Coping With Radiation Therapy: A Ray of Hope
Authors: Daniel Cukier, M.D. and Virginia McCullough
"Coping With Radiation Therapy" is an excellent resource for the cancer patient when radiation therapy is part of the treatment plan. The book is easy to read and written for the lay-person. Dr. Cukier, who has been a Radiation Oncologist for over 30 years, has written this book "to help cancer patients and their families and loved ones understand the process of radiation therapy."
The book is organized into three broad sections. The first section explains the purpose and process of radiation therapy. It educates the reader on the complex treatment procedures and the radiation therapy team that will be involved in the care of the patient. There is also a very general overview of the side effects of radiation therapy. Important topics of diet and lifestyle issues during radiation therapy are addressed. There is a chapter dedicated to the emotional stresses that accompany a diagnosis of cancer.
The second section deals with specific cancers and treatment. It discusses the treatment, side effects, follow-up, and outlook for the most common cancers treated with radiation therapy. There are good recommendations on the management of side effects with each specific cancer treatment. There is also an excellent chapter on palliative treatment for metastatic disease. Common chemotherapy side effects are also discussed with a special emphasis on combined effects with radiation.
The third section deals with issues such as diagnostic testing. There is an excellent chapter on the most frequently asked questions about radiation therapy. The book concludes with a glossary of terms, resource guide, and a medication guide for common symptoms.
The book is highly recommended for any patient undergoing radiation therapy. It will help the patient understand their cancer treatment and become an active member of the health care team. The book is well written, comprehensive, and easy to understand.