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The Human Side of Cancer: Living with Hope, Coping with Uncertainty Hardcover – September 5, 2000
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"There are two aspects to the human side of cancer: what cancer does psychologically to people and their families, and how emotions and behaviors may influence the risk of getting cancer and its outcome," writes Jimmie C. Holland, M.D., founder of the field of psycho-oncology (the psychological issues of cancer) and chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. "The human side of cancer is all encompassing; it's about you, your surroundings, and your experience of the illness."
Doctors often don't have the time or the skills to deal with psychological issues. The Human Side of Cancer tackles the emotional issues of cancer head-on. Holland knows there's no "one size fits all" coping style and is sensitive to each reader's uniqueness and belief system. "We do have overwhelming proof, however, that how you cope with your illness can improve your overall quality of life," she asserts. The theory that cancer patients with a "fighting spirit" have a better chance of survival than those who are passive is not, it turns out, supported by research. But whether or not your personality is spunky and confrontational or laid-back and accepting, you can use your own methods of coping to make sure you live a healthy lifestyle and hang in there with your cancer treatment--which does improve your chances of survival. The authors explain how you can choose a doctor who demonstrates the "Three C's" (competence, compassion, and caring) and gives you practical instructions for making the most of each doctor's appointment. The book also covers coping strategies, the psychological effects of different treatments, psychosocial issues related to specific forms of cancer, and the "emotional baggage" of surviving.
The Human Side of Cancer combines sensitive advice and explanations with quotes and anecdotes of cancer patients, research summaries, self-help tips, and checklists. The book is for both the cancer survivor and family members. Anyone dealing with cancer will benefit from Holland's wisdom and experience. --Joan Price
From Publishers Weekly
Chief of psychiatry at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Holland is one of the founders of psycho-oncology. In this well-rounded guide, she and Lewis (an editor at Healthy Living) provide sensible and clear advice for people living with cancer. What makes this manual different is Holland and Lewis's belief that there's no one style of coping that's right for everyoneAinstead, they survey a range of available strategies, both physical (e.g., medications) and psychological (e.g., support groups). Antidepressant and antianxiety medications get a lot of attention hereAthe authors consider them important tools in the fight against not only severe depression, but also fear of surgery and sleeplessness; they are also important in aiding the terminally ill. Though they emphasize traditional Western treatments, Holland and Lewis don't dismiss potentially complementary alternative therapies, like meditation, yoga, acupuncture and aromatherapy. These techniques, they contend, while not proven cures, may enhance quality of life and are particularly useful to those patients who want an active role in maintaining their health. In addition, they recommend lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking, eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly. Likewise, their discussion of the physical problems that may occur after cancer treatment (including impotence and changes in appearance) is honest and practical. Illus. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.