There are lots of books out there specifically about cancer, all the various types, the symptoms, living with – and dying with – cancer, coping with the side effects. The list is endless. I’ll be adding to this list endlessly too of course.

I have not read all of these books, so cannot vouch for all their contents. Everyone will want to read about different things in relation to themselves. The choice as they say, is yours!

This list is only intended as a guide to the ones available. Check out your local library before purchase if you want to make sure it is the right book for you (assuming they have it in their stock of course!).

If you’ve found a book really useful, let me know and I’ll add it to this list for you (and the benefit of others too!).

More will be following of course….it’s a never ending list!

Cancer Specific Books – click on the link for more details

Challenging Cancer New
44 1/2 Choices New
No Flowers, Lots of Joy New
Cancer Straight Ahead
Complete Guide to Cancer Pain & Suffering by Richard B Patt M.D. and Susan S Lang
Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Bone Marrow Transplants: a guide for cancer patients and their families
Cancer: A Positive Approach
Cancer and it’s Management (3rd Ed)
Cancer at your Fingertips (3rd Ed)
Cancer: The Facts
Cancer: What Every Patient Needs To Know (Rev Ed)
The British Medical Association Family Doctor Guide to Cancer
The Chemotherapy Survival Guide
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas: Making Sense of Diagnosis, Treatment, and Options
Understanding Leukaemia and Related Cancers
What You Really Need To Know About Cancer (Rev Ed)
Last Chance Salon
I’ve Got A Curable One
Managing the Stress of Cancer
Taking Control of Cancer
Having Cancer and How To Live With It by Angela Wilkie
The Journey by Brandon Bays
The Red Devil (To Hell With Cancer….And Back)
Dancing In Limbo – Making Sense Of Life After Cancer by Glenna Halvorson-Boyd and Lisa K. Hunter

Challenging Cancer
A very easy to read book, for when you are facing the first challenges of being diagnosed with cancer. All of the decisions that need to be made, some by you, sometimes out of your hands. It also includes the second support team of cancer which are your family and friends. Ideal for those just beginning their cancer journey.

44 1/2 Choices
’44 1/2 Choices You Can Make If You Have Cancer’ is a different and special kind of book for cancer sufferers, their relatives, friends and carers. It is a guide to the emotional and practical problems which arise for people going through cancer. To be used and dipped into whenever needed, it gives you choices when it seems there are none and the prospects look bleak. The tone of ’44 1/2 Choices’ is light and inspirational, realistic and down-to-earth. It will take you through the difficult times at every stage of the illness: pre-diagnosis, diagnosis, treatment, and after. Complementary to other books on cancer, it is a personal, non-medical guide to make life easier for all who are faced with cancer. It is a constant companion on hand for whenever the going gets tough.

No Flowers, Lots of Joy
Fiona shares her personal experience of depression in the early years of marriage, followed by her conversion and healing. She goes on to tell the moving story of Roy’s illness with cancer and subsequent death. Fiona speaks of the practical and spiritual problems she and Roy had to face but also shares the humorous moments and tells of the comfort they received from their faith, family and friends.

Cancer Straight Ahead
This book was bought to my attention in an email – here’s a Synopsis about it. I have read this one, kindly sent by the author and can vouch for it being a good read about cancer. It gives both sides of the story and leaves you on a cliffhanger……is there going to be a book two? Watch this space!

“Cancer Straight Ahead” is the story of a monumental battle between a body and a disease while a man gets ready to die.

Written mainly for adults, this book was inspired by several real stories of cancer. The action and amusing dialogue will leave readers wondering what they would do in similar circumstances.

After bouncing back several times, will his body finally be able to save itself before the doctor ends it all?

Just in case you’d like to purchase the book, then please click here to go to the Website.

Bone Marrow Transplants: a guide for cancer patients and their families.
Marianne L Shaffer Taylor, 1994 ISBN 0878338543

A guide covering bone marrow transplants, side effects, and the psychological and social aspects of cancer treatments.

Cancer and Its Management (3rd Ed)
Robert Souhami, Jeffrey Tobias, 1998, Blackwell Science Inc

The second edition of Cancer and its Management has been extensively rewritten to reflect the many changes in our understanding of cancer and its management.

