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Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond [Paperback]

by Marc Silver
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 9, 2004 1579548334 978-1579548339 1
A unique guide, like none other on the market-packed with medical information, practical tips, psychological insight, and coping strategies-to help men help the women they love through this trying time.

When Marc Silver became a breast cancer husband three years ago, he learned firsthand how frightened and helpless the breast cancer husband feels. He searched in vain for a book that would give him the information and advice he so desperately sought. Now this award-winning journalist has compiled just the kind of emotionally supportive and useful resource that he wished he had been able to consult-to give men the tools they need to help their wives, their families, and themselves through this scary, uncertain time.

In his years as a consumer journalist and veteran of the News You Can Use staff at U.S. News & World Report, Marc Silver learned what kind of information and advice on medical crises readers found most valuable. He draws on that experience as he covers in depth all the issues couples coping with breast cancer will have to face during diagnosis, treatment, and beyond. Highlights include:
- The shared experiences of other breast cancer husbands
- Guidance from top cancer doctors in the country
- Advice on when, how, and what to tell your young children
- Tips on coping with radiation and chemotherapy
- A candid discussion of sex and intimacy following breast cancer surgery

More than 200,000 women are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States. At last, with this book, the men who love them have a road map to help them through a difficult and unprecedented journey.

Frequently Bought Together

Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond + The Breast Cancer Survival Manual, Fifth Edition: A Step-by-Step Guide for Women with Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer + Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book, 5th Edition (A Merloyd Lawrence Book)
Price for all three: $36.33

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Silver, an editor at U.S. News & World Report, speaks encouragingly in this heartfelt, useful guide for men whose wives or girlfriends have been diagnosed with breast cancer, as was his wife, Marsha, in 2001. Silver, who consulted with surgeons and oncologists for this book, first helps readers deal with the diagnosis, addressing men's stereotypical reactions (usually saying little, followed by overbearing urges to fix the problem), then advising them how to behave (ask questions and, more importantly, listen). He nicely interweaves comments from men and women who have gone through breast cancer diagnosis, setting them off with pull quotes and how-to sidebars such as "Husbanding Her Energies" and "Caring for the Caregiver." His advice is simple and sound: rather than saying "Cheer up, honey, the doctor said things aren't that bad," Silver recommends, "Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?" He discusses the surprisingly numerous cases in which men have left their spouses, discusses the importance of wives having an "appointment pal" and advises on explaining cancer to children. Silver also smartly examines the various treatments and suggests ways for readers to find sexual intimacy after mastectomy. This guide is an invaluable complement to Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book and John Link's The Breast Cancer Survival Manual.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


From Library Journal. May 1, 2005
Husbands and partners are usually the odd men out in books on breast cancer. Silver, an editor at U.S. News & World Report , didn't know what to do when his wife was diagnosed. Finding no books specifically from his perspective, he decided to write one. Gleaning information from medical professionals and other men in his position, he created a helpful guide that covers all manner of providing support, even down to instructions for washing a woman's hair while she has drains in place. Silver's Husband is funny, tender, and rock-solid.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; 1 edition (September 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579548334
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579548339
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Essential! September 30, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are a new (and doubtless unwilling) member of the not-so-elite group of men who have become Breast Cancer Husbands. If so, stop reading this and buy this book. (Full disclosure: I was contacted by Marc Silver, the author, last year and interviewed extensively about my own experiences; I am quoted several times in the book.) I only wish that this book existed two years ago when my wife of 23 years was disgnosed with breast cancer; it is an invaluable resource that informs men in an accurate, succinct fashion exactly what is likely to happen at each stage of the diagnosis and treatment process. But Mr. Silver's arroach to the topic is hardly clinical. He deals with some of the most heart-wrenching topics any man will ever have to face with an eye on reality and a deft touch of humor. Breast cancer and humor in the same sentence? You've got to be kidding, right? Well, he pulls it off, managing to inject a lighter touch without ever minimizing the seriousness of his topic. Personally, I think most people use humor anyway to deal with the toughest situations, and the big "C" was no exception for my wife and I. Whether you are starting this journey, or if you've been through it like Marc and I have, this book is bound to become your most valuable resource, because it is told from the mouths of real Breast Cancer Husbands with real, true-life stories. With literally hundreds of books available for women who are dealing with this horrible disease, a book like this directed at the men simply did not exist. It was long overdue.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There's a reason it's popular December 30, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'll chime in from the daughter's point of view: I got this book for my stepfather after reading the reviews, and it did not disappoint. It speaks directly to men and concerns they might not want to talk about (no beating around the bush) but the tone isn't annoying or Neanderthal. After reading it one thinks much of it is common sense-- but sometimes one needs to be reminded of what's common sense! (And maybe what seems like common sense to a 30-something woman may not be the first thing that comes to mind for the average 50 to 80-year-old guy under stress.) Anyway, my stepfather finished it in three days, so that's a good sign. It opened my eyes to some things too.

