Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, 6th Edition – A Review & Giveaway

Update:  This giveaway opportunity has ended.

Recently, I was asked to review Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, Fully Updated & Revised Sixth Edition, authored by Susan M. Love, MD with Karen Lindsey and Elizabeth Love. Illustrations by Marcia Williams. Published as a Merloyd Lawrence Book by Da Capo Press, 2015. 690 pages.

This review is not a paid review. I always like to be upfront about that, although of course, paid or not, you always get my honest opinions when I review stuff.

Where did you turn for information when you or your loved one was first diagnosed?

Did you go online immediately?

Did you head to the bookstore or library?

Or did you just stick to your doctor and his/her advice?

After my mother’s diagnosis and again after mine, the first place I went online was BreastCancer.org. Following my diagnosis, the first book, or one of them anyway, I purchased was Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book. It’s now in its sixth edition, something I personally appreciate because, of course, things are always changing in the world of breast cancer, as far as information goes anyway. So keeping a book such as this up-to-date is very important.

Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book is often referred to as the breast cancer patient’s bible and btw, I still have the Bible I was given as a preteen on my bookshelf and Dr. Love’s “bible” takes up way more space! It’s quite thick.

The thing I like best about Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book is that it’s set up so you can find things quickly and easily, something the newly, and not so newly diagnosed patient definitely appreciates. I also love the appendices at the back of the book, which are loaded with more resource information.

The new edition is divided into seven parts:  Part One – “The Healthy Breast and Common Problems,” Part Two – “What Causes Breast Cancer and How Do We Prevent It?,” Part Three – “Finding Breast Cancer,” Part Four – “Decisions,” Part Five – “Treatment In the Age of Personalized Medicine,” Part Six – “After Treatment” and Part Seven, “Recurrence of Breast Cancer.”

In particular, I appreciate the addition of chapter 18, “After Breast Cancer Treatment:  Living with Collateral Damage.” Kudos to Dr. Love for going directly to patients when gathering information for this chapter.

As most of us know all too well, this is an area of survivorship that definitely needs further attention.

This book is jam-packed, full of well laid out, easy to understand, comprehensive, sound information. As a patient, and as a blogger as well, I have turned to this book countless time to check on something I was wondering about.

Other topics included in this new edition are:

  • How the long-term effects of chemo, radiation and other treatments can be prevented or lessened
  • How younger survivors can maintain their fertility post-treatment
  • The various genetic tests available to pinpoint the exact type of breast cancer and tailor treatments to it
  • Studies revealing new links to diet, exercise and environmental exposures
  • Research on whether there is a viral or bacterial connection to breast cancer       
  • The questions patients can ask or the results that they might expect from new techniques like 3D mammography, whole breast  ultrasound and  MRI’s  
  • Screening controversies
  • What women need to know about dense breasts

For an accurate, comprehensive and easy to understand resource that covers just about every aspect of the breast cancer experience, Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, is still the preeminent source to turn to for information delivered with Dr. Love’s reassuring and compassionate tone.

If you would like to win a copy of Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, simply leave a comment below stating your interest by 5 pm CDT on September 21st and you’re entered in the blog giveaway. Newsletter subscribers are eligible for a separate drawing, as explained in my last newsletter. I’ll be randomly picking two winners for each. Winners will be announced here on this post shortly after the drawings. 

Note: This drawing requires a US or Canada mailing address to win.This is a publisher’s requirement, not mine. My apologies for forgetting to mention this initially.

Thank you for participating!

The winners of my newsletter drawing were Beth and Patricia. The winners of my blog drawing were Kathy and Laura. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who participated!

Where did you first turn for information following your diagnosis, or your loved one’s diagnosis?

Would you like to enter this giveaway? If so, just leave a comment stating so by the deadline and you’re in.

Don’t miss out! Sign up for emails/newsletters here. 

Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book, Fully Updated & Revised, Sixth Edition #bookreview #breastcancer

46 thoughts to “Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, 6th Edition – A Review & Giveaway”

  1. After my ultrasound, when I knew they saw something, I started my research online. I didn’t actually have the first biopsy and get diagnosed until four weeks later. This past winter living in the Northeast delayed quite a few of my appointments. Every time I was scheduled for the biopsy we had a snowstorm and it had to be rescheduled. I then turned to my cousin who had breast cancer 5 years ago. I have read several other books on breast cancer but I do not have Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book.

  2. Nancy, thank you for this review. All the topics you highlighted are of interest to me, and to so many others I am sure. When I was diagnosed with bc I joined an online community under the American Cancer Society. I received so much information and support from women of all stages — I was looking for quick answers because I felt I was running out of time.

    I am one who likes to read and research things online, and after doing so, I was having panic attacks because I was not fully understanding how all that information related to my case. I kept it practical at first by reaching out to other patients (over 200 women). It was the best thing I did. Then as I was getting “more comfortable” with the cancer, I continued to do my own research and even got involved in different studies at my hospital. (One topic that interested me a lot was the one about genetics.)

    It is hard to focus when you are first diagnosed as there is so much information and not all of it is accurate. It took me a while to buy Dr. Susan’s book because I was scared to read it. It was given to me as a gift last year (fifth edition) and although I haven’t finished reading the entire book, I find it helpful.

    I would like to enter this giveaway contest and will share this post so others can participate as well.

    1. Rebecca, I have never participated in the online communities on sites such as ACS or BreastCancer.Org. I never even thought of it when first diagnosed. I have the fifth edition of Dr. Love’s book too, well, of course, now I also have the sixth. Consider yourself entered.

  3. Count me in, I have researched so much online, I am going to wear out the ipad! THE book would be most helpful! Best wishes, everyone.

  4. Well, Dr. Love and I had a heated email exchange as she felt there was no good evidence to support lymphedema risk reduction behaviors. To a degree she’s correct, the data on lymphedema tends to be poor, as there’s little funding and/or interest, and many studies are small or simply not done. But, what is the harm of 1) avoiding blood draws, 2) considering compression on plane flights, 3) avoiding blood pressure readings on the at risk arm? The behaviors carry little to no risk themselves–there’s some argument about poorly fitting compression having the potential to trap fluid–and I can attest, as someone who didn’t know risk reduction and did a lot of risky things, unintentionally and got tipped over the edge by bug bites, it sucks to live with lymphedema. So, ultimately Dr. Love and I agreed to disagree, but I DIDN’T use her book as a resource as I found her dogmatic, and I’ve had some concerns about her foundation and her focus on “the cure”. I do wonder, now that she’s lived through cancer treatment, if she’s willing to be less entrenched.

    1. Kira,
      Thank you for your comments. I think you are confusing my Foundation with Komen. We focus on finding the cause and preventing breast cancer! There are more than enough Foundations, researchers and companies focussed on the Cure and indeed we have made progress in that regard since the first edition of the book 25 years ago albeit not enough. What we need is to end it once and for all!

      1. Dr. Love, thank you for responding. Not sure if you remember the exchange: I’m a family physician who, after being treated for breast cancer, worked for a group of radiation oncologists. Clearly, I focus on secondary Lymphedema, as it’s poorly studied, and lately as garments aren’t covered but unproven surgeries are, there’s so much misinformation and lack of diagnosis and treatment. Our site http://www.stepup-speakout.org is an evidence based resource for patients/people. In Lymphedema, the studies aren’t done, or are poor quality, but that doesn’t make the reality and clinical knowledge any less real. I may have confused your mission, but I was so disturbed with “denying my reality” due to lack of “evidence”. Again, thank you for writing. Collateral damage causes significant impact, and in the case of Lymphedema it’s more often ignored than not.

      2. Hello Dr. Love! I had the pleasure of seeing you (from a distance) in Santa Barbara last weekend. Many congrats and thank you for your dedication. Something told me to check in on Nancy’s blog and here you are. Funny! All the best, Alicia

    2. Kira, I’m glad you shared about the exchange you had with Dr. Love. Lymphedema is such an important topic. I will need to look into how it’s covered in the book. It definitely sucks to live with it. I’ve had a few concerns as well, but overall, I think she’s been a strong advocate for many things such as working to prevent breast cancer and recognizing the ramifications (collateral damage) of harsh treatments. Thank you for sharing.

