|Reviewer: Barbara Zoltick, RN, MSN, CURN|
Despite the fact that bladder cancer is a fairly common cancer, most people don't know very much about it. You don't hear about bladder cancer on television or read about it in the newspaper. This makes Dr. Mark Schoenberg's comprehensive book, The Guide to Living with Bladder Cancer, all the more valuable to bladder cancer patients.
Dr. Schoenberg, an Associate Professor in the Department of Urology and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, along with his associates whose specialties include urology, oncology, pathology, radiology, nursing and stoma therapy, has written a truly all inclusive guide that takes patients from screening to diagnosis and treatment. This book is an excellent resource that will benefit patients who are newly diagnosed as well as those who are already undergoing medical or surgical treatments, including chemotherapy.
The guide includes a very comprehensive glossary, and what is described as a "geography lesson" on the urinary tract, along with clear explanations, diagrams, and pictures of x-rays, CT scans, procedures and equipment. The book gives an overview of bladder cancer, including risk factors and statistics, and goes on to discuss specifics about diagnostic testing and procedures, minor and major surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
More importantly, Dr. Schoenberg includes information on simply dealing with the diagnosis of cancer and the physical as well as emotional effects of the disease and treatments. There is even advice on issues such as making the decision about when (or whether) to return to work. The last chapter includes recommendations from other bladder cancer patients about sharing concerns with family and friends, talking with doctors, and dealing with the stresses of life during and after cancer.
The book is well-organized and very user friendly. Patients who may already have gone through some of the treatments and procedures discussed, prior to reading the book, will find it helpful in understanding and validating what they have already experienced. Newly diagnosed patients will find it informative and reassuring. Whether you read this book from cover to cover, or pick out only information you feel the need to read at a particular time, you will find this a valuable resource.