The Everything® Health Guide to Living with Breast Cancer comes from the firsthand experience of a sixteen-year survivor. It provides a basic overview of breast cancer, its biology, psychology, and treatment options, along with the practical and spiritual advice needed to get through treatment. It is a holistic approach to facing breast cancer with your mind, body, and spirit. It covers the physical changes that occur with treatment, such as hair loss, early menopause, fatigue, sexuality, weight gain/loss, as well as support systems, medical insurance coverage, financial considerations, complementary and alternative medicine choices, and more.
This guide provides newly diagnosed individuals and their families with an overview of the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis and the journey associated with it. It also addresses the spiritual and philosophical elements of going through this journey. The guide will also help you to explore ways to take an inventory of your past life and will empower you to live in the moment and decide how you want to live the rest of your life. It teaches you about participating in and enjoying each day, no matter where you are in your breast cancer journey. This guide also incorporates humor and fun into the experience.
Researchers are making great strides in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, from studying the molecular biology of cancer, targeting specific breast cancer cells in treatment of certain cancers, understanding how cells divide and looking at the proteins/genes that contribute to cell growth and cell death. Most recently, researchers are looking at alternatives or adjuncts to traditional mammography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that could possibly be more effective. Current cancer treatment focus is on controlling growth of existing tumors and preventing their spread. Combination treatment using chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and antibody and hormonal therapies is being explored. Scientists are also trying to develop vaccines that would prevent breast cancer, though this approach needs much more work.
This is not an all-knowing, finite, authoritative book about how to live with breast cancer. There is no answer as to why one person is a breast cancer survivor and another is not. The breast cancer journey is not about doing everything right for the right outcome. Some see their diagnosis of breast cancer as a one-time event and some see it as a lifelong experience. However you view your breast cancer experience, it is yours to view, to hold, to feel deep within your soul. It is about living life in whatever stage of your breast cancer treatment you are in and to find within yourself the strength, courage, and spirit to live with it.