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Beating Melanoma. A Five –Step Survival Guide

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Title: Beating Melanoma. A Five –Step Survival Guide

Author: Steven Q Wang

Publisher: John Hopkins Press Health, 2011

Reviewer:  Nigel Jopson, operational support manager, Care UK

What was it like?

This is aimed at people who have melanoma and aims to describe the latest research and treatment. It is an American publication and at times is a little confusing. It suggests that, depending on your stage in the process, you should skip some parts.


It does highlight the differences in the way healthcare is delivered in US and quite honestly I think I prefer the way it is done in the UK. There is much emphasis on checking physician’s qualifications and always carefully checking paperwork. It also talks at length about the number of people you will see and the need to check them all out. I had not realised just how little trust there seems to be between health professionals in the US and it worries me a little. At the start it seems to be much more about the US healthcare system than about melanoma

The book seems unsure of its audience and it ranges from simplistic, almost childlike, language and description to parts that are highly technical and complicated   

What were the highlights? 

I did like the discussion on sunscreen and I will ensure that I now use more and apply it as specified. I think that the checklist would be useful but perhaps more so in US.

Strengths & weaknesses:

Good glossary and some useful illustrations although not terribly well described. The preface has a worrying bit in that says that melanoma is not a death sentence but also says that 69,000 people were diagnosed with melanoma in 2009 and 8,650 people died.

Who should read it?

Parts of this book are interesting but on the whole it would probably be much more use in US as large parts are not relevant here. It is relevant to patients and also health professionals in different areas of the book

I would add that when I had a diagnosis of melanoma, I found that I was given excellent information by the (small) team who looked after me and I really felt no need to check their qualifications.


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