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Bosom Buddies: Lessons and Laughter on Breast Health and Cancer Paperback – November 1, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This breast health handbook, written by talk-show host O'Donnell (whose mother died of breast cancer), Axelrod (a New York City breast surgeon) and health writer Semler, attempts to offer a humorous alternative to other cancer guides. Using a Q&A format, the authors begin with a detailed description of breast anatomy as well as breast-cancer screening and risk factors, and then move into diagnosis, treatment and "aftercare," closing with a quick look at promising new therapies. Axelrod's explanations are comprehensive and accessible; she carefully explains such complex issues as various biopsy techniques and the exact goal of radiation therapy. Without subheads, however, readers may have to scout around to find all the valuable information about, for example, lymphedema, a common side effect of breast surgery dispersed throughout the book. The laughs are intended to come from O'Donnell's mock answers to the real questions. Unfortunately, some may make readers wince: to the question "I have a sore on my nipple. Can it be cancer?" O'Donnell posits, "Don't worry, it's probably just leprosy." Most baffling are the word-searches puzzles that contain terms such as "scar" and "nausea." Unfortunately, the humor and games will be likely to turn off readers well before they can take advantage of Axelrod's information. (Nov.)

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Daughter of a breast cancer victim, talk show host O'Donnell lends her considerable popularity to this book by Axelrod, chief of the Breast Center, St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center, New York, and journalist Semler (All About Eve: The Complete Guide to Women's Health and Well-Being). Their idea is to open women's eyes to information that could save their lives while providing a bit of a laugh in the process. And that information, presented here in the form of questions and answers, is excellent. Axelrod covers all aspects of breast health: what is normal, conditions that may require attention but are not cancerous, breast-feeding, etc. She then moves on to cancer risk, diagnosis, treatment options, aftercare, and, finally, "Breast Cancer: The Future." All proceeds go to four leading breast cancer organizations. So what could be bad? Plenty, and it's spelled R-O-S-I-E. O'Donnell contributes jokes, limericks, and songs and responds to each question before Axelrod proceeds. Unfortunately, O'Donnell's sense of humor fails here. Her texts are asinine and embarrassing, e.g., "I have a sore on my nipple. Can it be cancer?" O'Donnell: "Don't worry, it's probably just leprosy." There are a number of books that deal with cancer humorously (e.g., Julia Sweeney's God Said, "Ha!" LJ 6/15/97), but O'Donnell's attempts are more likely to turn off women who would benefit from this book. Recommendation: Buy several copies for your patient health collection and tell patrons to pass over those little caricatures of O'Donnell's head, which indicate her input. They'll feel better in the morning.ABette-Lee Fox, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books, Inc.; 1st edition (November 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446676209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446676205
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,403,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Thompson-Minor on November 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was just diagnosed with breast cancer, had a lumpectomy, and am currently receiving chemotherapy. This book did not FRIGHTEN me like all the other well-known breast cancer books. It had humor and practical advice, it had the medical information I needed, it even had information on how to "fight" with insurance companies. I highly recommend this book. It helped me so much!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Christine on March 8, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book as a gift for my mother when she was diagnosed with it, and she loves it! We don't have anyone else in our family who's had breast cancer so it was pretty scary when she was diagnosed because we have hardly any knowledge of the facts of the disease. She loves it though because as she said, the internet is a great source of information but it is too broad. This book is very specific and is written in plain english which is why I like it for her. She likes it because of the practical advice such as wearing a sports bra after surgery for better support. She also found the Dr. Susan Love's Breast book very helpful with the technical information.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Linda Bily on November 29, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an easy-to-digest book of general facts about breast cancer. It is easily understood by the lay person with no prior knowledge of this disease and is made palpable by Rosie's outrageous sense of humor. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to get a beginner's education on the subject of breast cancer.
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By A Customer on November 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book focuses on the seriousness of breast cancer but does add some humor to help decrease anxiety in women facing this horrible disease. The book also offers search and find puzzles, jokes, and words to some of Rosie's songs you may have heard on her show. Numerous questions are answered in easy to understand format. There are a couple of illustrations scetched in black and white. I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about breast cancer, prevention, and treatment. There are breast cancer organizations, along with other helpful resource information, found in the back of the book, many with telephone numbers and email addresses. I find this book to be a very good resource for anyone wanting to learn more.
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