Share |

Dr Susan Love's Breast Book: Not the Best Book on Breast Health After All

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dr Susan Love's Breast Book, supposedly the best book to use on breast cancer, is not all that it's cracked up to be. I am not saying that one should not read it. It may help to know what to expect ahead of time, though .

The first problem is an obvious one. There is way too much time spent on basic breast anatomy and development, and not enough on the information that is immediately helpful to someone who has been newly diagnosed with breast cancer. The fact is, no one wants to wade through a bunch of non-essential material in order to find the answers to their most pressing questions. Especially when time is of the essence, which in this case, it usually is.

Secondly, Dr Susan Love's Breast Book was last published in 2005. This has to take its toll on the accuracy of the survival and mortality statistics quoted within its pages. In the cases of chemotherapy, antibodies, and hormonal therapies, advances are often realized much more quickly than a five-year span. Because of this, there are no good statistics on ten-year survival rates.

To make matters worse, the author takes a measly paragraph to guiding women on how to interpret the statistics! How can they possibly move forward in their fight when they are ill-prepared and fearful?

In addition, descriptions of rare complications of surgery and recurrence are given too much space. At a time when most readers are looking for cold hard facts about their options in order to make treatment decisions, Dr Love belabors how many lives have been lost and the imperfections of the medical system. Once again, superfluous discussion is found where answers are most desperatley needed.

Even when Dr. Love does have some good information for the reader about how dangerous chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can be, she still recommends it wholeheartedly. Even though she says herself that 2-9% of non-metastatic women experience benefits from chemotherapy and that these three treatment options carry devastating and often permanent side effects!

Thanks, but I'll pass on that advice. At least without a second or third opinion. Let's not forget that she is a doctor, after all, and may have a detached manner of assessing treatment plans.

Again, I am not saying that no one should read the book. Dr Susan Love's Breast Book is still a good reference. But most women need real advice on what to do next, what will happen next, and how to detect (and prevent) recurrences.

Looking for practical information about preventing breast cancer in yourself and the women you love? Visit the preventing breast cancer page on Holistic-Medicine-MD. Better yet, check out the book Breast Cancer: Reduce Your Risk With Foods You Love by Dr. Robert Pendergrast.