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Gynecologic cancers  General cancer
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Amazon recommends: Latest books on Gynecologic cancer

 Gynecologic cancers

Mayo Clinic Guide to Women's Cancers cover

Lynn C. Hartmann (Editor), Charles L. Loprinzi (Editor), Bobbie S. Gostout (Editor). Mayo Clinic: Guide to Women's Cancers. Kensington Publishing Corporation, 2005.

Clearly illustrated, and wonderfully thorough, this book has chapters on all gyn cancers, breast cancer, and multiple sections on dealing with each. Even the more unique gyn cancers are covered, a plus! You follow each cancer from diagnosis to treatment to recovery, and there are also sections on the emotional issues of these cancers, as well as a general "how to live with cancer" theme.'


Falco, Kristine, Psy.D. Reclaiming Our Lives After Breast and Gynecologic Cancer. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1998.

The author, a medical psychologist, addresses cancer’s assault on women’s senses of self, femininity, and womanhood.



McGinn, Kerry Ann and Pamela J. Haylock. Women's Cancers: How to Prevent Them, How to Treat Them, and How to Beat Them. Hunter House, 1998.

The authors -- one a survivor of breast cancer and the other a daughter of a cancer patient -- are nurses whose goal was a book for women diagnosed with or at risk for lung, colorectal, breast, pelvic, uterine, ovarian, vaginal, vulvar, and rare gynecologic cancers.

Cover of Ovarian Cancer Patient-Centered Guide

Conner, Kristine and Lauren Langford. Ovarian Cancer (Patient-Centered Guides). O'Reilly, 2003.

Cancer writer Kristine Conner and patient advocate Lauren Langford provide women and their loved ones with a timely comprehensive and much-needed resource on ovarian cancer that covers topics ranging from diagnosis and treatment to survivorship, remission and recurrence, as well as emotional and social support.


Piver, Steven M., M.D. and Gene Wilder. Gilda’s Disease: Sharing Personal Experiences and a Medical Perspective on Ovarian Cancer. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1996.

A wonderful, readable book about all aspects of ovarian cancer.


Palefsky, Joel, MD, and Handley, Jody (Contributor). What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about HPV and Abnormal Pap Smears. Warner Books, 2002

A definitive guide to the connections between HPV and cervical cancer, this book raises awareness about this disease, and also about irregular pap smears, while providing support and information, including self-exams that can be done at home.


Rushing, Lynda M.D., Nancy Joste M.D. Abnormal Pap Smears : What Every Woman Needs to Know. Prometheus Books, September 2001

Dr. Rushing (medical director of gynecologic pathology and cytology and professor of pathology at Harvard and Tufts Medical schools) and Dr. Joste (professor and director of cytopathology at U of NM medical school) have compiled an easily understandable guide to abnormal Pap smears, including discussion on HPV testing and much more to take away the mystery of how, why, and what a Pap smear entails.


Runowicz, C., J. Petrek, and T. Gansler. Women and Cancer: A Thorough and Compassionate Resource for Patients and Their Families. New York, NY: Villard Books, 1999.

This American Cancer Society publication has four sections, covering the female organs where most cancers occur (breast, cervix, uterus, and ovaries).

 General Cancer


Buckman, Robert. What You Really Need to Know About Cancer: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients and their Families. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997.

A noted oncologist wrote this book for cancer patients and their families. It combines a general explanation of cancer with detailed information about specific kinds of cancer.


Cancer Care, Inc. A Helping Hand: The Resource Guide for People with Cancer, 2nd Edition. New York, 1998.


The Cancer Pain Sourcebook

Cicala, MD, Roger S. (editor). The Cancer Pain Sourcebook. McGraw Hill, 2001

A most impressive book, covering so much about the oft-neglected problem of dealing with cancer pain.


Guilmartin, Nance, Healing Conversations: What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say. Jossey-Bass; 2002.

You have just learned that a family member or friend has been diagnosed with cancer and you don't know what to say. This helpful book may give you the insight into what to say and do, how, and when.


