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Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book 3rd Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 291 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-2280034173
ISBN-10: 2280034174
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book has been considered the bible of breast-care books since it appeared in 1990. In 1995, Love completely updated the book in a 600-page second edition, including new biopsy and screening methods, implants, the pros and cons of hormone therapy, new discoveries in breast-cancer treatment, and many other topics. Every chapter has been rewritten, with the exception of the anatomy chapter ("The breast, I'm glad to report, is still located on the chest!"). Love presents copious medical information in a simple, welcoming style, and plentiful illustrations make the information even clearer. About two-thirds of the book deals with breast cancer: risk factors, prevention, screening, diagnosis, staging, emotions, treatment options, surgery, alternative treatments, clinical trials, and more. But the book isn't just about breast cancer. It's also about breast development, physiology, bras, nursing, sexuality--if it has to do with breasts, Love discusses it. Love also debunks breast myths: underwire bras do not cause cancer, neither do bruises or injuries; "fibrocystic disease" isn't really a disease. The book includes a wealth of resources: books, treatment centers, and organizations (but no Web sites--perhaps in the third edition?). --Joan Price --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

More than an up-to-date advisory for the reportedly one-in-eleven women stricken with breast cancer, this is a candid, comprehensive, splendidly well-written guide to a part of the body about which most women know surprisingly little. Originally a general surgeon and now a specialist in breast problems, Love teaches at Harvard Medical School and is affiliated with Boston's Beth Israel Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. With writer Lindsey ( Friends ), she devotes two-thirds of the text to breast cancer, thoroughly covering all aspects of the disease from relative risks to diagnosis (and its emotional impact) and the gamut of treatment options. The authors survey breast development and physiology, appearance (their discussion of plastic surgery is straightforward and nonjudgmental), breast-feeding and common noncancerous conditions, telling all in a tone at once wise and warm. Quotes from Love's patients lend additional scope, as do appendices ranging from recommended reading to lists of support groups and treatment centers. BOMC selection; first serial to Good Housekeeping
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Merloyd Lawrence Book
  • Paperback: 632 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 3rd edition (September 20, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2280034174
  • ISBN-13: 978-2280034173
  • ASIN: 0738202355
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (291 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,798,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is probably the most comprehensive source of information on breast cancer and other breast issues that most of us will ever find, and it manages to avoid the cloying "good girl" kitch of those horrid pink websites. For those reasons, it is the best place to start educating yourself. Buy it.

BUT, be aware that it has a few major faults. Dr. Love spends a great deal of time pointing out the side effects of the three major treatments: surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Many of these side effects are not temporary or fixable, but are permanent and life threatening in themselves. This is especially valuable knowledge since most doctors and those pink websites downplay or totally ignore disabling and potentially fatal problems such as lymphedema, secondary cancers and heart failure which can result from these standard treatments. I strongly suspect that all the attention paid to hair loss (which will grown back in, for crying out loud) is there to distract potential patients from the real problems.

Dr. Love also lays bare the dismal statistics on the efficacy of chemotherapy given to non-metastatic women (2-9% of women are actually helped - an eye opening figure to most of us who probably thought chemo "saved" 50 or 60 women per hundred). These are not statistics that the pink groups or your oncologist are eager to have you know.

However, after spending pages and pages warning us that chemo is dangerous and not especially effective, she then just says "Oh, but go ahead and have it." Why?
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By A Customer on February 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
First I want to say that Dr. Love's book is not limited to information about breast cancer but has extensive information on all aspects of breasts.
I was given a copy of Dr. Love's book after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it became invaluable to me. Frequently I had to set it aside for a short time because the information was so frightening, but cancer and its' treatment is a frightening experience.
The information she provided allowed me to ask important questions and make good decisions about the choices available to me. I had good doctors, but they did not go into some of the details I needed to know such as: odds of recurrence with lumpectomy vs. mastectomy; which chemotherapy drugs produced what side effects; why radiation?
She also provided information that allowed me to better understand the idiosyncrasies of breast cancer and my particular prognosis.
Breast cancer research is producing such promise with new drugs and procedures, that there is no way a book can be published with "the latest" information. Still, I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Love's book to ALL women--whether they are interested in breast feeding or are facing difficult decisions about breast cancer treatment options.
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Format: Paperback
This book is promoted as the best book to use for breast cancer. It is not. Skip the book, and visit the website to see photographs of women who have gone through the surgeries. The first half of the book is about basic breast anatomy and development, and not about the choices needed now. The second half of the book suffers from three problems: old statistics that do not take into account changes in treatment, too much detail on rare complications and types of disease, and too much detail about recurrence. Not recommended.
The most serious flaw is that it uses outdated survival and mortality statistics that do not take into account the current treatment protocols. The result is unnecessary fear and panic. There are no good statistics on ten-year survival rates, because the current treatment protocols have not been in use for ten years. The development of changes in chemotherapy, antibodies, and hormonal therapy is changing so rapidly that for at least the next twenty years there will be no good ten-year survival rate statistics. Even the five-year statistics do not give the current picture. Dr. Love only gives one paragraph's worth of guidance on how to interpret the statistics. This can result in resignation and fear, just when one should be preparing to live well and fight hard.
The second flaw is that Dr. Love's frustrations with the imperfections of medicine and the slowness of change of the medical system come through. She spends lots of detail on rare complications of surgery, and rare possibilities of recurrence. She agonizes over the fact that any lives are lost. I want that knowledge and compassion in your team. I do not want to sift through this detail when I need to get information on which to base decisions.
The final difficulty is not a flaw, but a portion of the book.
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Format: Paperback
Like many of the other reviewers, I picked up Dr Love's book (1st edition) when I was diagnosed and undergoing treatment for Breast cancer. (I then picked up the 2nd edition when going through a recurrance "scare", a year or so later.)
I found her text exhaustive but not exhausting. She's a straight shooter which I found essential when people are reluctant to give you hard truths.
I read several books throughout my treament, I continue to keep an eye on the literature even though I've been cancer free for 3.5+ years. My opinion is unchanged. If you can only buy one book, buy this one!
re: the previous reviewer who didn't appreciate the "horror" stories of unlikely recurrances and cases of extremely fast progression. Dr Love was making the point that cancer can be unpredictable. She therefore refuses to predict how long a patient has to live. In addition to the "scary" examples, she gave several encouraging examples of people who according to conventional wisdom should have been dead long ago but continue to defy the odds.
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