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Newly diagnosed? The top 4 books for breast cancer patients

September 06, 2022

Written by

Suzanne Garner, Director of Marketing, Outcomes4Me

Illustration of woman reading a book with long flowing blue hair, orange top, blue pants

Alongside being a member of the Outcomes4Me team, Suzanne is also a breast cancer survivor. In 2018 she was diagnosed with Stage II hormone positive breast cancer and today she is passionate about helping connect the Outcomes4Me community with helpful resources. She lives in Encinitas, CA with her husband, eight-year-old daughter and an energetic goldendoodle named Carter. 

After being diagnosed with Stage II hormone positive breast cancer, I became eager to learn much more about breast cancer and how this diagnosis would affect my life and my family’s lives. I’ve read dozens of books, listened to hours of podcasts (these are my favorites), and consumed the latest news reports on breast cancer to keep up with developments in the field. Point being—consuming high quality content around breast cancer is important to me and I found books about breast cancer to be a highly valuable resource as I navigated treatment and life after treatment. 

These are the top four books for breast cancer patients that I would recommend to anyone who has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book by Susan Love

“Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book” has been a popular pick for best breast cancer books for more than two decades as it provides a detailed look at targeted treatments, hormonal therapies, safer chemotherapy, immunologic approaches, and new forms of surgery and radiation. If possible, try to buy or borrow the sixth edition of this book as it highlights the latest advancements in the field. 

I really appreciated how Dr. Love separates facts from trends and how she guides you through tricky situations like how to recognize when you may need a second opinion. This book also offers support for women with metastatic breast cancer.

The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer by Dr. Liz Oriordan & Trisha Greenhalgh

This guide is backed by clinical knowledge as well as first-hand experiences with cancer, which makes it an informative, but also comforting read. Written by Professor Trisha Greenhalgh (academic GP) and Dr Liz O’Riordan (Consultant Breast Cancer Surgeon), “The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer” is a thorough resource that takes the patient experience into account and shares the information they both wish they knew when diagnosed. Both authors have experienced breast cancer first-hand.

Breasts: The Owner’s Manual by Kristi Funk

I recommend “Breasts: The Owner’s Manual” to all of my female relatives and friends as it applies to all women, not just breast cancer patients. In “Breasts: The Owner’s Manual”, Dr. Kristi Funk—board-certified breast cancer surgeon—offers a comprehensive and encouraging approach to breast care and breast cancer. She aims to empower readers to understand their breasts, reduce their cancer risks, and to open their eyes to potential interventions and treatments. 

A main emphasis of this book is reducing your breast cancer risk. While breast cancer can be caused by genetics, 87% of women diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have a single first-degree relative with breast cancer. This book can help women learn how to reduce their risk of an initial diagnosis and of recurrence. 

Off Our Chests: A Candid Tour Through the World of Cancer by John Marshall and Liza Marshall

This memoir—“Off Our Chests: A Candid Tour Through the World of Cancer”— co-authored by a married couple made up of an oncologist and a cancer survivor is incredibly moving and touches on important themes such as love, pain, hope, strength, and resilience while navigating the overwhelming breast cancer advocacy movement.

In “Off Our Chests: A Candid Tour Through the World of Cancer”, they recount the story of Liza’s diagnosis and treatment. The book also looks at how John navigated such a difficult time as a husband and how even with his intensive knowledge about cancer, how unprepared he was to become a caretaker. 

Throughout this breast cancer book, they provide detailed yet easy to understand explanations of the clinical and scientific background of oncology and pair this vital information with equally vital information about the emotional side of cancer. 

Outcomes4Me app

In order to get the most out of resources like the books included in this post it is helpful to have a basic understanding of breast cancer and the meaningful details of your diagnosis. By downloading the Outcomes4Me app and connecting your medical records you will gain access to robust resources and a team of oncology nurse practitioners that can help educate and empower you to further explore resources specific to your diagnosis.