In the early years of my career, I've mainly focused on two things: treating patients and doing research. But over the past year I've also developed an interest in helping to promote high-quality cancer care, a quest that led to the development of this website.
For cancer patients, getting top-notch cancer care is very important and can directly impact the chances of treatment success. But most patients are unaware of the importance of getting good-quality treatment, and don't know how to make sure that the treatment they are receiving is indeed the best available.
A website alone can't provide enough of the detailed information needed to help patients get top-notch care. Websites tend to be consumed in small, blog-sized bites. Longer, more-detailed posts are often skimmed or ignored. So last year, my wife Cheryl and I came up with the idea that patients really need a 'how-to' manual, a book to help them get good-quality cancer care.
So I put together a proposal for the book, which was picked up by a superstar literary agent in California. She found a home for the idea at New Harbinger publications.
The book is called Taking Charge of Cancer, and it will be published on July 1. It is already listed on Amazon. The book includes a foreword by Dr. Anthony Zietman. Dr. Zietman is a Harvard Professor and editor of one of the major journals in our field. Last month, he was the recipient of an ASTRO Gold Medal for his outstanding lifetime contributions to our field.
There are thousands of books about cancer treatment, but as far as I know, this is the only book specifically geared toward helping patients get high-quality treatment. Here are some of the topics covered in the book:
The book includes an online Patient Toolkit, with helpful videos that guide patients through many of the steps described above.
My other goal in writing this book is to improve the lives of future patients through cancer research. So I've signed off all the author royalties to the London Health Sciences Foundation, to be used for cancer research in London. The LHSF's fundraising efforts have made a major impact on cancer care and research, and this book will help them advance their goals a little bit further. The hundreds of hours spent writing this book has been a volunteer effort for me.
I've already shared early drafts of the book with some friends and colleagues, who have provided valuable input. I look forward to sharing the book with the rest of the world in July!