REVIEWS of MAKING THE CHEMOTHERAPY DECISION
Making the Chemotherapy Decision received good reviews on its release and went on to three complete print editions, and fourth and fifth editions in e-book form.
Four reviews and excerpts from reviews are included here -- the first from the American Library Association's BOOKLIST, the second by Malin Dollinger, M.D., reprinted in full with permission as printed in the Los Angeles County Medical Association's PHYSICIAN, the third an excerpt from a long favorable very recent review in The Phoenix, and the fourth from the sixth edition of the CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATION SOURCEBOOK. Information from a note to the author from the National BMT Link is also included.
Every year, more than 200,000 people benefit from chemotherapy. This book shows how. Drum takes a holistic approach to recovery for cancer patients who are determined to fight and who view cancer, not chemotherapy, as the enemy. He encourages them to adopt positive attitudes, long-term goals, and assertive involvement in their treatment. This practical, uplifting approach is reinforced by a thorough overview of chemotherapy's medical aspects, including misconceptions, risks and benefits, and the administration of treatments. The second half of the book discusses practical issues, such as nutrition, appearance, cost, pain, side effects, stress, social adaptations, support systems, and unorthodox treatments. Drum even includes advice for coping with unsuccessful chemotherapy and dying. A valuable appendix lists relevant books, electronic databases, and electronic addresses and a glossary. There is a powerhouse of help and encouragement here for anyone who accepts cancer as a curable illness, not a death sentence. Review by Patricia Hassler
from THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION PHYSICIAN:
Most books about cancer written by laypeople are devoted to the author’s personal experience in battling a certain form of the disease. It is unusual for a non-physician to create a vade mecum, or "encyclopedia," that broaches essential and comprehensive information about a complex subject. However, Los Angeles-based author David Drum has succeeded admirably in explaining cancer chemotherapy to the patient and his or her family and friends.
Making the Chemotherapy Decision is well-grounded scientifically, but carries explanations that are practical and easy to understand.
Drum discusses new ways of thinking about this mentally and physically formidable ordeal, while offering suggestions and advice regarding adaptive behavior and coping mechanisms. Despite this considerable amount of information, the book is short enough to be easily read by those affected, while long enough to explain sufficient detail.
After a helpful introduction by Michael Van Scoy-Mosher MD (a consulting oncologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and host of a syndicated radio call-in program for cancer patients and their families), the book discusses the nature of cancer and chemotherapy, then covers myths and misconceptions—a helpful and seldom-ventured pathway. Succeeding chapters (and they do succeed) hold the reader’s attention as this writer/journalist discusses the procedural and technical aspects of chemotherapy: the who, what, where, when, and why.
Drum also mentions the importance of support from outside sources (a useful list of important resources lies at the back of the book), such as Harold Benjamin MD’s Wellness Community, and explores pertinent aspects of the disease and its treatment, such as nutrition, appearance, pain, emotional stress, support, and what to do – and think about – once chemotherapy is over. The list of topics is completed with a discussion of financial issues and unorthodox therapies.
I appreciated the extra emphasis on the psychological factors involved with the illness and treatment, as well as practical hints for coping and dealing with the daily problems of life during chemotherapy.
There are a variety of opinions and philosophies expressed in this book and, generally, I agree with its focus and content.
One difference of opinion concerns a suggestion that "in most cases" a second opinion should be obtained before proceeding with chemotherapy. Of course, second opinions are useful and important. And they are often appropriate before surgery, unusual or novel treatments, when a new modality may be useful (such as radiation therapy or additional surgery), or after standard treatments have been given and subsequent treatment choices are limited and/or investigational.
However, the choice of initial chemotherapy is relatively standardized or may consist of a small number of choices, and the training of medical oncologists is, in general, relatively sophisticated. Thus, there is relatively little variation in the way a chemotherapy program is given or, for that matter, in the results achieved between one medical oncologist and another. The need for a second opinion at the initial stages of treatment more often reflects the personal wishes and comfort of the patient (which must always be respected) rather than medical necessity.
This particular disagreement aside, I am pleased to recommend this book as a useful and important source of information for cancer patients and families.
It will become a "beside companion" for those who are dealing with this terrible, uninvited ordeal. Review by Malin Dollinger, MD
Dr. Dollinger is a distinguished medical oncologist and best-selling author. This complete review of the first edition is reprinted with permission from the author and The Los Angeles County Medical Association Physician magazine.
from THE PHOENIX:
"If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer and is facing the prospect of chemotherapy treatment, you owe it to yourself to download a copy of this 235-page e-book (not available in print). The author, David Drum, is not a medical oncologist, cancer survivor, or patient-expert on chemotherapy, but you’d think he is based on the quality and comprehensiveness of his book, as well as the passion and kind bedside manner that shine through as you explore the various chapters.
The book is organized in a logical manner, beginning with background information on the basics of cancer and chemotherapy, and then clarifying any misconceptions people have on these topics. Drum then moves on to other subjects, such as how chemotherapy is administered to patients, who the players are on one’s medical team and how to manage side effects of treatment.
Other chapters include information on nutrition, managing pain and stress, money and insurance issues, survivor issues, new treatments on the horizon and even tips for facing death if one’s cancer doesn’t respond to treatment. In many chapters, stories of real cancer patients add a personal touch that many readers will be able to relate to...." Excerpted from a review by Cliff Kalibjian in The Phoenix, a publication of the United Ostomy Association, June/Summer 2014.
from THE CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATION SOURCEBOOK, 6TH Edition
"A guide for patients and their loved ones covering the whole range of physical and emotional issues that arise during chemotherapy. The purpose of the book is to make chemotherapy treatments more manageable. Taking a holistic approach, Drum offers practical suggestions to help patients through the whole complex of physical, social, psychological, and spiritual repercussions of chemotherapy. In addition to discussing the risks and benefits of chemotherapy, ways in which chemotherapy is administered, currently used anti-cancer drugs and the healing effects of good nutrition, Drum also details alternative techniques...."
from NATIONAL BMT LINK
"Thank you for the copy of your latest book. The resources are really outstanding. Several patients (volunteers) have picked it up at our office already. We will refer to it and are happy to add it to our other resources." -- Carole Slotkin, National BMT Link
How to Order, CLICK HERE
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