  5. This is such a wonderful book. I got the 4th edition when I was diagnosed and it was immeasurably helpful. I am happy to be around for the sixth edition, and hope to be here for many more! A wonderful resource for anyone diagnosed.

  6. This doesn’t sound like a book I would read cover to cover but would be a great resource/reference as you suggested. It could also be helpful to family members and friends of people with breast cancer. Some topics are hard to talk about, so this book would have some of those answers for people.

    1. Lindsay, I have not read it from cover to cover either, but most people probably just turn to the parts that pertain to them. You’re right, it’s a helpful resource for sure. Thanks for commenting.

  7. Yes, I am in. I first turned to the internet for basic information and my doctor for specifics on my situation. A lot to take in and digest and an up-to-date reference book would have been a wonderful resource – sounds like there is a lot for survivors to learn, too!

  8. I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) in 1994. No internet info, a short, terse paragraph from NCI which basically said “too bad you have this, you’re going to die.” Welcome The Breast Book, still not good news but at least some real info. So glad to still be here to welcome the 6th edition. I recommend this resource daily as I work with IBC patients & those with worrisome symptoms. Please enter me in the drawing…I’d love to give a copy to the Women’s Cancer Program at our local YWCA, where I do some volunteer work. Thanks!

    1. Ginny, Wow, that was a horrible paragraph from NCI to read and yes, we all crave and deserve real information. It’s wonderful that you would give a copy to the program where you do volunteer work. You’re entered. Good luck.

    2. Hi Ginny, I’m glad to see how well you’ve done after the IBC diagnosis. My wife passed away in 2001 at age 40 after a four-year battle with IBC. The internet scared me to death, so I avoided it. I do remember perusing Dr. Love’s book and found it helpful. Best regards.

  9. Dr. Love’s book was one of the first I consulted to learn about my diagnosis. I’ve had it in my hand in the bookstore many times, always wondering, should I wait for the next edition? I’m glad to hear a new one is available. I trust Dr. Love to tell it like it is. I would love to be entered in the draw.

  10. Dr. Love’s book was my first resource when I was diagnosed because my mom had a copy for some reason. Will always appreciate and respect her for help that book gave me, especially when a few weeks in they discovered I was stage IV. Look forward to this new edition and hope I win it! Lol

  11. when I was diagnosed nearly 27 years ago I reached for two books, OBOS and Susan Love’s breast book. These not only informed my personal treatment decisions but still serve as the foundation of my more than two decades of BC advocacy and support of individual women through their diagnosis and treatment. I would love an early copy of the revised addition!

    1. Ngina, How amazing this book was one you turned to back then. You would really appreciate this updated version for a lot of reasons then. Thank you for entering. Good luck.

  12. I had no where to turn for information other than the pile of pamphlets I received at the cancer center when I was diagnosed. I was still in shock, numb and had no idea what most of the cancer “lingo” meant as they overloaded me with information and demanded quick decisions about treatment. I did not know anyone being under 40 and later found myself trying to find things on the internet only to find time and time again much of the information was irrelevant or inappropriate to my situation. I “flew by the seat of my pants” and “hoped for the best”. Since then, I wish I had at least a single resource as a go to for a resource to guide my efforts of surviving and understanding what I needed to expect. I have made a lot of educated guesses and I’m still here 6 years later. Some of my doctors still don’t really “listen” to me when I tell them I’m experiencing issues or symptoms that don’t line up with the “typical” patient (usually 20 years older than myself); so I listen to them the best I can and find some middle ground for myself. I met Dr. Love and listened to her comments at the Sarasota Dragon Boat races in 2014 where I raced with my dragon boat team. She was the first one that really made sense and since then had tremendous impact on my thinking about after care, survival and treatment!

    1. Laura, Yes, all those pamphlets, many of which are just not very helpful. You aren’t the the only one who “flew by the seat of her pants.” How fun that you met Dr. Love. I’m glad it was a good experience and it’s great she has had an impact on your thinking. Good luck in the drawing. Thank you for participating.