Cancer: A Positive Approach
Hilary Thomas and Karol Sikora Harper Collins, 1995 ISBN 072253132X
Information about all aspects of cancer and the treatments available. Also looks at the controversies in cancer, and includes checklists of questions to ask your doctor.

Cancer at your Fingertips (3rd Ed)
Val Speechley and Maxine Rosenfield Class Publishing, 2001 ISBN 1859590365
Written by two experts in the field, this manual answers over 450 real questions that people most commonly ask about cancer. It deals thoroughly with common concerns regarding the causes of cancer, the treatment options available and ways of living with – and after – treatment for cancer.

Cancer: The Facts
Michael Whitehouse and Maurice Slevin Oxford University Press, 1996 ISBN 0192616951
Information on diagnosis and treatment of different types of cancer. Also considers the emotional needs of cancer patients, living with advanced cancer, and the role of complementary medicine.

Cancer: What Every Patient Needs To Know (Rev Ed)
Jeffrey Tobias Bloomsbury, 1999 ISBN 0747545650

Thorough and up-to-date (well it was in 1999!) coverage by a cancer doctor.

The British Medical Association Family Doctor Guide to Cancer
Rees, Gareth J G Dorling Kindersley, 2000 ISBN 0751308161
Clearly written and well illustrated providing information on what cancer is, how the diagnosis is made and treatments that can be given. Diagnostic tests are explained and illustrated. Also touches briefly on symptom control, clinical trials and complementary treatments.

The Chemotherapy Survival Guide
Judith McKay and Nancee Hirano New Harbinger, 1993, ISBN 1879237571

Information, suggestions and support to help you get through chemotherapy.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas: Making Sense of Diagnosis, Treatment, and Options
by Lorraine Johnston, copyright 1999 by O’Reilly & Associates
A very informative book from the US by Lorraine Johnston – every NHL patient and even family and carers, should read this to get an insight into how we feel and all the options available to us. At the time I was diagnosed I didn’t know about this book, which is a real shame as it would’ve answered a lot of my questions straight away. I would like to thank Cindy from O’Reilly & Associates for all her help and a BIG thankyou too!

Understanding Leukaemia and Related Cancers
Tariq Mughal, John Goldman Blackwell Science, 1999 ISBN 0632053461
A useful book for people seeking more detailed information.

What You Really Need To Know About Cancer (Rev Ed)
Robert Buckman Pan, 1997 ISBN 0330336282
A comprehensive guide for patients and their families. Covers the nature and causes of cancer, overviews the commonest forms of the disease and describes methods of detection, treatment and prevention.

“Last Chance Salon” by Marian Keyes
published by Pengiun Books

Not your normal read, but it features a cancer patient and Debra Cooper (who sent me the details) thinks most cancer sufferers would appreciate the funny side of the situation. She quotes from the book. This is spoken by Fintan, the cancer sufferer “My immune system is done in, white blood cells completely flattened.” He threw his eyes to heaven. “A side effect of the chemo. Though they say everything is a side effect of the chemo. If I fell off a ladder and broke my leg it’d be a side effect of the chemo.”

I’ve Got a Curable One” by Katie Barton
published by Bookpress
“I’ve got a curable one” takes you through the journey of Katie Barton and her battle with cancer, namely Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Follow her story from first pains to diagnosis and treatment. A bit like my own diary!

“Managing the Stress of Cancer” by Dr James Brennan
Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Bristol Haematology & Oncology Centre
“All experience is an arch to build upon” so says Dr James Brennan in the first page of his booklet. His aim is to understand what it was like for his patients to have had cancer. He has also read and conducted research in the field of cancer care. Perhaps other Oncology Doctors should also try to understand their patients more in this respect. Being diagnosed with cancer is one of the toughest experiences you will ever have to face. It can be a time of many changes in not only the patients life but also friends and family too.

Although this booklet is in use now, it will be appearing (as an appendix) in his forthcoming book “Cancer in Context” – a practical guide to supportive care (Oxford University Press).

© James Brennan, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Bristol Haematology & Oncology Centre

“Taking Control of Cancer” by Beverley van der Molen
Published by Class Publishing, ISBN 1-85959-091

Everything you want to know about cancer, getting information, treatment options, choices, self help. It does not condescend or hide facts that must be faced. It gives strength and support to all affected by cancer. I’m hoping to get a copy of this from the local library so will let you all know what it is like. If you’ve already read it, please let me know what it’s like and if it was helpful to you.

