Title: Breast Cancer.Your Treatment Choices
Author: Dr Terry Priestman
Publisher: Sheldon Press
Reviewer: Paul Watson, head of child development, Marshland High School
What was it like?
This book provides the basic information needed to make informed choices about cancer care and is easy to read and understand. There are many great topics covered in this book, including key facts about surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy and complementary treatments. There is also advice regarding advanced breast cancer. I was impressed that early on in the book it highlights that men as well as women suffer with breast cancer, with most of the information given in the book pertinent to both genders. I was pleased to see however, that there was information provided that detailed the differences in the gender distinctions when treating and managing breast cancers.
What were the highlights?
I have not had a vast amount of experience of nursing patients with breast cancer but have vivid memories of those I have looked after. My Grandfather was unfortunate enough to have been through the process of a mastectomy as a result of being diagnosed with breast cancer in his seventies. He continued to live a happy and contented life following this, passing away from old age in his mid eighties.
I would have found this book to have been a great help at that time, and I know he and the rest of the family would have also found benefit in being able to find answers to questions that really no-one wanted to ask out loud, or could even acknowledge needed to be asked.
Strengths & weaknesses:
This is a well written and presented book that is laid out in an easy to use style. The contents page is clear, with the book only covering 11 chapters that easily allow the reader to see where to go to get the answers that they need. With the support of the index I am sure that any reader could access this book to be able to alleviate any fears or anxieties that they have. I was however, rather surprised at how short the index was and would have expected to have seen more content within it (I can’t give examples though, as I don’t know what I don’t know!). I am much a visual learner and know that many patients, especially when faced with a potentially life altering event such as breast cancer, struggle to make sense of the vast amounts of paperwork and documentation that they are given. It was for this reason that I was a little disappointed that there were not some more diagrams or pictures of procedures or equipment that patients might encounter. I feel that this might put their mind at ease when encountering them in hospital. It might also allow them to look through the pictures and see things that they have observed and gain understanding of it purpose.
Who should read it?
I believe that any new students or practitioners to oncology would benefit from this book, with possible interest from anyone who has a desire to know about breast cancer, such as the patients or their relatives.