What You Really Need to Know about Cancer
A Comprehensive Guide for Patients and Their Families
As a medical oncologist, Dr. Robert Buckman has been taking care of people with cancer for more than twenty years. For most of those years, he says, he has spent much of his time talking with patients and their families—describing what is known about cancer (and what isn't), explaining why specialists have recommended one type of treatment rather than another, or outlining the potential benefits and disadvantages of each treatment option. Many patients, he finds, are well informed about specific aspects of a disease or treatment, but few have a clear overall view. "The patients have a catalogue of the trees," he writes, "but not a map of the forest."
With this book, Dr. Buckman provides that much needed map: a concise and understandable guide to the basic facts about cancer and the general principles of treatment based on the most up-to-date medical information. Written for cancer patients and their families, it combines a complete and accessible general explanation of cancer with detailed information about specific kinds of cancer, all presented in a voice that is as authoritative as it is kind. Dr. Buckman's goal is to provide the background information patients and their families need to conduct more focused and productive discussions with their doctors about their own cases and concerns.
This easy-to-use guide covers the essential topics relating to cancer and its treatment:
• What is cancer? • What we know about the causes of cancer—what makes cells turn cancerous and triggers the various mech-anisms involved in that process • What do the words cure and remission mean? • An overview of the most common cancers • Descriptions of the sites of cancer and how specific cancers behave • Screening, early diagnosis, and prevention • The four types of conventional treatment • Surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and biologic therapy • Complementary, alternative, or unconventional treatments • Cancer, attitudes, and the mind • Can the mind change the outcome? • With so many breakthroughs, why is there no progress? • Why cancer research does not appear to be changing the situation for the cancer patient who needs help today • Living with cancer • How to control pain and manage common symptoms, how to recognize a medical emergency, how to communicate—with friends and family, and the medical team
The text is fully illustrated with 76 line drawings and supplemented by appendixes on commonly used medical terms and what they mean, commonly asked questions, further readings and references, and other sources of help. What You Really Need to Know about Cancer is now available for the first time in a U.S. edition—thoroughly revised for the patient in the U.S. health care system with the help of more than seventy cancer specialists at the renowned M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
"Dr. Buckman writes in a soothing conversational style and very effectively describes the pertinent facts about various malignancies and the types of treatment that are often employed. The book is an excellent resource for cancer patients and their families."—Robert A. Brodsky, M.D., Johns Hopkins Oncology Center
About the Authors
Dr. Robert Buckman (1948–2011) was a medical cancer specialist and the author of I Don't Know What to Say: How to Help and Support Someone Who Is Dying, and How to Break Bad News: A Guide for Health Care Professionals.
"Cancer experts from the renowned M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston have compiled this excellent, comprehensive text that intelligently explains why we fear cancer and what it is... Cancer screening, early diagnosis, prevention, terminology and research breakthroughs are also presented in a remarkably clear manner in this authoritative cancer reference resource."
"An excellent book—by far the best of its kind that I have seen. I would not hesitate to recommend it to patients with cancer or their families."
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