Finch Publishing (2011)
There are many books available in the public domain on the topic of breast cancer. While the majority of these have been authored by women who have themselves experienced breast cancer, there are some helpful books written by health professionals that attempt to demystify the confusing landscape of cancer diagnosis, treatment options and ongoing care. The Little Pink Book is one of these.
There are several strengths of this book. The first lies in the fact that it has been written by an oncologist in response to the myriad of questions asked by women (and some men) diagnosed with breast cancer and their families. It is therefore widely applicable to an Australian audience.
Secondly, it is a comprehensive guide (based on the best available evidence) that covers a wide variety of topics such as breast cancer’s genetic predisposition, the advantages and disadvantages of support groups, complementary therapies, breast cancer in men and advanced breast cancer.
Thirdly, many of the chapters contain the voices of women who have experienced breast cancer and these threads add to the richness of the main text.
Fourthly, the complex language of cancer has been clearly explained. For example, a person can be very confused when results are explained in terms of ‘absolute reduction in recurrence rates’ and ‘relative reduction in risk’ (p134), yet Dr Yuile explains these simply and succinctly in the text.
Finally, at the end of each chapter there is a summary of the key points, made which adds to the smooth progression from one chapter to the next.
The Little Pink Book is a valuable addition to the lay breast cancer literature. It would also be a useful resource for all health care professionals involved in the breast cancer journey.