“Having Cancer and How To Live With It” by Angela Wilkie
This book is perfect for every one with or caring for, someone with cancer. It explains not only how she felt through her treatments but also exactly how her thoughts are in her head. Everyone who is touched by cancer should read this to get a better understanding of how we, the patients, feel.

The Journey by Brandon Bays
ISBN 0-7225-3839-1
In this book Brandon takes us through her journey of heaing from the momet she was first diagnosed to her check-up six and a half weeks later when she was told she was disease free. She advocates among other things, counselling, psychotherapy, healthy eating and meditation as invaluable tools. It is described as book which is “food for thought”.

The Red Devil (To Hell With Cancer….And Back) by Katherine Russell Rich
ISBN 0-413-77010-9
The story of Katherine age 32, a newly divorced magzine editor living in New York City. This tells of her 10 year cancer ordeal. She lived in two worlds (as all us cancer patients do) the world of the ill, of treatments, exhaustion and doctors focused on avoiding malpractice suits; and the “normal” world – where lovers, career, vacations and health plans still mattered. It is alternately wise and wise-cracking – the story of a woman who has been brought to her knees several times, only to get up and learn to dance.

Dancing In Limbo, Making Sense Of Life After Cancer by Glenna Halvorson-Boyd and Lisa K Hunter
Life After Cancer I immediately wanted to recommend this book to my patients. [It] will serve as a roadmap to help cancer patients anticipate feelings and stages of the coping process. It will help demystify the complex and often baffling set of experiences on the uncertain path of cancer survivorship.–Elisabeth Targ, M.D., Geraldine Brush Cancer Research Institute, California Pacific Medical Center
An intimate and inspiring account of the authors’ real-life experiences of surviving cancer. The authors provide a straightforward account of what life is like after the whirlwind of doctors’ visits and radical treatments comes to an end.
Two health-care professionals who have survived cancer offer frank advice, inspiration, and positive reinforcement for those who face the difficult times after the cancer is gone, but for whom life is still hanging in limbo.
From the Back Cover Dancing in Limbo is the intimate and inspiring account of authors Glenna Halvorson-Boyd and Lisa K. Hunter’s real-life experiences of surviving cancer. They are straightforward about what life is like after the whirlwind of doctors’ visits and radical treatments comes to an end. In the aftermath of this intensely focused period, survivors are often unprepared for their feelings of confusion and disorientation. Questions such as “If I am one of the lucky ones, why am I feeling so blue?” are surprisingly common. As this thoughtful book reveals, for those who survive cancer, life is never the same again. Dancing in Limbo weaves the authors’ stories with those of other survivors who tackle the difficult question of what it means to really live. To recreate lives of meaning and purpose, survivors face a myriad of emotional issues. The book shows how survivors deal with loss, fear, anger, hope, and grief. Using personal examples, the authors offer down-to-earth advice on topics including: *Loneliness of survival. *How to live with uncertainty without going crazy. *Fears of reoccurrence and the wisdom of those worries. *The losses that must be grieved in order to move forward. *The courage to live with fear and uncertainty without falling into despair. *The effect of survivor issues on our most intimate relationships. *and much more. Dancing in Limbo is written for the more than eight million people who have survived cancer, their families, friends, and caregivers. About the Author GLENNA HALVORSON-BOYD is a national consultant to health care organizations and has a doctorate in Human Development. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband. She survived oral cancer over ten years ago. LISA K. HUNTER is a partner in Health and Education Communication Consultants, Berkeley, California. She earned her doctorate in Human Development. She lives in Healdsburg, California. She is a three-year survivor of melanoma.

Before I Die by Jenny Downham
An intense story narrated by Tessa, who is 16 and has only a few months left to live. This book could have been too painful to read but Tessa has a good sense of humour and it is that which keeps her going. I will admit to crying reading the last few pages of the book. What can I say, the Furry Monkey is human and I find I’m more emotional reading things now like this.

Complete Guide to Cancer Pain and Suffering by Richard B Patt M.D. and Susan S Lang
Although this book is primarily for a US based audience, there is a LOT of information that you will find useful here in the UK. Not all cancer patients get pain, they are lucky, but for those of us that do, and continue to do so – this book can help you learn to deal with it in many different ways.

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