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Leave comments here for Breast Cancer: Taking Control. 

Dear John I was so confused about
1. Getting cancer
2. The treatment options or lack thereof.

A dear friend bought me a copy of your book, it was like turning the light on!!!! For women and their family members that have been diagnosed with breast cancer this book is a MUST READ. Well done this should be in every hospital library and given to every breast care nurse


Left in Comments June 5, 2013

17 Responses to "Guestbook"

  • Meg McGowan
    May 27, 2014 - 4:37 am Reply

    Dear John,

    I have recently finished treatment for triple negative breast cancer and I was given a copy of your book at the Mater hospital, donated by a group called ‘The Giving Circle’.
    I wanted to express my sincere appreciation to you for such a wonderful resource. So many things that might have been intimidating or frightening were explained away by your common sense and uncommon expertise.
    I am particularly grateful for your explanation of statistics and how to interpret them, and for the advice about the continuing ‘electric shocks’ post surgically.
    Your book has been my first point of reference throughout treatment and I often didn’t need to look any further. I was also grateful to find a resource that covered the option of having chemotherapy prior to surgery. I opted for this treatment with great results (three of four tumours dead and gone prior to surgery and the fourth on the way out).
    I notice that you plan on writing another book about life after treatment. If I can be of any assistance it would be my pleasure to help.
    The web site above is my blog about my treatment.
    Kind regards

  • Kristine
    February 18, 2014 - 7:24 am Reply

    I received your book from a friend just a few days after my diagnosis in October 2013. It would have been so easy to just follow the directives and organization of my GP, and the suggested Surgeon. But your book did exactly what it’s title says, it gave me Control. And I don’t mind admitting, I am a bit of a control-freak! I took the time to read it cover to cover, and it is such an easy read that this didn’t take long. I then decided to see another surgeon, and was able to go to both of them with a list of questions, based from your book. This then helped me decide on a suitable course of action for me.

    I’m an information gatherer, so your book gave me just about everything I needed to know. I worked out pretty quickly that this journey has a lot of crossroads where decisions need to be made, and you can’t get to far ahead of yourself in this journey.

    My lumpectomy was successful as it was caught very early, I didn’t need Chemo and have finished my course of radiation. You have again helped me by taking a look at my Pathology report to help me decide whether or not to now go onto Tamoxifen. I’m kind of a borderline case, but your input was invaluable. More of that information that I need to make my decision.

    I agree with other comments that your book should be given to everyone who is newly diagnosed. It is not only great for the patient, but for friends and family as well.

    Thank you so much for putting all of this information into one place, and for being available to assist people. Information is power.

  • Robyn Hill
    July 16, 2013 - 2:57 am Reply

    My husband bought me a copy of Professor Boyages book – Breast Cancer Taking Control – when I was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I don’t know how I would have survived without this down to earth explanation of the road I was about to travel. Everything was explained in a simple and informative way. Any question that I may have had was answered. The book also reflected the man himself, caring and unassuming with his patients. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer – a must read. Thank you Professor Boyages.

  • Desley Burgdorf
    June 11, 2013 - 3:07 am Reply

    When told I had breast cancer my first reaction was a thought paralysing shock. The second- not long after- was a desperate need for clear and accurate information. After all I was being asked to make really important decisions about treatment options and I hadn’t a clue. I really did not even know who to ask- sometimes I did not even know what questions to ask. I would go home after a consultation and realise I should have asked two or three other questions, but my numbed brain was not functioning fast enough!

    Then I was told about John Boyages book, and for me it was a godsend. I read it cover to cover, and then started again, but more slowly. If you are like me, and really want to understand what is happening, then you need this book. Whether you are the one with cancer or the partner, this is easy to read, and so well arranged, covering all aspects of the treatment process, stage by stage.

    You can delve into the statistics- graphs and tables- or not- it is accessible to any reader. At the end of each chapter there is a concise summary of the critical issues covered. I still find myself referring to some sections of this book six months down the track.

    You don’t even need to read the whole book – you can choose to select only those chapters that you find most relevant-surgery, reconstruction, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and beyond.

    It is refreshing to find such a richness and depth of medical information in such readable form. The understanding and humanity that permeates this book is palpable.

    When at a later stage (as a radiotherapy patient) I met John, his warmth and practical expertise always put me at ease. I always felt better after seeing him.

    With this book, he steps beyond his ongoing commitment to cancer research and treatment- and reaches out to communicate his broad experience to those who need it most- at the time that need is most urgently felt.

    This book was a beacon that helped me find my way at a tough time.Thank you John.

    Desley Burgdorf

  • Janice Batt
    May 29, 2013 - 4:13 am Reply

    Professor John Boyage’s book is wonderful; I read it in one sitting. It is very readable and successfully balances scientific evidence with emotional intelligence. Every page seems to generate hope and reassurance that life can be resurrected from the train wreck of breast cancer. Prof Boyages’ compassionate message of taking control also resonates strongly as one meets with multiple providers and sifts through well-meaning but sometimes conflicting advice. Knowing that life will never be the same again it is terrific to be able to refer back to this book time and time again as a trusted resource.

  • Laurie Kerr
    April 6, 2013 - 3:23 am Reply

    From the moment my wife Janette’s breast cancer was diagnosed we both entered a world of very caring and understanding people. We also realised how much we had to learn quickly and how we needed to filter and sort through the relevant information. We had to focus objectively while being the subject.

