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Book Review: “After Any Diagnosis”

After any diagnosis: How to Take Action Against Your Illness Using the Best and Most Current Medical Information Available by Carol Svec

Community Health Education Ctr. General Collection (R118 .S87 2001)

Reviewed By: Latrice Reid, Community Health Education Center Intern

This book is written for any patient, who is newly diagnosed with any disease or condition, to help them find, understand, and use medical information to take care of themselves. After Any Diagnosis is based on published research, interviews with top physicians and experts from around the world, patients’ personal stories, and the author’s own professional experience (After Any Diagnosis 7). The book is divided into four sections: Getting It Right From The Beginning, Information Sources, Caregivers, and Putting It All Together.

The book discusses the experience of one patient, who was shocked to find out that she was diagnosed with cancer. “It was like a shockwave hit me…. All I could think was ‘I’ve got cancer. I’m going to die’” (After Any Diagnosis 21). The patient called her sister-in-law, who was a nurse, and told her that she had cancer. Her sister-in-law immediately researched information on cancer online. The patient also became more involved in researching, reading, learning, and making decisions on her treatments for cancer.

Books are the main source of information for most patients. They help patients to learn, understand, and cope with their illness. Also, books obtain information about most common treatment options that have been proven to be successful through research.  Medical guides are helpful for people who are newly diagnosed with a disease or a start for anyone searching for health information. This is a source that patients read for general information about disease prevention, nutrition, exercise, diagnostic tests, specific diseases, how the body works, first aid, and when to see the doctor (After Any Diagnosis 71-73).

Inspirational books are other books that patients read to offer hope to people who are suffering from life-threatening or life-altering diseases. Examples of these types of books are general, disease-specific, religious, humorous, or medical miracle stories. Inspiration books can be useful when waiting in the doctors’ office for long periods, and can be kept on your nightstand near your bed, or in your purse or bag. It is important for patients to have words of encouragement because it helps in recovery or dealing with a life-long illness.

The Internet is another resource that patients can use to research information on diseases or conditions. Some of the popular consumer health websites are InteliHealth, Mayo Clinic, and Wed MD. These websites provide accurate, updated health information mainly for the consumer audience searching for basic, general, or disease-specific information. Patients can also ask their doctor about what websites he or she might recommend. There are several ways to access health information online.

After Any Diagnosis discusses multiple ways that patients can find medical information on any recently diagnosed health condition. The book guides the reader to learn and understand information on their diagnosis in order to better their chances of recovering and living a longer life.

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Did You Know?

Seeing videos of surgical procedures helps patients understand what to expect and helps them prepare mentally and emotionally for procedures. – Medline Plus Surgery Videos