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Cancer Talk: Voices of Hope and Endurance from "The Group Room," the World's Largest Cancer Support Group

Schimmel, Selma R.

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ISBN 10: 0767903250 / ISBN 13: 9780767903257
Verlag: Broadway Books
Gebraucht Zustand: Fine Softcover
Verkäufer Robinson Street Books, IOBA (Binghamton, NY, USA)

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Titel: Cancer Talk: Voices of Hope and Endurance ...

Verlag: Broadway Books



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For the first time, Cancer Talk provides a support group in a book.

Research shows that cancer patients who attend support groups can survive longer and lead fuller lives than patients receiving medical treatment alone. Cancer Talk, based on "The Group Room®," the nation's only talk-radio cancer support show, brings hope, information, and inspiration to everyone affected by cancer. Show host Selma Schimmel, a cancer advocate and longtime survivor, has gathered the voices of cancer patients and survivors, family and friends, physicians, therapists, and other healthcare professionals to create an invaluable guide to help you:

Deal with the wide range of emotions a cancer diagnosis provokes
Cope with relationships, intimacy, and physical changes
Optimize the doctor-patient relationship and navigate treatment options
Handle the side effects of treatment
Understand legal, workplace, and insurance issues
Live with and beyond cancer

Anyone whose life has been touched by cancer will find new support from the intimate and empowering voices of the only real experts out there--the people who live with cancer.


When 28-year-old Selma Schimmel, a medical sociologist, was diagnosed with breast cancer not long after losing her mother to ovarian cancer, she found precious few resources to help her cope. Before the diagnosis, when she could feel a mass in her breast but her doctors weren't at all concerned about it, she demanded further testing. Her doctors mocked her, called her neurotic, said that "statistically, young women don't get breast cancer," but agreed to biopsy "for the hell of it" to prove her wrong. When the biopsy returned positive, she says, "from that point on, I understood the difference between being a passive patient and a proactive medical consumer."

A lumpectomy, radiation therapy, and nine months of chemotherapy followed. She lamented that she had no role models for survival: in addition to losing her mother, her grandmother had died of uterine cancer, and an uncle from a brain tumor. She joined her hospital's cancer support group, but as its youngest member, found "my issues as a young adult with cancer did not resonate in that room." So, while still undergoing treatment, she founded Vital Options, a support group for cancer patients ages 17 to 40.

That was in 1983. During that time, she also started "The Group Room," a call-in radio show that's grown into the world's largest cancer support group. Cancer Talk is an invaluable collection of the voices from the show: cancer survivors, nurses, doctors (much more sensitive than those who biopsied Schimmel, and some who've survived cancer themselves), social workers, and family and friends of cancer patients. They discuss the emotional issues that follow a cancer diagnosis (including difficulties facing one's mortality), how to handle side effects from treatment, and ways to manage the flood of medical bills and problems with insurance companies. Cancer Talk isn't meant just for younger people, but does include hard-to-find support for such patients, including ways to help children tell their classmates about their disease and changes in their appearance. Other discussions cover sensitive topics such as relationship and intimacy problems; how to handle fertility issues following chemotherapy and radiation, including what to do when cancer strikes during pregnancy; and how to handle health questions during a job interview when you have or have had cancer. More than 100 resources are included for more information, and most of them include Web-site addresses. This is an essential book for anyone affected by cancer.

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