    Prof Boyages book is the de-mystifyer! It gave us everything that we needed early enough to take back control; to understand and re-cap what our doctors were saying; to make sense of the pathology; to remove ourselves as the subject and to make sensible and more informed decisions more objectively.

    Thank you for the book Prof Boyages, and for the clarity that we both needed when we needed it. And thanks to your team for subsequent support. I’m encouraged to know you are considering a similar book for Prostate Cancer.

  • Sue Brown
    August 6, 2012 - 3:56 am Reply

    Dear Professor – You were kind enough to take the time to talk to me over the phone about my breast cancer. I have read your book & love it. I think that all Breast Care Nurses should recommend it. I can’t thank you enough for talking to me. You are the only Doctor who has ever asked questions about me the person & my lifestyle. I feel empowered by talking to you. If I win lotto, I will be empowering you to find a cure.

  • Jenny (Sydney)
    May 13, 2012 - 5:06 am Reply

    This book was such a wonderful source of accurate, compassionate and non-condescending information during my own journey with BC that I have donated that copy to the RNSH Radio Oncology department. This will now be my ‘standard’ gift to friends who have the misfortune to be diagnosed with BC.

  • Aimee
    April 5, 2012 - 3:20 am Reply

    After reading all the previous reviews, i have to confirm that this book should be the central go to guide for women surrounded by breast cancer in any way. I have already emailed my breast centre to tell them they need to include it in their “show bag’ that they give every patient!!

  • Deb
    August 17, 2011 - 2:15 am Reply

    Nearly 7 months after receiving the diagnosis of bret cancer I remembered glimpsing a copy of this book in my oncologist’s waiting room. A short excursion on the Internet, a few well placed clicks, and it was winging its way to me. This morning it arrived. It is now 2pm and I have just finished it!

    Rachel, above, says it all for me(please don’t remove her letter as it is such an accurate description). This book, although read after all major interventions had taken place, has confirmed for me that the team Helping me to plan and execute my care has covered all bases and truly exceeds expectations.

    My concern is that this treasury of easily understood, though never condescending, information is not on display for potential readers in breast screening centers , gp or breast surgeon rooms, or in the hands of breast care nurses. A wider dissemination is deserved.

    Thank you for your thorough explanations, and your frank opinions.

  • Rosa
    April 13, 2011 - 5:28 am Reply

    Thank you John for this book,it’s amazing + as a theatre nurse I am very excited to know more answers to questions I get asked by Patients.Excellent book every woman should have a copy.thank you John, Cheers Rosa.

  • Helen UK
    February 17, 2011 - 2:32 am Reply

    I ordered this book recently after being diagnosed with breast cancer and needing to make a decision about whether to have chemotherapy or not. I wish I had known about the book earlier as the information within is very comprehensive and easy to understand. The author is very sympathetic and an authority in Australia, but the way in which it is written means that, at this very stressful time, you can be assured that you will find what you need here. I felt very reassured that my care was as it should be and was supported in my decision by what was written.

    The book is split into easy to find sections relating, in a chronological order, to the events you will find yourself following. There are sections listing questions you can ask of your care team and at the end of each chapter is a key points summary. With my decision made and treatment path decided (no to chemo but yes to radiotherapy) I only wish that the follow up book promised for the time after breast cancer was available now.

  • Jane Blackhouse
    September 30, 2010 - 3:05 am Reply

    Hi John

    Took your book on holiday with me (only chance I get without distractions!). I just have to say how much I enjoyed it.

    As a co-ordinator of a Breast Cancer support Group, we are often asked for information. Not having medical background, this book answers most of the queiries we get. It is as the song goes”Simply the Best!”. It is such a help, to guide one through that cancer journey, to arm you with relevant questions when you see your consultant. So that together you can make the right decisions for you. John really “holds” your hand through the book, and makes you feel you have someone who cares about the outcome of your decisions.

    Looking forward to your next book already!!

    Thank You Jan B

  • Asha
    September 16, 2010 - 9:00 am Reply

    Listened to your views on ABC radio last night – was full of hope and useful information. Thank you

  • Rachel
    August 17, 2010 - 2:37 am Reply

    For anyone facing the uncertainty of a diagnosis of breast cancer, or who knows and loves someone who is–this book will be your launch pad, your lifeline, your security blanket and your research partner throughout diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. The book is gorgeously laid out and extremely easy to navigate. It’s divided into three sections dealing with every decision needed during diagnois, pre-surgery, and post-surgery; it features an extensive glossary for all those words your doctor may throw at you; and it’s indexed seven ways from Sunday. All this careful attention to organization is essentially the wrapping on a book that talks you through everything from deciding what kind of surgery you may need to helping you cope with lymphedema and choose between reconstruction or prostheses afterward. Dr. John Boyages is at the top of his field. He has been treating breast cancer patients for decades, and his experience and compassion shines through in every word. You really do feel like he’s standing beside you, holding your hand and guiding you through all the critical decision points in your breast cancer journey. His ultimate goals seem twofold: First, to arm you with all the information you’ll ever need to ask relevant questions of your treatment team and make competent, confidident decisions with them; and second, to provide the comfort you need at a difficult time, and to remind you always that life need not stop with your diagnosis.

  • Robert Lawton
    January 10, 2010 - 9:02 am Reply

    The best book I have read on breast cancer.Only thing missing is the issue of male breast cancer but I understand you are planning another book dealing with specific issues including us guys. I commend this book to any-one who has experienced the dread BC or any-one who has cared or is caring for BC patients or survivors

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