Breast Cancer

By Lesley Fallowfield; Andrew Clark | Go to book overview

Editors’ preface

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer for women. As screening becomes more established, both survival and quality of life for this disease may be dramatically improved. The experiences and decisions of women in relation to attendance for screening and early identification of symptoms are one central issue developed in this book. The discovery of a diagnosis of breast cancer creates enormous distress for the woman and for her family. For women with breast cancer there are potentially complex decisions to be faced about treatment options. These decisions are not helped by the changing policies for radical versus conservative interventions and the lack of firm evidence to direct choice.

Lesley Fallowfield is uniquely placed to write this book. Over a number of years she has carried out some of the most important and innovative research in this area. In order to assess the impact of breast cancer, she has used methods of research which depend on acute sensitivity to women’s own accounts and understandings. She also brings to bear another area of expertise and research experience —the critical issue of quality of life in health care. Andrew Clark provides an up-to-date explanation of medical and surgical aspects of breast cancer.

This book is a rich analysis of the experience of breast cancer. One central theme is the woman’s perspective when receiving the diagnosis, and subsequently as information about implications is assimilated, and the meaning of the diagnosis is negotiated with others. Lesley Fallowfield has introduced, and discusses here, novel techniques to enhance patients’ understanding of their diagnosis and its implications. The authors critically examine conventional

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