Hoffman, Barbara, JD (editor). A Cancer Survivor’s Almanac: Charting your Journey. National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. Minneapolis, MN: Chronimed Publishing, 1996.

How to be an advocate for yourself through all the medical, emotional, social, spiritual, financial, and legal aspects of having cancer.


Kaura, S.K. A Family Doctor’s Guide to Understanding & Preventing Cancer. Santa Fe, NM: Healthpress, 1991.



Katen Moore MSN RN ANP-C AOCN, Libby Schmais. Living Well With Cancer : A Nurse Tells You Everything You Need to Know About Managing the Side Effects of Your Treatment. Putnam Pub Group, 2001.

A guide to maintaining quality of life during treatments, including comprehensive listings of side effects and solutions, presented by an oncology nurse and drawing on the experiences of many patients.


Murphy, Gerald P., and Lois B. Morris (contributors). The American Cancer Society’s Informed Decisions: The Complete Book of Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment, and Recovery. 704 pgs, Viking Books, 1997.

This comprehensive American Cancer Society Book has guided many cancer patients through their first confrontation with their diseases and their various treatment options.


Prevention Magazine Health Books. The Complete Book of Cancer Prevention. Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, 1988.

Out of print, but worth finding at your local library.



Teeley, Peter and Philip Bashe. The Complete Cancer Survival Guide. New York: Doubleday. 2000.

Contains sections on diagnosis, staging, treatment options, procedures and medications, clinical trials for 25 of the most common cancers. An excellent general cancer resource!

 Treatment - Gynecologic Surgery


Hufnagel, Vicki, MD with Susan K. Golant. No More Hysterectomies. New York: Penguin Books, 1989.

Somewhat mistitled, this book explains in detail, all the surgical procedures used to diagnose and treat gyn conditions, including cancers of the cervix, uterus, and ovaries. Explains what to look for in pathology reports and the importance of second opinions.

 Treatment - Chemotherapy

Coping with Chemotherapy and Radiation cover

Cukier, Daniel. Coping With Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy. McGraw-Hill; 4th edition, 2004.

An updated resource for cancer patients on combination chemotherapy and radiation, which is often prescribed for gynecologic cancers. This book includes preparation for treatments, resources for coping both physically and emotionally, explanations of some more current procedures and tests and why they are used, plus a general overview of both these processes which are often used concurrently.


Drum, David, and Michael B. Van Scoy-Mosher. Making the Chemotherapy Decision. 270 pgs. Contemporary Books, Inc., 1996.


Senneff, John A. Numb Toes and Aching Soles : Coping With Peripheral Neuropathy. Medpress, 1999

Senneff, John A. Numb Toes and Other Woes: More on Peripheral Neuropathy. National Academy Press, 2001.

Companion books dealing with explanation of peripheral neuropathy- types, symptoms and effects, causes, evaluation and testing, pain control and medications. "There is so little info out there that I get excited when something good comes along. The new book is very good. It updates new treatments, alternative approaches and current medical thinking on the subject. I would reccomend both books." (MG)

 Treatment - Radiation

Making the Radiation Therapy Decision cover

Brenner, David J., Ph.D., Eric J. Hall, and Arthur C. Upton, MD. Making the Radiation Therapy Decision. 2nd Edition. 216 pgs. Lowell House, 1997.

Coping with Chemotherapy and Radiation cover

Cukier, Daniel. Coping With Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy. McGraw-Hill; 4th edition, 2004.

An updated resource for cancer patients on combination chemotherapy and radiation, which is often prescribed for gynecologic cancers. This book includes preparation for treatments, resources for coping both physically and emotionally, explanations of some more current procedures and tests and why they are used, plus a general overview of both these processes which are often used concurrently.


 Complementary Therapies


Rosenthal, David S. American Cancer Society's Guide to Complementary and Alternative Cancer Methods. American Cancer Society, 2000.

Covers a broad range of topics, including herbs, vitamins, minerals, diet, manual healing, and alternative treatment methods. Includes current trends, safety and regulatory issues, insurance coverage, and ACS guidelines for using complementary and alternative methods. "Here's a book I found very interesting---It's a large paperbound book of 438 pages which is a great reference as we try to find out about the various complementary methods". (CB)

Breast Cancer Info Exchange Project. A Guide to Unconventional Cancer Therapies. Toronto, 1994.

