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Topic: Best and Worst Books on Breast Cancer

Forum: Recommend Your Resources — Book reviews, favorite web sites, products, articles.

Posted on: Dec 14, 2020 05:25PM

MountainMia wrote:

I looked to see if there is a book review thread already and there hasn't been for several years. This is the latest one I could find easily, and it doesn't really have reviews, just some recommendations. https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/26/topics...

I'm interested in hearing about books you love and books you hate. They can be about breast cancer with general information, or memoir, nutrition or exercise advice, even fiction.

Tell us the name of the book, author, and a little about it. Why do you recommend it? Or why not? Is there something you found especially helpful? Something that made you huff and walk away?

I'll start with one in the first comment.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Dec 14, 2020 05:26PM MountainMia wrote:

Beat Breast Cancer Like a Boss: 30 Powerful Stories, by Ali Rogin.

This is a compilation of stories of 30 powerful, resourceful, often rich women, and their experiences with breast cancer. The author, Ali Rogin, found out while still in college that she had inherited a breast cancer gene. She immediately decided to have prophylactic double mastectomy with reconstruction. And BONUS! She would get bigger boobs as a result. Honestly, she actually said it was a "win-win."

The women profiled all have gone through the wringer, as those of us here, have. A big difference is that most of them have resources that we can only dream of. Don't you wish you could have your private personal assistant research the best doctors in LA? Don't you wish you could go to a spa for 2 weeks after each surgery, so you can recover without your children around to hug and hurt you? (No. That was just weird.) Don't you wish you could have a year of paid leave from your company while you go through treatment? Or have the nanny deal with all your kids' needs while you're laid up? Or be able to choose the rich folks' hospital on the Gold Coast of Chicago instead of where most people get treated?

One woman recommends to a newly diagnosed friend that she go buy "cashmere everything" for her chemo days, so she will feel cozy and sporty.

Sure, beat breast cancer like a boss. Sure. Way easier to do if you have a lot of resources. Honestly, I'm not sure what this book is supposed to be conveying. It doesn't convey what most women experience. (Most descriptions of chemo were that you would just as soon die, or you'd spend a day or 2 sick to your stomach each cycle. That isn't what I read very often around here, though of course I know some experience that.) NONE of these profiles so far (and I'm 70% through the book) have mentioned having to fight with the insurance company to get some treatment approved.

I've managed to get most of the way through this book. There's no point in reading the rest. Unfortunately, those who do spend time with it won't get good advice and they won't likely feel a sense of kinship with the women profiled here.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Dec 15, 2020 09:01AM flashlight wrote:

Hi, I read this book on treatment and really found it informative. Breasts: The Owner's Manual: Every Woman's Guide to Reducing Cancer Risk, Making Treatment Choices, and Optimizing Outcomes Kindle Edition by Dr. Kristi Funk . Other than reading some research articles on Tamoxifen, lymphedema, and the Keto cancer diet, that has been it. I can't relate to the book you read either!! It sounds like a reality TV show. I love a good mystery and really enjoyed Robert Dugoni's Tracy Crosswhite series. It is well written and interesting and this type of book is an escape for me.

Dx 11/15/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Dec 15, 2020 09:41AM voraciousreader wrote:

Not a book, however the best resource is pubmed.org.


And, probably THE most valuable book would be one on statistics. There are educational videos about statistics on youtube. Learn about statistics or brush up on statistics if you have already taken a class. Statistics is THE most important thing to know about once you have been diagnosed. Learn it as though your life depends on it because it really does...



Doctor told me regarding my prognosis that I WASN'T on the Titanic! Hmmm...Really?....Okay! 02/2010 Pure Mucinous Breast Cancer, Oncotype DX 15, Stage 1, Grade 1, 1.8 cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+ 90% /PR+ 70% HER2- (+1)
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Dec 15, 2020 10:48AM moth wrote:

I'm with voraciousreader. Id also add all the guidelines from the various orgs. They're updated frequently and give the strengths of the recommendations bases on how extensive the research is.

& I ditto statistics and probability. What does it mean when a coin lands on heads 20 times? Does the probability that it's tails next time increase? (Assuming a fair untampered coin)

I take weekends off

Initial dx at 50. Seriously?? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: Never Tell Me the Odds

Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/26/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Dx 12/9/2020, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 External Hormonal Therapy 12/16/2020 Femara (letrozole) Dx 1/28/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone Radiation Therapy 3/3/2021 External: Bone
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Dec 15, 2020 12:06PM MountainMia wrote:

Yes, stats are hard for most people to understand. There was a recent post from someone asking about including chemo in her treatment. IIRC, she was triple negative with a tumor about 1.4 cm. She said some statistical life expectancy showed her a LE of ~20 years if she did chemo and ~17 years if she did not, so she wondered why she would go through chemo for such a small difference in life expectancy, esp given her age, around 60 if I remember right.

I tried to explain (and didn't do a good job of it) that no, she wasn't looking at 20 vs 17 years. She was really gambling between 20 and 5 years. But I didn't show the math of how that works. Chemo and no recurrence, 20 years. No chemo with no recurrence, 80% probability, 20 years; no chemo with recurrence, 20% probability, 5 years. Obviously a quick and dirty calculation, but that's sort of how it goes.

So yeah, stats. And that begs the question, is there a good primer for layman's understanding of medical stats?

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Dec 15, 2020 12:25PM MelissaDallas wrote:

Mountainmia, it also doesn’t help that all the ER/Pr+ Her neg Stage 1As are so eager to answer those threads that THEY decided against radiation and chemo (or other treatments), not that chemo would even have been recommended for the anyway...

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor. Dx 5/20/2012, LCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes
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Dec 15, 2020 12:40PM MountainMia wrote:

Yes, MelissaDallas. It always pisses me off when people claim they declined treatment and they're doing just fine! but really, they had surgery and radiation, and they weren't lined up for chemo, anyway. Maybe they were prescribed hormone blockers or targeted treatments and declined those. Maybe they wouldn't have had a recurrence anyway. Maybe they have a recurrence and don't know it yet, because their tumor is slow growing. So yay good for them, and I mean that sincerely. But don't then try to convince others not to be treated. That's not fair.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Dec 15, 2020 02:26PM flashlight wrote:

statistical analysis equals the study of data and possible probability. It all depends on the research going in to the data. When I was first diagnosed I read all I could on the statistics and then on Tamoxifen. Right now, I'm done with that part of it. Sometimes we just need a break from all the science.

Dx 11/15/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Dec 15, 2020 03:17PM moth wrote:

It's not specifically about medical stats but I watched this Teaching Company course a while back - Meaning from Data: Statistics Made Clear https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/meaning-fr...

Stats was required for my nursing program. It was just regular first year statistics & probability. I think any general stats courses on youtube or coursera would be fine. Whether you apply it to elevators failing or medications not working, the data analysis is the same

I take weekends off

Initial dx at 50. Seriously?? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: Never Tell Me the Odds

Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/26/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Dx 12/9/2020, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 External Hormonal Therapy 12/16/2020 Femara (letrozole) Dx 1/28/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone Radiation Therapy 3/3/2021 External: Bone

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