cover image Bosom Buddies: Lessons and Laughter on Breast Health and Cancer

Bosom Buddies: Lessons and Laughter on Breast Health and Cancer

Rosie O'Donnell. Warner Books, $12.99 (336pp) ISBN 978-0-446-67620-5

This breast health handbook, written by talk-show host O'Donnell (whose mother died of breast cancer), Axelrod (a New York City breast surgeon) and health writer Semler, attempts to offer a humorous alternative to other cancer guides. Using a Q&A format, the authors begin with a detailed description of breast anatomy as well as breast-cancer screening and risk factors, and then move into diagnosis, treatment and ""aftercare,"" closing with a quick look at promising new therapies. Axelrod's explanations are comprehensive and accessible; she carefully explains such complex issues as various biopsy techniques and the exact goal of radiation therapy. Without subheads, however, readers may have to scout around to find all the valuable information about, for example, lymphedema, a common side effect of breast surgery dispersed throughout the book. The laughs are intended to come from O'Donnell's mock answers to the real questions. Unfortunately, some may make readers wince: to the question ""I have a sore on my nipple. Can it be cancer?"" O'Donnell posits, ""Don't worry, it's probably just leprosy."" Most baffling are the word-searches puzzles that contain terms such as ""scar"" and ""nausea."" Unfortunately, the humor and games will be likely to turn off readers well before they can take advantage of Axelrod's information. (Nov.)