Available by calling 905-727-3300. Well-researched and unbiased.


Huddleston, Peggy, Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster: A Guide of Mind-Body Techniques. Cambridge, MA: Angel River Press, 1996. Audiotape.

Book and companion tape. Uses relaxation and creative imaging techniques to help patients prepare for surgery.


Kaiegi, Elizabeth. A Patient’s Guide to Choosing Unconventional Therapies IN Canadian Medical Journal, 1998.

Copies available through the Canadian Cancer Society and Cancer Info Service at 1-888-939-3333. Also available in French.



Lerner, Michael. Choices in Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches to Cancer. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996.

A balanced appraisal of a wide variety of complementary and alternative therapies.



Pelton, Ross and Less Charles. Alternatives in Cancer Therapy. Simon & Shuster, 1994.

Well-researched and unbiased.



Dyer, Diana, MS RDA. Dietitian's Cancer Story : Information & Inspiration for Recovery & Healing from a 3-Time Cancer Survivor. Swan Publishers, 2000.

A dietitian/cancer survivor's recommendations for developing a healthy diet that can also reduce the risk of cancer.



Ghoush, Kris, MD, Linda Carson MD, and Elyse Cohen. Betty Crocker's Living with Cancer Cookbook: Easy Recipes and Tips through Treatment and Beyond. Hungry Minds, Inc., 2002.

This book is an excellent resource; color-keyed for common side effects and recipes which make it easier eating to manage them. Authors are Kris Ghosh M.D., a gyn/onc at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School and Linda Carson M.D., a gyn/onc at the U of Minnesota Medical Center. The great thing about this book is helpful advice on coping with side effects and menus for use during and after treatment; this cookbook also includes nutrition & medical dictionaries, nutrition information. A great gift for someone in cancer treatment!



Nixon, Daniel W., MD with Jane A. Zanca. Cancer Recovery Eating Plan: The Right Foods to Help Fuel your Recovery. New York: Times Books, 1994.

Daniel Nixon is editor of the journal Cancer Prevention and bases his recommendations on current scientific research. Jane Zanca is a chef who has worked with cancer patients to make foods that are both nutritional and palatable during treatment.



Spiller, Gene, Ph.D. and Bonnie Bruce, Dr. P. H., R.D. Cancer Survivor’s Nutrition and Health Guide: Eating Well and Getting Better During and After Cancer Treatment. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1996.

 Women’s Health


Berman, Jennifer, MD, and Laura Berman, PH.D., For Women Only: A Revolutionary Guide to Overcoming Sexual Dysfunction and Reclaiming Your Sex Life. Henry Holt and Company, 2001.

The authors, a urologist and sex therapist and founders and co-directors of the Female Sexual Medicine Center (FSMC) at UCLA Medical Center, Department of Urology, Los Angeles, CA, tackle the problem of women's sexual function from the physical and psychological vantage points.


Bouchez, Colette and Elsa Giardina, The V Zone : A Woman's Guide to Intimate Health Care. Fireside, 2001.

The book is subtitled "A Woman's Guide to Intimate Health Care" and covers a multitude of issues such as "understanding the V zone", bacterial and fungal infections, lumps and bumps, UTIs, STDs, self-exams and hygiene - all written in simple no-nonsense words, and providing a rich resource for knowing everything you need to know about the V zone.


Budoff, Penny Wise, MD. No More Hot Flashes...and Even More Good News. New York: Warner Books, 1998.

A comprehensive guide to menopause.


Dionne, Carla, Sex, Lies and the Truth about Uterine Fibroids: A Journey from Diagnosis to Treatment to Renewed Good Health. Avery Penguin Putnam, 2001.

The executive director of the National Uterine Fibroids Foundation has written a very personal book that takes the reader through her years of trouble with fibroids (benign tumors of the uterus). An excellent reference source on hysterectomies and other procedures.


