VERDICT:This title is recommended for most comprehensive patient health collections. This guide for patients details every inch of her process, from multiple physician and hospital evaluations to her surgery and adjuvant therapy and overall wellness plan. Bette-Lee Fox, Managing Editor, Library Journal
This highly recommended pick should be in every general lending library and in every health or women's issues collection. The result is far beyond an autobiography of experience and delves into the worlds of latest research applications, best practices, and treatments every breast cancer patient should know about before they make decisions. Diane Donovan, Editor, Midwest Book Review
Because of Dr. Maker's academic background as a researcher, she discovered facts about the disease and its treatments about which lay people may not know. I particularly enjoyed reading what she did after she went into remission -- how she worked with an integrative oncologist to adjust her internal "terrain". This involved major lifestyle changes in terms of diet, supplements, exercise, stress reduction,and detoxification, all of which are in alignment with the 9 healing factors that Radical Remission survivors use. Kelly Turner, Ph.D. Author of NY Times Bestseller Radical Remission, Founder, The Radical Remission Project
The Thinking Woman's Guide to Breast Cancer is a concise and well-written gift for women navigating the medical system and trying to make better-informed decisions. Based on her personal experience with breast cancer and well-honed investigative and critical thinking skills, Janet Maker Ph.D. offers readers a full spectrum of insights, resources, and even warnings when facing a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment that applies just as well to any other crucial health issue. Highly recommended. Bonnie Spanier, Ph.D., Reviewer for Breast Cancer Consortium
I highly recommend The Thinking Woman's Guide to Breast Cancer by Janet Maker, Ph.D., as a must-read book for all women. To say that the author was thorough in her research and education is an understatement. Diving headfirst into the world of information, she tenaciously endeavored to overcome every obstacle one by one until she had enough information to make well-educated decisions. Readers will discover how little is actually understood about breast cancer, the general attitude of the cancer establishment, and the absolute need to educate themselves in light of a diagnosis. Sheri Hoyte, Reviewer, Reader Views
Dr. Maker brings her formidable background, training and intellect to her quest for answers....Dr. Maker is realistic yet hopeful, vulnerable and courageous in her journey and mission to inform and improve the lives of breast cancer patients. She makes every effort to explain potentially complicated words, phrases, and concepts to help the reader. Dr. Maker's message to others facing breast cancer is to apply critical thinking, to never stop asking questions and to seek out organizations and individuals who empower patients to advocate for the best care possible. The sub-title of the book is 'Take Charge of Your Recovery and Remission'. This is her call to action and she leads by example. Deborah Berenboim and Rose Barlow, Executive Director of Zero Breast Cancer.
From the Author
My second shock was encountering the medical establishment and its "standard of care." They wanted me to follow their program of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hormones even though those things don't work for many people, and even though they have serious side effects. I wanted to make my own informed decisions, but, like most people, I knew next to nothing about breast cancer. I had to scramble to find what information I could under the pressure of time, knowing that the cancer could be spreading.
The personal became political as I encountered the cancer establishment with its one-size-fits-all standard of care, the corporations responsible for the carcinogens in the environment, research funded by the corporations, legislators who rely on corporate contributions to keep their jobs, and the cancer charities that take corporate money in return for pinkwashing.
"The Thinking Woman's Guide to Breast Cancer" is the story of my journey and all the things I learned. In some cases I learned them too late; some of my decisions would have been different if I had known then what I know now. I realized that I had to write this book to empower others to take charge of their care.
As of now, I have no evidence of breast cancer, but I am at high risk for recurrence or metastasis, so I am not able to simply return to the life I had before. Conventional cancer care offers periodic tests to see whether the cancer has returned, but it does not offer anything beyond hormone therapy to prevent the cancer from returning. The problem is that if it returns it will likely no longer be curable. I had to go outside of conventional oncology, where I found a lot of evidence that changing one's "terrain" can keep the cancer dormant. Working with an integrative oncologist, I follow a program of diet, supplements, exercise, mental/spiritual practices, and avoidance of environmental carcinogens.