At age 51, Peter Teeley, former press secretary to George Bush, was given a 50-50 chance of surviving his stage III colon cancer. Like most newly diagnosed cancer patients, he knew little about the disease and less about possible treatments. He tenaciously sought out information and saved his own life. Now he and medical writer Philip Bashe spare others from having to start their own cancer treatment investigation from scratch.
"When faced with the most critical consumer decision of their lives, the majority of cancer patients accept without question the recommendation of the doctor who diagnosed the disease," write the authors. "Eighty-five percent of the time, that person is not an oncologist, a specialist in the detection and treatment of cancer." This leads to a substantial risk of substandard care, according to the National Cancer Policy Board.
The solution? Take charge, with the help of the comprehensive information here. Learn all you can about your disease, its staging and treatments (25 different cancers are covered here). Seek out clinical trials. Get an independent second opinion. Investigate cancer-treatment facilities. Learn about medications for pain and nausea. Learn how dietary changes, stress management, and support services can help you. Make your medical insurance work for you. There's an immense amount of practical, clearly written, well-organized, illustrated information in this book, and it's enhanced by anecdotes from Teeley's personal story. Everything you need is here: lists of top cancer centers and support groups (with phone numbers and Web sites), definitions of all terms, instructive charts and boxes, questions to ask, questions you're likely to be asked, and a ton of information about how you can help yourself.
Everything You Must Know and Where to Go for State-of-the-Art Treatment of the 25 Most Common Forms of Cancer declares The Complete Cancer Survival Guide's cover, and this 950-page book lives up to its claim. The foreword is by former president George Bush, whose daughter died of pediatric leukemia. --Joan Price
From Publishers Weekly
Teeley, a cancer survivor, offers an indispensable guide for patients and health-care professionals. Because of his friendship with then Vice-President George Bush, for whom he worked as press secretary, Teeley learned about an experimental trial at Georgetown University's Lombardi Cancer Center. Teeley stresses that even without a connection, armed with research and the resources to ask questions, every cancer patient should be able to get the best available treatment. While he and Bashe (Cancer Free, etc.) cover everything from descriptions of different types of cancer to diagnosis terminology and treatment options, their material is clearly organized and eminently readable. There are many useful sidebars, including information on "medical terms you're likely to hear" and "examples of eligibility criteria for clinical trials." There are also lists of leading cancer centers around the country and suggested questions patients should ask their doctors. The book contains so much valuable information that physicians can use it with many patients, and most families would do well to set a copy on their bookshelf, alongside their Dr. Spock. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.