familiesCAN - Helping families with cancer


Ways We Help
Who Is Eligible?
familiesCAN Families
Event Photos
In the News
About Us




Resources                                » Return to Website Links



Booklist for Cancer Patients

This is an extensive list of books that we have compiled over the years.  Generally, these titles are related to emotional issues related to cancer, though a few talk specifically to matters related to treatment. 


Some of these titles are older.  Given the prevalence of cancer, it’s surprising how difficult it is to find a good book on cancer treatment.  Though some of the titles are older, much of the advice still holds.  The books by Lori Hope and Debra Jarvis, particularly if you are a woman, are a good start.  There are medical libraries at Stanford, Kaiser, Palo Alto Medical Foundation that have these, or similar, titles — you may not need to buy them in order to read them.  Try the public library too, if you don’t wish to purchase.  Most are available on Amazon unless they are from a specialty publisher (these are noted).  If you are not sure which book is right for you, read the Amazon reviews.  You might also wish to follow the various blogs on cancer — Lori Hope has a great blog: lorihope.com.


Select from the following:

+ General Titles on Making Your Way Through Cancer

+ Specifically for Women

+ For Caregivers

+ Personal Stories / Memoirs / Biographies

+ Alternative Medicine

+ Nutrition / Health

+ Religious / Spiritual Titles

+ For Parents

+ For Teens

+ Picture Books / Titles to Read to Very Young Children

+ Other

+ Dying

+ Grieving / Loss of a Loved One


General Titles on Making Your Way Through Cancer


Help Me Live: 20 Things People With Cancer Want You To Know — by Lori Hope, 2005
Lung Cancer survivor Lori Hope’s book has been featured on The Today Show, Time, Redbook, The Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report — wonderful woman and equally great book — highly recommend.  She was a speaker at our “The Healing Power Of Hope, Humor and Compassion” seminar.


It’s Not About The Hair: And Other Certainties of Life and Cancer — by Debra Jarvis, 2008
Spoke at our “The Healing Power Of Hope, Humor and Compassion” seminar — excellent book and fascinating woman — hospital chaplain diagnosed with cancer — highly recommended


Live Longer, Live Larger by Drs. Bill and Susie Buchholz, 2001
“A Holistic Approach For Cancer Patients and Families”
Book by two doctors from the Bay Area


Cancer: 50 Essential Things To Do — by Greg Anderson, 1999


Hope In The Face of Cancer — by Amy Givler, M.D., 2003
Doctor writes about her personal experience with cancer


The Courage To Laugh — by Allen Klein, 1998
“Humor, Hope and Healing in the Face of Death and Dying”


A Warrior’s Way — by John R. Cope, 2000
“Insights for cancer patients, cancer survivors and those who love them” — recommended by one of our male patients


Cancer -- Increasing Your Odds for Survival — by David Bognar, 1998
“A Resource Guide for Integrating Mainstream, Alternative and Complementary Therapies” — based on the public television series narrated by Walter Cronkite


The Complete Guide to Relieving Cancer Pain and Suffering — by Richard B. Patt, M.D. and Susan S. Lang, 2004


Choices — by Marion Morra and Eve Potts, 1994
“The new, most up-to-date sourcebook for cancer information — from medications and modern therapies to the latest research, procedures and diagnostic technologies”


Making The Radiation Therapy Decision — by David J. Brenner, D. Sc. and Eric J. Hall, D. Sc., 1996


America’s Top Doctors, 8th edition, Castle Connolly Guide, 2008-09


America’s Top Doctors For Cancer, 5th edition, Castle Connolly Guide, 2010


After Cancer Treatment — by Julie K. Silver, M.D., 2006
Breast cancer survivor and M.D. gives guidelines and physical healing plan to help patients


Happiness In A Storm — by Wendy Schlessel Harpham, MD, 2005
“Facing Illness and Embracing Life as a Healthy Survivor”


Love, Medicine & Miracles — by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D., 1990
“Lessons learned about self-healing from a surgeon’s experience with exceptional patients” — #1 New York Times Bestseller


Back to top »



Specifically for Women


Another Morning by Linda Blachman
“Voices of Truth and Hope from Mothers With Cancer”


Breast Cancer Survival Manual — by John Link, 2007, 4th Ed
“A Step-By-Step Guide For The Woman Newly Diagnosed with Breast Cancer”


The 10 Best Questions for Surviving Breast Cancer — by Dede Bonner, Ph.D., 2008


Back to top »



