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A Cancer Companion

An Oncologist’s Advice on Diagnosis, Treatment, and Recovery

A Cancer Companion

An Oncologist’s Advice on Diagnosis, Treatment, and Recovery

Cancer. It’s the diagnosis no one wants to hear. Unfortunately though, these days most of us have known or will know someone who receives it. But what’s next? With the diagnosis comes not only fear and uncertainty, but numerous questions, and a lot of unsolicited advice. With A Cancer Companion, esteemed oncologist Ranjana Srivastava is here to help, bringing both experience and honesty to guide cancer patients and their families through this labyrinth of questions and treatments.

With candor and compassion, Srivastava provides an approachable and authoritative reference. She begins with the big questions, like what cancer actually is, and she moves on to offer very practical advice on how to find an oncologist, what to expect during and after treatments, and how to manage pain, diet, and exercise. She discusses in detail the different therapies for cancers and why some cancers are inoperable, and she skillfully addresses the emotional toll of the disease. She speaks clearly and directly to cancer patients, caretakers, and their loved ones, offering straightforward information and insight, something that many oncologists can’t always convey in the office.

368 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2015



“As a cancer survivor, I found the unparalleled wisdom and empathy offered by Dr. Srivastava  to make this book a treasure chest of cutting-edge information to help oncology patients—including those with a serious prognosis—navigate the maze of  treatment, its aftermath, and related issues ranging from diet and exercise to mental health and how to talk with one's children. The stories of real people and their families coping with this disease makes The Cancer Companion fascinating and highly accessible to all of us whose lives have been touched by cancer. “

Barbara J. King, author of How Animals Grieve

“At last, we have a practical, easy-to-read book by a cancer specialist that provides information and insights about cancer and cancer care to patients, family members, physicians, nurses and students. Topics discussed in this valuable book include how to find the right oncologist; how to best manage chemotherapy; when to consider a research trial; the role of complementary medicine; predicting treatment outcomes; and ways to manage pain effectively. In an age of shared decision making between patient and doctor, this book will help patients become more informed and more empowered.”

Mark Siegler, University of Chicago

“A diagnosis of cancer triggers many questions, but answers are hard to find. In A Cancer Companion, a pioneer in cancer care, Srivastava brings a lifetime of experience to providing answers.  Her tone is intimate and personal, as if she were in the room.  She lights the dark spaces, approves the right to ask questions, and is compassionate while being practical. It is the next best thing to having her as your physician. This book is essential reading for cancer patients, their families, and their doctors

Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

“Her experiences and outlook provide a unique perspective that can be helpful for readers to understand doctors' point of view.  . . . A quality general book about cancer, this title should particularly appeal to those newly diagnosed or those caring for someone with cancer. Also recommended for persons with questions about this disease.”

Library Journal

Table of Contents

1. What is Cancer?
2. Where Do I Even Begin?
3. How is Cancer treated?
4. Finding an Oncologist
5. What to Expect When Having Chemotherapy
6. Deciding Whether to have Treatment and Understanding Side Effects
7. How Do I Know if My Chemo is Working?
8. I Could Do with a Break from Chemotherapy
9. When to Stop Treatment
10. I’m Off Chemotherapy—What Now?
11. Do I Need Radiotherapy?
12. Why Can’t I Have an Operation to Remove the Cancer?
13. Is a Clinical Trial for Me?
14. What Happens Once I Finish Treatment?
15. I’m Getting Worse—What is the Best Course?
16. Managing Pain
17. How Cancer Affects Appetite, Diet, and Weight
18. Why Natural Therapies Aren’t the Answer
19. How Much Exercise Should I Be Doing?
20. I’m Always Tired
21. Lost Sexuality
22. Tackling Anxiety and Depression
23. Does My Oncologist Have Feelings?
24. Is My Family at Risk and What Can I Do?
25. Handling Unexpected Outcomes
26. How Long Do I Have?
27. What is Palliative Care?
28. How Do I tell the Kids?
29. Keeping Hope Alive
30. Advance Care Planning
31. Will My Death Be Painful?
32. The Impact of Being a Carer

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