    1. Brandie, The new editions are good ones and yes, it’s good she’s addressing issues of younger survivors, such as fertility. So important. Thank you for participating. You’re in.

  13. Nancy,

    This is a great review, and I’d like to be entered in the giveaway to get Dr. Love’s new edition. I’m especially interested in the new chapter on collateral damage. I actually turned to a previous edition when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I also sought out the American Cancer Society and Gilda’s Club, as well as friends.

  14. Hi Nancy – When I was diagnosed and in fear mode I had trouble focusing in general and wasn’t ready to do in depth reading on breast cancer. I did surf the internet which was generally a bad idea, although I did find you, Nancy, so that’s a plus. I would indeed love the opportunity to receive Dr. Love’s book. As I went through treatment and surgeries I journaled and as you know, wound up publishing a book about my experience. I’ve since read numerous books about cancer but not yet Dr. Love. I just completed the Avon Walk in California last weekend and she was one of the recipients who received a large sum of money to further her research. It was great. I’ve met countless women in the past few years young and less young who have endured a breast cancer diagnosis. Agreed, a chapter on collateral damage is an important issue to address. Thank you for reviewing the book and offering the giveaway. Cheers.

    1. Alicia, Well I’m glad you found me while doing all that surfing! Glad to hear about the research dollars being awarded to Dr. Love’s work. We certainly needs tons more research. Thank you for reading my review and entering my giveaway.

  15. When I was diagnosed, the first thing I did was go online. Thankfully, I found breastcancer.org, and through that, I found your blog. A friend of a friend passed on her copy of Dr. Love’s book to me, and I can’t tell you how often I refer to it. I have since given a copy to 2 acquaintances upon diagnosis, and both have said what a gift it has been to them. Would love to read the new info, and then pass it along to another bc warrior.

    1. Debra, Just curious, how did you find my blog through breastcancer.org? I am very happy you did. Like you, I refer to Dr. Love’s book pretty often when wondering about something. It’s a good resource. Thank you for commenting and entering my giveaway.

      1. Nancy, it has been so long, I honestly don’t remember exactly how I got here from there. In the beginning, when I was in panic mode, I know I was clicking a lot of links from breastcancer.org, and I liked what I saw here, and bookmarked your site. I love and appreciate your “voice” here!

  16. Dear Nancy, I am interested so much in this book give away because I need all the information I can get. I have Stage111C Inflammatory breast cancer. I was finally diagnosed, and I say “finally” not that I was hoping for cancer but, after two months of all different kinds of antibiotics, even a stay in the hospital on January 1, 2014, no doctor could tell me what I had, maybe an infection, cellulitis, etc. Suffice it to say none of the antibiotics worked, duh! Well on February 6, 2014 a Dr. Wen Long who was supposed to operate on my hiatal hernia, looked at my still inflamed, red and painful right breast, and said “I hope this isn’t what I suspect, I am also a breast expert.” The next day I went for a MRI of right breast and biopsy soon after and lo and behold, he was right. After being dosed up with about fifteen different antibiotics, I started my battle against this hideous disease. I have to stop writing for now because my right upper back is in a lot of burning stinging pain, just like before I was diagnosed. Dr. Love’s book sounds great and May God bless us Everyone.

  17. One more Taxol to go….4 rounds A/C…4 rounds Taxol…..ultrasound on 10/6….then surgery…radiation…would love a copy of your book….

  18. i cannot believe I have not read this. She is a wealth of information and I would love to read it. I believe that empowerment always begins with knowledge. I want to win this! By the way I love your blog Nancy. It it always thoughtful.

  19. I read Dr. Love’s book after my surgery, and wish I had found it sooner. I would LOVE to have a copy for my very own, as I cannot afford to purchase one. I’ll be paying for my medical bills for the next 10 years – literally!

  20. I’m glad the book has been updated as over the years I’ve found numerous areas that, in my opinion, did women a disservice. I’m looking forward to reading the new edition. Winning a copy would be fabulous. Otherwise, I’ll be on the wait list at the library for the next year!

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