Breast cancer reading list | Cancer Research UK
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Breast cancer and its treatment

You can find a list of books about cancer, treatments, and living with cancer on our general reading list.

Breast Cancer: Answers at Your Fingertips
Emma Pennery, Val Speechley and Maxine Rosenfield
Class Publishing, 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1859591987

This book contains medically accurate information about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. It offers guidance on the various forms of treatment and care, including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and other treatments. It also gives information about complementary therapies; practical advice about managing life with and after cancer – diet, exercise, work and finances; answers to questions about relationships and family, and where to turn for help.

Coping with breast cancer
Terry Priestman
Sheldon Press 2006
ISBN-13: 978-0859699686
Coming to terms with a diagnosis of breast cancer is anything but easy, but this helpful book gives reassurance and practical advice about getting on with life as normally as possible. It is helpful for friends and family as well as women with breast cancer.

The Breast Cancer Survival Manual
Link, John
Owl Books 2007
ISBN 0805082344

A US book, written by an American breast cancer specialist. It includes information on recent treatment developments. It is primarily aimed at women with primary breast cancer.

Living Well Beyond Breast Cancer: A Survivor's Guide for When Treatment Ends and the Rest of Your Life Begins (2nd edition)
Marisa and Ellen Weiss
Three Rivers Press 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0307460226

This American book discusses all the physical and emotional issues that may arise when you finish cancer treatment. It can help to put things into perspective.

Breast Cancer: The Essential Guide
Katherine Locke
Need-2-Know, 2010
ISBN 1861440960

A helpful book for women who have just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Written by a woman who has been through treatment for breast cancer. Provides information about what breast cancer is, how it is diagnosed and the treatment options available, as well as covering the emotional after effects of a cancer diagnosis.

How To Cope With Breast Cancer When You Have Children: Parenting for Breast Cancer Mums
Briony Jenkins
BCM Publishing, 2014
ISBN-10: 0993070310

A personal story and guide to talking to children about cancer, written by a woman diagnosed with breast cancer aged 43 when her son was 7 and her daughter was 3. The book has helpful information about coping with treatment and coping emotionally when you have children.

Be a survivoryour guide to breast cancer treatment
Vladimir, Lange
Lange Lange Media, 2009
ISBN 9780981948904

A complete guide to breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, breast reconstruction, complementary therapies, research trials, and coping with cancer. It is an American book, so some aspects are not relevant to UK readers.

Breast Reconstruction – Your Choice
Dick Rainsbury and Ginny Straker
Class Publishing, 2008
Language: English
ISBN 1859591973

Written by a breast surgeon and breast care nurse this book gives information about breast reconstruction that aims to help women to make decisions about this type of surgery. It describes the surgical process and the possible benefits and problems. It also explores psychological aspects of breast reconstruction, gives options for women who decide not to have reconstructive surgery, and explains how other treatments may affect or be affected by reconstruction.



The Secret History of a Woman Patient
Rhys Dent, Janet
Radcliffe Publishing 2007
ISBN 1 84619 150 5

This is an easy to read account of one woman’s experience of breast cancer. As she considers the dilemmas and discoveries of the diagnosis, both inside and outside hospital, she reflects on what being a patient means, where she gets information and support and how her attitude to life and living changes.

Left Boobless
Mitchell, Sylvia
Published by the author and available from her at:
32, Ratcliffe Road,
Haydon Bridge,
Northumberland NE47 6ET

Price £6.99 incl postage and packing (all profits to the Northern Cancer Support Group)
A warm, humerous but honest account of one woman's experience of breast cancer. The author teaches creative writing and has included a writing exercise at the end of each chapter, which many people may find helpful.

Courage Brave Amazonone woman's spiritual journey through breast cancer.
Rayner Christine
Lucas Books, 2002
ISBN 1903797179

This is one woman's story of having breast cancer. It is easy to read and gives good explanations of tests and treatment. The author also manages to explain the more unpleasant aspects of treatment in a non-frightening way. It has a strong spiritual focus and may not suit everyone but others may find it a useful source of support.

Worms on Parachutes
Phillips, Sarah Jane
Published by the author 2013
ISBN 978-1482058116

This is a warm and easy to read account of one woman’s experience of breast cancer aged 36, some 20 years after treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. The author gives an honest and open account of her feelings and experiences during her diagnosis, treatment, and the early years following treatment. She describes what the tests and treatments involve, and offers insight into what it really feels like to go through this, and how she coped at each stage. The author is very positive about the support she receives from her family and friends, and the health professionals involved in her care. Proceeds from the book will go towards the NHS trust where she had treatment.