For Caregivers


Breast Cancer Husband by Marc Silver, 2004
“How To Help Your Wife (And Yourself) Through Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond”


How To Talk With Family Caregivers About Cancer by Ruth Cohn Bolletino, 2009


Chicken Soup for The Caregiver’s Soul — by Jack Canfield, et. al., 2004


Back to top »



Personal Stories / Memoirs / Biographies


The Middle Place — by Kelly Corrigan, 2008
A mother’s tale about breast cancer — New York Times Bestseller list


The Last Lecture — by Randy Pausch, 2008 — #1 New York Times Bestseller


Enjoy Every Sandwich — by Lee Lipsenthal, 2001


Saving Graces — by Elizabeth Edwards, 2006

“Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers” — New York Times Bestseller list


It’s Not About The Bike by Lance Armstrong, 2001
#1 New York Times Bestseller


Too Soon To Say Goodbye — by Art Buchwald, 2006
Pulitzer Prize Winning writer — “I don’t know where I’m going.  I don’t even know why I am here!”


When Cancer Calls — Say Yes To Life by Rusty Hammer, 2007


My (So-Called) Normal Life — by Erin Zammett, 2005
“How I learned to balance love, work, family, friends..and cancer at 23”


The Light Within — by Lois M. Ramondetta, M.D., 2008   “The extraordinary friendship of a doctor and patient brought together by cancer”


Back to top »



Alternative Medicine


An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide To Cancer, by W. John Diamond, M.D. and W. Lee Cowden, M.D., 1997

Part 1: “Successful Treatment Plans of 23 Alternative Physicians” — and more — huge tome, 1116 pps.


Dr. Rosenfeld’s Guide to Alternative Medicine — by Isadore Rosenfeld, M.D., 1996
“What Works, What Doesn’t — And What’s Right For You”


Options — The Alternative Cancer Therapy Book — by Richard Walters, 1992


Back to top »



Nutrition / Health


What, When & Water — by Dr. Clyde Wilson, published by www.lulu.com
Not specifically about nutrition for cancer, but Dr. Wilson came and spoke at our “Nourishing the Mind, Body and Spirit” seminar and many of his general principles benefit the cancer patient


Fat Is A Family Affair — Judi Hollis, 2007, Ph. D.
Not specifically about nutrition for cancer, but Dr. Hollis came and spoke at our “Nourishing the Mind, Body and Spirit” seminar and many of her general principles benefit the cancer patient


The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing Big-Flavor Recipes For Cancer Treatment and Recovery — by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson, 2010


The Willpower Instinct — by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., 2011
Dr. McGonigal spoke at our “Nourishing the Mind, Body and Spirit” seminar and many of her general principles benefit the cancer patient


Back to top »



Religious / Spiritual Titles


When Bad Things Happen To Good People by Harold S. Kushner, 1980
Not a book specifically on cancer — but many patients read it — National Bestseller


The Cancer Survival Guide — by Kay Marshall Strom, 2002
“Practical Help, Spiritual Hope”


Where Is God When It Hurts? — by Philip Yancey, 1990


Defining Moments — by Rick Ezell, 2001
“How God shapes our character through CRISIS”


When God and Cancer Meet — by Lynn Eib, 2002
“True stories of hope and healing”


The Four Things That Matter Most — by Ira Byock, M.D., 2004
Not cancer specific — concepts of: Forgiveness, Thank You, I Love You, Good-bye


Dying Was The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me — by William E. Hablitzel, MD, 2006  “Stories of Healing and Wisdom Along Life’s Journey”


The Scalpel and The Soul — by Allan J. Hamilton, M.D., 2009
Dr. Hamilton spoke at our “The Healing Power Of Hope, Humor and Compassion” seminar and many of his principles benefit the cancer patient


Back to top »


For Parents


Helping Your Children Cope With Cancer — by Peter Van Dernoot, 2002


Cancer In The Family — by Sue P Heiney, PhD, et. al., 2001, published by American Cancer

Society  “Helping children cope with a parent’s illness”


How To Help Children Through A Parent’s Serious Illness — by Kathleeen Mc Cue, 1994
Given to us by a social worker at Stanford


The Year My Mother Was Bald — by Ann Speltz, 2003
For ages 8-13


Can I Still Kiss You? — by Neil Russell, 2001
“Answering Your Children’s Questions About Cancer”


When A Parent Is Sick — by Joan Hamilton, 2001
“Helping Parents Explain Serious Illness to Children”


Back to top »



For Teens


Our Dad Died — as told by Amy, Allie and David Dennison, Free Spirit Publishing, 2003


