Healthy Summer Reading

Howard Baker, RN BSN
Howard Baker, RN BSN

With summer fast approaching, its a good time to get a head start on reading ideas. In 2010, unemployment continued to rise, causing economic uncertainty and the loss of health benefits for many Americans. Every year Library Journal (LJ) publishes a list of the best consumer health books. Highlights from the 2010 list are as follows:

Boyd. David R. Dodging the Toxic Bullet: How To Protect Yourself from Everyday Environmental Health Hazards. He outlines daily hazards ranging from air and water pollution to unsafe consumer products. He then offers steps that people can take to avoid or minimize these dangers and encourages them to advocate for a clean environment.

Buckley, Julie A., M.D. Healing Our Autistic Children: A Medical Plan for Restoring Your Childs Health. As a pediatrician and the mother of an autistic child, Buckley knows her subject well. Here, she provides clear explanations of the treatment options available for children on the autism spectrum. She also provides action lists to help parents keep track of issues and extensive references for further information. An excellent book for parents of newly diagnosed children.

Collins, Francis S., M.D. The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine. Collins (director, National Insts. of Health & former director, National Human Genome Inst.) offers readers information to help them understand how genetics and DNA contribute to health. Noting that many diseases are hereditary, he discusses the latest medical genetics research and how it can apply to medical care. He also uses case histories to illustrate his points and predicts what the future will bring.

Fox, Jackie. From Zero to Mastectomy: What I Learned and You Need To Know About Stage 0 Breast Cancer. When Fox was diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer, also called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), her doctor said that it was not very serious, but she soon learned that the treatment was the same as that for other breast cancers. This chronicle of her diagnosis, treatment, and breast reconstruction will help women diagnosed with this condition learn about their options and make decisions regarding their medical care.

Graber, Alan L., M.D., & others. A Life of Control: Stories of Living with Diabetes. Vanderbilt Univ. Diabetes is a major U.S. health problem; this distinctive book presents the stories of 40 people living with the disease, including a nurse who uses uncontrolled diabetes to lose weight despite the danger, a businessman who has to fight with his insurance provider, and a woman utilizing a trained service dog to avoid diabetic coma. There is also a glossary; information about prevention, complications, and new technologies; and a list of relevant websites.

Rankin, Lissa, M.D. Whats Up Down There?: Questions You”d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend. Rankin, a gynecologist who maintains the website, provides the answers to common questions about female anatomy and physiology, sexuality, fertility, childbirth, menopause, and more. She also gives women a pep talk to increase their self-confidence.

Mukherjee, Siddhartha, M.D. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. Oncologist and cancer researcher Mukherjee (Columbia Univ.) calls his book a biography, but it is really an in-depth look at the history of cancer, attempts to discover possible causes, the personalities of those involved in early endeavors to eradicate it, and the current state of cancer research. Vignettes dealing with some of the author”s patients add to the picture. A fascinating look at a very complex subject.
Potter, Steven. Designer Genes: A New Era in the Evolution of Man. Developmental biologist Potter (Childrens Hosp. Medical Ctr., Cincinnati) explains the latest developments in genetics that will allow parents to choose a child”s genetic makeup. Of course, this is still years away, but the ethical implications are enormous. The explanations of the science are fascinating and easy to understand; the discussion of the possible applications is thought-provoking.

Support your local library!

Howard Baker, RN BSN

For questions, comments, or suggestions on topics you want to read about please e-mail me at: [email protected]

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