For more than twenty years, Dr. Holland has pioneered the study of psychological problems of cancer patients and their families -- whom she calls "the real experts." In The Human Side of Cancer, she shares what she has learned from all of them about facing this life-threatening illness and what truly helps along the cancer journey. This book is the next best thing to sitting in Dr. Holland's office and talking with her about the uncertainty and anxiety elicited by this disease. And it is a book that inspires hope -- through stories of the simple courage of ordinary people confronting cancer.
Doctors often don't have the time or the skills to deal with psychological issues. The Human Side of Cancer tackles the emotional issues of cancer head-on. Holland knows there's no "one size fits all" coping style and is sensitive to each reader's uniqueness and belief system. "We do have overwhelming proof, however, that how you cope with your illness can improve your overall quality of life," she asserts. The theory that cancer patients with a "fighting spirit" have a better chance of survival than those who are passive is not, it turns out, supported by research. But whether or not your personality is spunky and confrontational or laid-back and accepting, you can use your own methods of coping to make sure you live a healthy lifestyle and hang in there with your cancer treatment--which does improve your chances of survival. The authors explain how you can choose a doctor who demonstrates the "Three C's" (competence, compassion, and caring) and gives you practical instructions for making the most of each doctor's appointment. The book also covers coping strategies, the psychological effects of different treatments, psychosocial issues related to specific forms of cancer, and the "emotional baggage" of surviving.
The Human Side of Cancer combines sensitive advice and explanations with quotes and anecdotes of cancer patients, research summaries, self-help tips, and checklists. The book is for both the cancer survivor and family members. Anyone dealing with cancer will benefit from Holland's wisdom and experience. --Joan Price