The Complete Idiot's Guide to Living with Breast Cancer

Li Liu, MD
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

front cover Authors: Sharon Sorenson, Suzanne Metzger, Jody Brennan
Publisher: Alpha Books
ISBN: 0028639383

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Living with Breast Cancer is written by two breast cancer survivors. Sharon Sorenson is an author and editor who resides in Mt. Vernon, Indiana, and is a six-month survivor of breast cancer. Suzanne Metzger is a corporate communications consultant and a spokesperson for various breast cancer organizations. She is a six-year survivor of breast cancer.

The book is divided into five separate parts. Part 1 begins with the discovery of a lump or a suspicious mammogram and diagnosis of breast cancer. It helps the breast cancer patient to prepare for battle by learning medical terminology, finding the right doctor, and making informed decisions. Part 2 discusses the various treatment options, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy. Part 3 describes the "tremors" following the treatment, such as treatment side effects and follow-up appointments. Part 4 shows how to get support from others in the sisterhood, from spiritual guidance, and from self-help strategies or professional counselors. Part 5 addresses the issues of breast reconstruction. At the end, the readers can find several useful appendices, including some of the correspondent Web sites.

Overall, the book is very well organized and easily readable. However, some new developments in breast cancer are not included, including sentinel lymph node biopsy and Herceptin. The book is recommended by OncoLink.

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