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CANCER: Increasing Your Odds for Survival. This Emmy-nominated documentary, hosted by Walter Cronkite, is designed to help people survive cancer. It provides vital information which cancer patients and their families need to make informed decisions. The documentary and book deliver a comprehensive overview of the disease, treatments, latest developments, organizations and resources to assist cancer patients in doing all they can to win their fight against cancer, as well as, improve the quality of their lives.

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Cancer-Increasing Your Odds for Survival

Produced by David Bognar
Institutional Distributor: Aquarius Health Care Videos, 5 Powderhouse Lane, PO Box 1159, Sherborn, MA 01770; 508-651-2963
4 hours , color , VHS
Reviewed by Lori Widzinski, Health Sciences Library, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

Cancer-Increasing Your Odds for Survival is a complete, comprehensive overview of all facets of dealing with the diagnosis of cancer. The series consists of four videotapes, each approximately an hour long. Hosted by Walter Cronkite, the programs provide interviews with cancer patients, caregivers, and health care professionals. As producer David Bogner states in the beginning of the series, the goal of this program is to make as much information available to patients as possible so they may make informed decisions about their health care and take responsibility for their course of treatment. This series surpasses that goal and should be required viewing for patients, caregivers and their health care providers.

The first tape, "Diagnosis and Empowerment" provides an explanation of what happens in the body when cancer appears. The various stages of the disease are described, and statistics are provided for the most prevalent types of cancer. Cancer experts describe the emotional phases that most patients go through after the shock of diagnosis, and expound on the topics of second opinions, obtaining appropriate treatment, choosing a hospital and living with the disease.

Tape two, "Treatment" stresses the importance of being a well-informed consumer. There is a review of conventional and alternative therapies, as well as newer therapies being developed. Interesting new advances in imaging technology, chronotherapy and photodynamic therapy are explored. Suggestions are given for choosing a treatment, evaluating therapies and combining approaches.

"Mind/Body Interventions", tape 3, explores the role that the mind - in a variety of different aspects - plays in regulating the healing of the body. Once an area that was given very little attention or respect, mind/body science is fast becoming one of the most researched fields in medicine. Interesting studies and statistics are being reported with work in mental imagery, meditation, neuro-immuno-modulation, and psychotherapy. These types of healing modalities are becoming increasingly important for cancer patients.

The final tape, "Spirituality and Mortality", examines the philosophical issues of cancer and spirituality together with the reality of confronting death. Topics covered include spontaneous remissions, prayer, hospice, letting go and grieving.

Cancer-Increasing Your Odds for Survival is one of the most thorough programs available for cancer patients and their caregivers. It's strengths lie in the experts interviewed in the program, among them Dr. Bernie Siegel, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Dr. Lawrence LeShan and Dr. Simonton, together with the citation information for the studies and statistics provided throughout all four tapes. The experiences and testimonies of cancer patients and ex-cancer patients are an invaluable resource. Production values are excellent. Highly recommended for any patient education collection and all academic health sciences collections.

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Copyright 1999. All Rights Reserved. Distributors may use select segments for promotional purposes with full credit given to the author of the review and to MC Journal: the Journal of Academic Media Librarianship.

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