Dr. Jimmie Holland, a pioneer in the field of psycho-oncology, has spent years talking to people with cancer and their families and presents a new understanding of what it's like to face this dreaded disease. She understands that everyone copes very differently with such a prospect, and puts forward the controversial yet commonsense notion that the current overzealous belief in the mind-body connection leads many people to blame themselves for getting cancer, or for not getting better. She provides practical and compassionate guidance on:
Chief of psychiatry at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Holland is one of the founders of psycho-oncology. In this well-rounded guide, she and Lewis (an editor at Healthy Living) provide sensible and clear advice for people living with cancer. What makes this manual different is Holland and Lewis's belief that there's no one style of coping that's right for everyone--instead, they survey a range of available strategies, both physical (e.g., medications) and psychological (e.g., support groups). Antidepressant and antianxiety medications get a lot of attention here--the authors consider them important tools in the fight against not only severe depression, but also fear of surgery and sleeplessness; they are also important in aiding the terminally ill. Though they emphasize traditional Western treatments, Holland and Lewis don't dismiss potentially complementary alternative therapies, like meditation, yoga, acupuncture and aromatherapy. These techniques, they contend, while not proven cures, may enhance quality of life and are particularly useful to those patients who want an active role in maintaining their health. In addition, they recommend lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking, eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly. Likewise, their discussion of the physical problems that may occur after cancer treatment (including impotence and changes in appearance) is honest and practical. Illus. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.