Books about lymphoedema

Lymphoedema: Advice on Self-management and Treatment
Peter Mortimer and Jacqueline Todd
Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 2007
ISBN-10: 0906584590

Explains the causes and symptoms of lymphoedema. Describes treatments, including massage, exercise, and the use of bandages and compression garments.


Books about early menopause

Before Your Time: The Early Menopause Survival Guide
Evelina W. Sterling and Angie Best-Boss
Fireside Books, 2010
ISBN 9781439108451

An American book that has really good and up to date information on treatments and other ways of managing early menopause. As it is American, some of the options and resources may not be available in the UK.

The premature menopause bookwhen the change of life comes too early
Petras, Kathryn
Avon books, 2000
ISBN 0380805413

Discusses the physical and emotional effects of early menopause and how to cope with them.


Information for children

Mummy's lump
Gillian Forrest
You can order the book or download a copy from the Breast Cancer Care website

Written by a psychiatrist who had breast cancer, Mummy’s Lump is a reassuring story, told in a familiar way for young children and is suitable for any family who needs to talk about a difficult subject like cancer. It covers diagnosis, going into hospital, treatments and hairloss. It helps children to understand what is happening.


Info for people with learning disability

Looking After My Breasts
Sheila Hollins and Wendy Perez. Illustrated by Beth Webb
Gaskell, November 2000
ISBN 1 901242 53 6
Paperback, £10.00

This book is for people with a learning disability. There is information about reading material for people with learning disabilities and cancer in our question and answer section. The book tells a simple story about a women going for a mammogram and getting her result. It also explains what happens if you are called for further tests and how to look out for any changes in your breasts – being breast aware. To obtain a copy of this book go to The Royal College of Psychiatrists website.

An easy guide to breast screening
National Health Service (NHS) Cancer Screening Programmes
This is a picture leaflet for women with a learning disability to tell them about breast screening. You can read or download this leaflet in PDF format on the NHS website. There is information about reading material for people with learning disabilities and cancer in our question and answer section.


Breast screening and breast awareness

From Cancer Research UK

  • Detecting breast cancer and how to reduce your risk

You can download a copy of this breast cancer awareness leaflet on the Cancer Research UK website. Or you can ring our leaflet enquiry line on 0203 469 8333.

From NHS Breast Screening Programme

  • NHS breast screening (also available in Braille and other languages)
  • Be breast aware (available in 19 languages)
  • Breast implants and breast screening

From Breast Cancer Care

  • Your breasts, your health – a quick guide to being breast aware

Leaflets and booklets from other organisations

From Breast Cancer Care

  • Diagnosing and treating breast cancer – also available in Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Gujarati, Hindi, French, Polish, Punjabi and Urdu
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Breast cancer during pregnancy
  • Breast cancer and your child's school
  • People living with and beyond breast cancer
  • Living with lymphoedema after breast cancer
  • Talking with your children about breast cancer
  • Breast cancer and hair loss
  • Secondary breast cancer
  • Men with breast cancer
  • Younger women with breast cancer

*plus a wide range of factsheets covering many aspects of breast cancer and treatment. Braille and audio CD of any title are available on request.

From Wessex Cancer Trust – 023 8067 2200

  • Early breast cancer: a guide to treatment problems
  • Breast reconstruction - Arm care

From Macmillan Cancer Support

  • Coping with hair loss
  • Healthy eating and cancer
  • Talking about your cancer
  • Understanding breast cancer
  • Understanding chemotherapy
  • Understanding radiotherapy
  • Understanding lymphoedema
  • Understanding secondary breast cancer
  • Understanding breast cancer in men
  • Understanding breast reconstruction

*plus a wide range of factsheets covering many aspects of breast cancer and treatment. Some factsheets are available in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.


Audiotapes and CDs

Tapes and CDs available from Macmillan Cancer Support

  • Understanding breast cancer
  • Understanding chemotherapy
  • Understanding radiotherapy
  • Cancer and complementary therapies
  • Talking to children and teenagers when an adult has cancer
  • Travel and cancer
  • Work and cancer

From Family Advice and Information Resource (FAIR) – 0131 662 1962
A guide to examining your breasts (CD) – for people with learning disabilities.


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Updated: 27 August 2014