One tip: Cure rates are very high for early-stage breast cancer these days. Guys, skip the later chapters about "dealing with loss" unless you get to that point. Most women will recover, so no need to freak oneself out at the beginning. As we say in my family, "We'll fall off that bridge when we come to it."

Also recommended for women or for very involved family members: "Just Get Me Through This" (lots of helpful tips) and the two books by John Link (lots of technical info).
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helping my husband IS helping me too! December 23, 2004
By Marie
This book is wonderful! I bought it for my husband after we recently learned that I have breast cancer for a second time and we are both reading it. It is packed with information but somehow reads like a good novel. I already can tell my husband is being more sensitive to my needs because of Marc's advice. So many things Marc Silver has written that I am so glad my husband will be reading. They are things I want him to know!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have, must-read book for breast cancer husbands August 29, 2005
My only regret about this book is that I didn't get it sooner. I found this book while my wife was already half-way through treatment, at a breast cancer symposium. (As an aside, very few husbands attended the symposium other than me, a real shame; I felt deep anguish for the many women clearly going through treatment who were there alone and unsupported.) My wife is young, and her diagnosis really hit us from nowhere. I'm someone who is an eternal optimist, and the succession of worsening news about her condition nearly brought me to my knees. When I found this book I believe I was quietly depressed. It was so important to me not to "steal the spotlight" of attention from my wife that I intentionally avoided dealing with my own fears, trauma, and anger. I started reading the book on a long plane ride back home from a business trip, and as I read it I literally felt weight lifted off my shoulders. I cried, and I laughed, and mostly I felt tremendous relief. I have had the opportunity to meet the author at a speaking engagement, and I spoke up and told him that at a moment in my life where I felt all alone and very scared, he was my best friend. If you are a breast cancer husband, you simply must read this book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not only informative but even if your husband never reads it, it will open you up to ask for what you need during this stressful time. I wish I had this book at the beginning of my journey through breast cancer.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Husbands and Wives October 2, 2005
This isn't just for husbands. Wives should read it to get a husbands perspective. But it did help me relate more to what my husband is going through and how men deal. I started reading it half way through my chemo so I read a lot of what we experienced and some of the ways he responded to certain situations. It was also great to read the personal experiences of different couples who have gone through or are going through breast cancer.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning What to Expect August 16, 2005
First, a disclaimer. The author and I know each other. Both of our wives were diagnosed with breast cancer in about the same time frame. We were intereviewed for the book. By the time the book came out, my wife had "finsihed" her course of treatment so much of what is in the book I had to learn on my own.

The day after we got the diagnosis, I found myself standing in front of the "disease" section at one of the local book store chains. I didn't know exactly what I was looking for at first. My original purchase of about a half dozen books were either very focused on the medical aspects of the disease or on women's experiences as survivors. While one or two of these books had parts of chapters for husbands, partners or significant others, none gave much information on what to expect and how to help. Ultimately, I sought out a therapist who specialized in helping those who deal with medical crises.

That helped a great deal, but Marc's book offers so much more. He is recounts the experiences of couples from almost every part of society, shares insights from medical experts and relates his own personal experiences. While no substitute for working with a qualified and caring therapist, his book is one of the only resources out there for husbands. Had it been available three years ago, I suspect I could have avoided some of the mistakes I made along the way.

While it is true that the learning curve is pretty steep, the first few weeks are crucial. No husband should leave the first appointment with the surgeon or oncologist without a copy of this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars great book
great information for the husband, no matter what the diagnosis, procedure or treatment. encourage others to read as soon as a diagnosis or biopsy is recieved.
Published 1 month ago by pat b.
3.0 out of 5 stars Have good advices
I found this book gives the reader very good advices, however it is not very easy to read, because the author gives a big brief of the CV of any person he mention
Published 2 months ago by Fernando Villaveces
4.0 out of 5 stars Breat Cancer Husband is a MUST read
Easy read, keeps your attention. Has given me the tools to support my 34 year old wife. Would totally recommend
Published 2 months ago by Amanda Sheets
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful and fun resource
I picked up this book as a part of the larger group of literature they were giving to breast cancer patients and their families via our cancer treatment center in Rapid City. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Clint Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful and Supportive
This is the only book for "breast cancer husbands" I have read, and I did search for one that appealed to me based on book reviews and description. Read more
Published 5 months ago by nerdydoc
5.0 out of 5 stars book for friend
Bought for a friend and her husband, It helped them through some of the rough times. highly recommended. thank you
Published 5 months ago by damian glenk
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous voice for men
This book written by a man for men gives the non-breast cancer partner a voice. It carefully helps men walk through a minefield. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jmwb
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent help for husbands of breast cancer patients
This book helped me understand the unique position of the husband of a breast cancer patient. The stories, examples and suggestions are realistic and useful - a practical guide. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jean Rosenfeld
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written
We survived my breast cancer with humor and grace. This book helped. It's all about trying to do the kind and supportive things. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Zin gal
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
This book is a must read for husbands who are dealing with a spouse's breast cancer. Especially during the diagnose period and treatment. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jorge Miranda
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