cover image Diagnosis Cancer: Your Guide Through the First Few Months

Diagnosis Cancer: Your Guide Through the First Few Months

Wendy Schlessel Harpham. W. W. Norton & Company, $22.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-393-03187-4

Harpham's work is a welcome addition to the host of books that attempt to provide some relief to cancer patients and their families. With a no-nonsense, let's-get-down-to-basics approach, the author, a physician and cancer survivor, answers the questions that any newly diagnosed cancer patient is likely to have. Her information is practical; her calm logic and straightforward data, based on the belief that knowledge ``brings comfort, hope, and a better chance for improvement,'' encourage confidence. By understanding how cancer is evaluated, how and whether or not to choose an oncologist, the advantages of various available treatments and why they have to draw so damn much blood, the patient becomes better informed and, in consequence, a more active participant in his or her healing. Harpham's handiwork is a valuable tool for those who hope to better the treatment process and to dispel the confusion during the initial few months following a cancer diagnosis. She knows what she's talking about: she's a doctor who has also been a patient. (July)