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Disease-Specific Reference Books

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis, treatment or long-term survival issues can sometimes be overwhelming or confusing. If you're an adult patient or the caregiver of an adult patient, there are books that can help you find ways to better manage your new responsibilities. Browse the list below for books that can help you cope.

When Blood Breaks Down - Life Lessons from Leukemia

When Blood Breaks Down - Life Lessons from Leukemia

When Blood Breaks Down - Life Lessons from Leukemia by Mikkael A. Sekeres, MD
MIT Press, April 2020, Hardcover, 328 Pages
ISBN: 9780262043724

In When Blood Breaks Down, Dr. Mikkael Sekeres, a leading cancer specialist, takes readers on a journey that patient and doctor travel together.  Sekeres tells the compelling stories of three people who receive diagnoses of adult leukemia within hours of each other: Joan, a 48-year-old surgical nurse, a caregiver who becomes a patient; David, a 68-year-old former factory worker who bows to his family's wishes and pursues the most aggressive treatment; and Sarah, a 36-year-old pregnant woman who must decide whether to undergo chemotherapy and put her fetus at risk. We join the intimacy of the conversations Sekeres has with his patients, and watch as he teaches trainees. Along the way, Sekeres also explores leukemia in its different forms and the development of drugs to treat it—describing, among many other fascinating details, the invention of the bone marrow transplant and a treatment that targets the genetics of leukemia. The lessons to be learned from leukemia, Sekeres shows, are not merely medical; they teach us about courage and grace and defying the odds.

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Suggested Reading Cancer Crossings

Cancer Crossings: A Brother, His Doctors, and the Quest for a Cure to Childhood Leukemia by Tim Wendel
ILR Press, 2018, 256 Pages, Paperback and Kindle
ISBN: 978-1501711039

When Eric Wendel was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 1966, the survival rate was 10 percent. Today, it is 90 percent. Author Tim Wendel discovered that most of the doctors who cared for his brother at Roswell Park in Buffalo, N.Y., were at the forefront of this medical 'moonshot.' Tim interviewed the doctors and nurses in this effort, including Donald Pinkel, Lucius Sinks, and James Holland. Their medical advancements, as well as his brother's story, are detailed here. 

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Living with Lymphoma

Living with Lymphoma

Living with Lymphoma By Elizabeth M. Adler, Ph.D.
The John Hopkins University Press, 2nd Edition, 2016, 480 pages
ISBN: 9781421418100

A comprehensive resource for coping with medical, emotional and practical challenges. The author, who is a lymphoma survivor, thoroughly explains the disease, describing the many different kinds of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas, the wide range of symptoms and the various treatment options available.The new edition includes the latest information on lymphoma diagnosis, treatment, and incidence and describes the most recent update to the WHO system of lymphoma classification and staging. Adler discusses new targeted therapies like ibrutinib and idelalisib and describes how other treatments, including radiation therapy and stem cell transplants, have been modified while others have been discontinued. 

The Philadelphia Chromosome: A Mutant gene and the Quest to Cure Cancer at the Genetic Level

The Philadelphia Chromosome: A Mutant gene and the Quest to Cure Cancer at the Genetic Level

The Philadelphia Chromosome: A Mutant Gene and the Quest to Cure Cancer at the Genetic Level by Jessica Wapner
The Experiment; 1 edition, 2013
ISBN-10: 1615190678 ISBN-13: 978-1615190676

Philadelphia, 1959: A scientist scrutinizing a single human cell under a microscope detects a missing piece of DNA. That scientist, David Hungerford, had no way of knowing that he had stumbled upon the starting point of modern cancer research-the Philadelphia chromosome. This book charts not only that landmark discovery, but also-for the first time, all in one place-the full sequence of scientific and medical discoveries that brought about the first-ever successful treatment of a lethal cancer at the genetic level. Science journalist Jessica Wapner brings extensive original reporting to this book, including interviews with more than thirty-five people with a direct role in this story. Wapner reconstructs more than forty years of crucial breakthroughs, clearly explains the science behind them, and pays tribute to the dozens of researchers, doctors, and patients whose curiosity and determination restored the promise of a future to the more than 70,000 people worldwide who are diagnosed with CML each year. Chief among them is researcher and oncologist Dr. Brian Druker, whose dedication to his patients fueled his quest to do everything within his power to save them.

Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Myelofibrosis

Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Myelofibrosis

Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Myelofibrosis
The Cancer Support Community, 2012, 36 pages

This booklet is designed to help you take more control over your situation and your treatment decisions by giving you a better understanding of what myelofibrosis is and how it is diagnosed, what treatments are available, and what you may need to manage the emotional impact of cancer. It also provides information about credible organizations and resources that can help you find support, feel less alone, and enable you to develop a renewed sense of hope. Consider your healthcare team to be your partner throughout this journey.

For more information: https://www.cancersupportcommunity.org

Brain Tumors - Leaving the Garden of Eden

Brain Tumors - Leaving the Garden of Eden

Brain Tumors - Leaving the Garden of Eden Paul M. Zeltzer, M.D. SP
Shilysca Press, 2004, 393 pages
ISBN: 0-9760171-0-5

This is a survival guide to diagnosis, learning the basics, getting organized and finding your medical team, was written specifically for patients and families living with brain tumors but offers wisdom and advice for anyone living with cancer. It contains two especially relevant chapters on brain lymphomas (chapter 14, pages 323-333) and on searching the Web and internet (chapter 4, pages 69-85).

For more information: www.survivingbraincancer.com

Adult Leukemia: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients and Families

Adult Leukemia: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients and Families

Adult Leukemia: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients and Families By Barbara Lackritz
O'Reilly & Associates Inc., 2001, 512 pages
ISBN: 0596500017

This patient-centered guide provides an overview of many types of leukemia and explores signs and symptoms, diagnosis, tests and procedures, treatment options, as well as coping strategies.