common cancers, conventional and unconventional treatments, attitudes of cancer, cancer research, detection and prevention, and living with cancer. It is useful only for the educated and sophisticated consumer of health care; less educated people will find it confusing. The appendixes are a useful addition,covering common medical terms, commonly asked questions, further readings, and sources for help.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801855931
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Robert Buckman is a medical cancer specialist and the author of I Don't Know What to Say: How to Help and Support Someone Who Is Dying, and How to Break Bad News: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, the latter available from Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Why Are We So Afraid of Cancer? 1
Ch. 1 What This Book Is All About 5
Ch. 2 What Is Cancer? 9
Ch. 3 How Cancer Is Caused? 21
Ch. 4 An Overview of the Most Common Cancers 31
Ch. 5 The Main Types of Conventional Treatment 213
Ch. 6 Complementary, Alternative, or Unconventional Treatments 235
Ch. 7 Cancer, Attitudes, and the Mind 245
Ch. 8 Screening, Early Diagnosis, and Prevention 255
Ch. 9 With So Many Breakthroughs, Why's There No Progress? 261
Ch. 10 Living with Cancer 275
Conclusion 325
App. A Some Commonly Used Medical Terms and What They Mean 327
App. B Commonly Asked Questions 333
App. C: Further Readings and References 337
App. D: Other Sources of Help 341
Index 347
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