What to do when they say "It's Cancer." A Survivor's Guide

Reviewer: James Metz, MD
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

What to DoAuthor: Joel Nathan
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Price: $17.00 (USA)
ISBN: 1-86448-635-X
OncoLink Rating:2 Stars

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Joel Nathan is a survivor of a rare form of leukemia that was diagnosed in 1983, and more recently non-small cell lung cancer. He has written this book for newly diagnosed cancer patients from the perspective of a cancer survivor. The author states "this book grew out of my experiences in survival. It is essentially about how your own resourcefulness and spirit can enhance your survival?for however long."

Throughout the book, he encourages the cancer patient to take charge of their disease and become active in the decision making process with their health care providers. He integrates his own experiences throughout the book, which helps to emphasize important points. The book is easy to read and written without confusing medical jargon.

The book deals with important issues that all cancer patients face; choosing the right doctor, dealing with friends and family, and understanding the emotional upheaval brought on by the diagnosis of cancer. There is an excellent section that discusses breaking the news of a cancer diagnosis to children. He gives specific recommendations based on the age of the child. There is also a discussion of alternative medicine that includes reasonable recommendations regarding the use of these therapies by cancer patients.

Overall, What to do when they say "It's cancer" is an excellent book. It is clearly written from a unique and refreshing perspective. It is highly recommended by OncoLink.