The Struggle To Be Strong — edited by Al Dessetta, M.A., and Sybil Wolin, Ph. D., 2000, Free Sprit Publishing  “True stories by teens about overcoming tough times”


7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens — by Sean Covey, 1998
Not a cancer book but we have sent it to the children of patients — same thing for the following two titles:

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff for Teens — by Richard Carlson, 2000


Life Strategies for Teens — by Jay McGraw, 2000


Back to top »



Picture Books / Titles to Read to Very Young Children


The Hope Tree — by Laura Numeroff and Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., 1999
“Kids talk about breast cancer”


My Book About Cancer — by Rebecca C. Schmidt, MEd, 2003
“A workbook to help children deal with the diagnosis and treatment of a father with cancer” — lots of blank pages inside to draw pictures — given to us by social workers at Stanford


Our Mom Has Cancer — by Abigail and Adrienne Ackermann, published by A.C.S., 2001 — story about a mom with breast cancer


Sammy’s Mommy Has Cancer — by Sherry Kohlenberg, 1993
Rose Kushner Award for Best Book — American Medical Writers Association — beautifully illustrated softback


When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness — by Marge Heegaard, 1991
“Children Can Learn to Cope With Loss and Change” — workbook for kids, lots of blank pages


Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-Tankerous Mommy — by Amelia Frahm, 2001


Vanishing Cookies — by Dr. Michelle B. Goodman, 1990
“Doing O.K. when a parent has cancer” — beautifully illustrated softback


Barklay and Eve — by Karen L. Carney, 1999
“What is cancer, anyway?”


Sad Isn’t Bad — by Michaelene Mundy, 1998
“A Good-Grief Guidebook for kids dealing with Loss” (ie, for young children dealing with death)


Back to top »





Second Opinions — by Jerome Groopman, M.D., 2000
Not cancer-specific — book on the general topic on evaluating and acting upon medical advice


Back to top »





Final Gifts — by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley, 1992
“Understanding The Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications Of the Dying”


On Death and Dying — by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D., 1969
“What the dying have to teach doctors, nurses, clergy, and their own families”


Living with Death and Dying — by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D., 1981 “How To Communicate With The Terminally Ill”


Peaceful Dying — by Daniel R. Tobin, M.D., Da Capo Press (no date)
“A step-by-step guide to preserving your dignity, your choice, and your inner peace at the end of life”


The Needs of The Dying — by David Kessler, 2000
“A guide for bringing hope, comfort and love to life’s final chapter”


Dying Well — by Ira Byock, M.D., 1997
“Peace and possibilities at the end of life”


Final Passage — by Barbara Harris Whitfield, 1998
“Sharing the Journey as This Life Ends”


Back to top »



Grieving / Loss of a Loved One


When Children Grieve — byJohn W. James and Russell Friedman, 2001
“For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving, and Other Losses”


Healing Your Grieving Heart For Kids — by Alan D. Wolfelt, 2001
“Simple Advice and Activities For Children After A Death” — written at reading level for middle school child


What on Earth Do You Do When Someone Dies? — by Trevor Romain, 1999, Free Spirit Press — short book for children


When A Child You Love Is Grieving — by Harold Ivan Smith, 2004
Good book — includes discussion of how children process death at various ages


I Wasn’t Ready To Say Goodbye — by Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, Ph. D., 2000
“Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death Of A Loved One”


Helping Children Cope With The Loss of a Loved One — by William C. Kroen, Ph.d., 1996
“A Guide For Grownups”


On Grief and Grieving — by Elisabeth Kublier-Ross, 2005
“Finding the Meaning Of Grief Through The Five Stages of Loss”


Healing A Spouse’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Husband or Wife Dies -- by Alan Wolfert, 2003


When There Are No Words — by Charlie Watson, 1996
Written by a father who suddenly lost two sons


How To Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies — by Therese A. Rando, Ph. D., 1988


The Grief Recovery Handbook — by John W. James and Russell Friedman, 1998
“An Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce and Other Losses”


When You Don’t Know What To Say — by Harold Ivan Smith, 2002
“How To Help Your Grieving Friends” — religious


Finding Your Way After A Spouse Dies — by Marta Felber, 2000
Religious — includes prayers


A Grace Disguised — by Jerry Sittser, 1995
“How the Soul Grows Through Loss” - religious


ABC’s of Healthy Grieving — by Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, 2001

Good Grief — by Granger E. Westberg, 1997 - religious


Back to top »








Find Us On Facebook