National Women's Health Network, The Truth About Hormone Replacement Therapy: How to Break Free from the Medical Myths of Menopause. Prima Publishing 2002

All your questions about HRT and its benefits and hazards are covered in detail, clearly and easily understood. This book will guide you through the process of making an informed decision about whether HRT is right for you.


Warga, Claire L., Ph.D. Menopause and the Mind: The Complete Guide to Coping With Cognitive Effects of Perimenopause and Menopausze, Including Memory Loss, Foggy Thinking, and Verbal Slips. Touchstone Books, April 2000.

Dr. Warga, a neuropsychologist and researcher, has addressed the issues of cognitive loss (Warga's Hormonal Misconnection Syndrome) and provides tools and alternative approaches for those whose ability to use traditional hormone replacement therapy is limited.

 Life After Cancer


Halvorson-Boyd, Glenna and Lisa K. Hunter. Dancing in Limbo: Making Sense of Life after Cancer. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1997.

The authors, both health care professionals and survivors, try to make sense out of the difficulties of life after cancer.



Harpham, Wendy Schlessel, MD, After Cancer: A Guide to Your New Life. New York: Harper Collins, 1994.

The author, who is both MD and cancer survivor, looks at the medical, emotional, and practical aspects of life after cancer treatment.


Schover, Leslie R. Sexuality and Fertility After Cancer. John Wiley & Sons, 1997

"I found this book a "learning experience". It is easy to read and ideal for both couples and those without partners. The book openly explores both the physical and emotional effect that cancer and treatments can have on sexuality and fertility. The author has covered everything. It is a book that will help the reader to understand the issues and offers creative and sensible solutions. Includes a list of Resources." (FS)

After Cancer Treatment book cover

Silver, Julie K.,MD. After Cancer Treatment. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.

Julie K Silver, MD, is a cancer patient and medical doctor who shares her own experiences and insights on the entire process from diagnosis to recovery in this thorough and informative guide, a useful and valuable read at any stage of a cancer journey. (Paperback edition also available.)

 Children and Cancer

Harpham, Wendy Schlessel, MD. When a Parent Has Cancer: A Guide to Caring for Your Children. New York: Harper Collins, 1997.



Kroen, William C., Ph.D., LMHC. Helping Children Cope With The Loss Of A Loved One(a guide for grownups), 1996.

Easy to read, divided by age, under 100 pages and well organized. Still a great resource although it is a few years old.

 End of life


Buckman, Robert, MD, I Don't Know What to Say: How to Help and Support Someone Who is Dying. New York: Vintage Books, 1992.

An oncologist demystifies the dying process and offers practical advice for the friends and families of the terminally ill.



Kessler, David. The Needs of the Dying: A Guide for Bringing Hope, Comfort, and Love to Life's Final Chapter. NY: HarperCollins, 2000.

Author David Kessler has identified key areas of concern: the need to be treated as a living human being, the need for hope, the need to express emotions, the need to participate in care, the need for honesty, the need for spirituality and the need to be free from physical pain.



Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth, MD, On Death and Dying. Collier Books, 1997 reprint.

In this landmark book on the end of life, Dr. Kübler-Ross first explored the now-famous five stages of death: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Audio tape.



Leo F. Buscaglia, Ph.D. The Fall of Freddie the Leaf. Holt Rinehart Winston, 1983.

Highly recommended children's book is a parable about life and the process of death. Freddie and the other leaves on his tree pass through the seasons and, with the coming of winter, fall to the ground.



Bolen, Jean Shinoda, M.D., Close to the Bone: Life Threatening Illness and the Search for Meaning. Touchstone Books, 1996.

A Jungian psychologist writes that cancer can be a life-transforming experience.



Canfield, Jack (editor) Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul: 101 Stories to Comfort Cancer Patients and Their Loved Ones. Health Communications, 1996. Audiotape. CD.

Part of the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, this volume is devoted to positive stories of people who are beating cancer and finding new meaning in their lives.



Girard, Vickie and Zadra, Dan (Editor), There's No Place Like Hope: A Guide to Beating Cancer in Mind-Sized Bites: A Book of Hope, Help, and Inspiration for Cancer Patients and their Families. Compendium Inc, 2001.

