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Living with the Long-Term Effects of Cancer

Living with the Long-Term Effects of Cancer

Acknowledging Trauma and other Emotional Challenges

Dr Cordelia Galgut, illustrated by Louise Bourgeois

Quick Overview

Written in an accessible way by a psychologist who is also experiencing the long-term effects of breast cancer, this is a look beyond 'lucky to survive' that offers insight into the difficulties many face after treatment for cancer.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2020, 8.43in x 5.28in / 214mm x 134mm, 208pp
ISBN: 9781785924620

Out of stock

2020, PDF
ISBN: 978-1-78450-839-5
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Challenging a number of myths about living long term with or after cancer, this book offers new insights by delving into areas that are not usually spoken about.

Written from a dual perspective- that of a psychologist who had breast cancer and who copes with the long-term effects of treatment - the book contests the assumption that the afflicted person will simply 'get better' or 'move through' to a better situation. Emotional and physical side-effects can worsen over time and people living beyond or with cancer often endure a mismatch between expectations and reality, because they have been told that life would be easier than it actually is. This can leave both those suffering longer term and those close to them confused and unprepared.

Including testimonies with people who have had a cancer diagnosis and people in the medical profession, the book signposts ways that professionals may help and offers prompts for friends and relatives to have useful and open conversations with the person affected. It gives voice to many people who feel that their suffering is disputed and diminished by the prevailing narrative around recovery.

Galgut includes discussion on relationships, work, trauma, fear of recurrence and the role of therapy. Giving an unflinchingly honest perspective, Living with the Long-Term Effects of Cancer sheds light on these struggles, in the belief that bringing this conversation to the forefront is key to improving life for those who are affected by cancer and who suffer longer term from its effects.



This book is a remarkable testimony to the importance of psychological care, often missing in even our best cancer centres. Written by a psychologist and counsellor, who actually has been on her own cancer journey, she is well placed to analyse the basis of uncertainty every cancer patient will feel for the rest of their lives.

The book is very readable and gratifyingly free of psycho-babble. It's very suitable for patients and their families as a useful aid to discussion. It contains interesting interviews with various cancer professionals who put forward their own perspectives.

But the take home message is that whilst we can now cure more half of our cancer patients we need to do more to make sure their quality of life in body, mind and spirit is made as perfect as possible. Dr Galgut's short book is an excellent and thoughtful way into to this complex area for patients and indeed all health professionals dealing with cancer.

- Professor Karol Sikora, Consultant Oncologist


I have made so many notes, reading the book, that it looks like it has developed a severe case of measles. But the beauty of the book is that Dr. Galgut used medical language, albeit in easy-to-understand-form, so the reader can grab sentences from the copy and drop them into official letters, and use these when you write a letter about your treatment. There are lots of phrases to use that spring out from the pages, and after all - this is written by a doctor, so they gather their arguments in a 'medical' rather than an emotive way.

Read it to reassure yourself you are NOT making a fuss. Here is a doctor who has experiencd the 'other' side, and is honest enough to admit there is a lot wrong with the way cancer patients can be treated. As I read it, I was nodding to myself in agreement - here was someone who had experiened the same problems as I had.



This book is a little package of experiences: not everyone suffers them but many do. Surely it's time to be realistic about the consequences of cancer treatment, the side effects which may last a lifetime.

Truth telling is important but many shy away from facing hard experiences. Nevertheless it's time to be realistic about the short and long term side effects of cancer treatment for men as well as women. Not everyone suffers the life long pain and the fears, as well as the failure of those around them to understand, but very many do.
Anyone who has read a previous book by Cordelia Galgut will know that she can make the hardest things readable and interesting, as she does here.

All of us, doctors and patients, need this hard-hitting and truthful book.

- Ruth McCurry, Retired teacher and publisher


Being diagnosed with a malignant melanoma was the start of a journey, the most terrifying of my life as I go from check up to check up paranoid that every ache or pain is something sinister. I know that it's not a short journey I am in this for the long haul.

Cordelia's book clearly illustrates what living with cancer is really like in a very honest, open and informative way from both from a sufferer's and counselling psychologist's perspective. It's particularly invaluable because she includes practical strategies for coping longer term, including allowing yourself to accept that what you are experiencing is real, and enabling you to have the conversations you need to have with medical professionals.

- Liz Lane, Retired Managing Director


The commitment, courage and insight of Ms Galgut displayed in this comprehensive account of the challenges of cancer survivorship 'from the front line' is both remarkable and inspiring.
As one who has tried to support and campaign for hundreds of patients in these situations over thirty years I know that she speaks from the heart about what we all think, feel and endure.
We can sincerely empathise with those living with fear and isolation in a world which says, 'Be glad you are alive'.
This book needs wide distribution to sufferers in need of comfort and support. And -just as importantly - to medical professionals as a plea to listen and try to understand.

- Jan Millington, Cancer survivor with 'late effects'


This is a very significant and
courageous book for health
professionals, patients, carers
and family members written by a
psychologist who was first diagnosed
with bilateral breast cancer 15 years
ago and is the author of two earlier
books on emotional and physical
effects of living with cancer... The chapters cover the struggle
of facing up to long-term effects,
the dread of recurrence, effects of
cancer on relationships and work,
and more detailed interviews with a
nurse and three doctors as well as a
separate chapter on the experience
after treatment with male cancers.
The book is clearly structured and
written, with excellent summaries
aimed at different constituencies. The
analysis is incisive and frank: some
of the deepest issues arise from an
unconscious denial of our mortality
when faced with the implications
of cancer and, for patients, the
dread of recurrence and having to
undergo further painful and extended
treatment when reserves of strength
and resilience have already been
sapped... The messages of this book
could not be more important for our
understanding of living with cancer, so it should be widely read and



By (author): Cordelia Galgut
Illustrated by: Louise Bourgeois