"Inspirational advice written by a 10 year cancer survivor (stage 4 breast cancer) who has "beaten the odds" herself. Easy to read and browse through, the advice ranges from one sentence to a paragraph long. She speaks on a wide range of topics including "Diagnosis", "The Dreaded Doctor Visits", "Side Effects", "Positivity", "Our Children", "Treatment is Over" and "Insurance". " (MCT)


Holland, Jimmie C., M.D. and Lewis, Sheldon. The Human Side of Cancer: Living with Hope, Coping with Uncertainty. Quill, 2001.

"Dr. Holland is a pioneer in recognizing that cancer patients have emotional needs as well as physical needs. Many of the myths that are not backed up by scientific evidence are addressed by Dr. Holland. Some of these myths are the need to maintain a positive attitude, the mind-body connection and much more. This book has a common-sense approach when giving practical advice to help the reader find his/her own way of coping with diagnosis, treatment, fears etc. Includes a list of Resources (USA) for cancer patients." (FS)


Kushner, Harold S. When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Avon, 1994.

Wise and compassionate advice on how to cope with tragedy, from a rabbi who learned these lessons when he lost his own son. Audiotape, Hardcover



Siegel, Bernie, M.D., Love, Medicine and Miracles: Lessons Learned about Self-Healing from a Surgeon's Experience with Exceptional Patients. Harper and Row, 1986. Audiotape.

Siegel's message is that love heals by being the most powerful stimulant of the immune system.



Siegel, Bernie, M.D., Peace, Love and Healing: Body-Mind Communication and the Path to Self-Healing: An Exploration. Harper & Row, 1989.


Siegel, Bernie, M.D., How to Live between Office Visits: A Guide to Life, Love, and Health. Harper & Row, 1994. Audiotape.

 Personal Accounts and Fiction


Berg, Elizabeth. Talk Before Sleep. NY: Delta/Dell Publishing, 1994. Audiotape.

A wonderful novel about a woman supporting her friend through the crisis of breast cancer.



Edson, Margaret. Wit: A Play. Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1999

A brutally honest and highly acclaimed portrayal of a professor's encounter with terminal ovarian cancer, raising the issues of dying with dignity and quality of life among others. Emma Thompson's performance is incredible, and this presentation might be useful to anyone facing a decision on dealing with an advanced cancer diagnosis.


Middlebrook, Christina. Seeing the Crab: A Memoir of Dying Before I Do. Doubleday, 1998.

A Jungian therapist with metastatic breast cancer confronts her imminent death. Well written but very difficult to read.



Radner, Gilda. It's Always Something. New York: Avon Books, 1989. Audiotape.

Comedienne Gilda Radner's autobiography chronicles her battle with ovarian cancer.



Sweeney, Julia. God Said 'Ha!': A Memoir. New York: Bantam, Doubleday, Dell, 1998. VHS movie.

Comedienne Julia Sweeney is diagnosed with cervical cancer while taking care of her dying brother.



Tilberis, Liz and Aimee Lee Ball. No Time to Die: Living with Ovarian Cancer. New York: Little Brown & Co., 1998.

Harper's Bazaar editor Liz Tilberis' account of her struggle with ovarian cancer.

 Audiotapes/Videotapes/CD’s/Other Media

The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) Cancer Survival Toolbox 2000

A fabulous set of audiotapes and workbooks. Available by calling 301-650-9127 or at

"On Our Own Terms," Bill Moyers television series, Public Broadcasting System, 2000

Produced by WNET for PBS, provides a thorough overview of issues related to death and dying, including a guide to advance directive forms, care options, hospice and palliative care issues, and information on Medicare and Medicaid in the End-of-Life Tools section.

tape cover

WIT. DVD, VHS. Starring Emma Thompson, Directed by Mike Nichols. 2001

A brutally honest and highly acclaimed portrayal of a professor's encounter with terminal ovarian cancer, raising the issues of dying with dignity and quality of life among others. Emma Thompson's performance is incredible, and this presentation might be useful to anyone facing a decision on dealing with an advanced cancer diagnosis.



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