The following are helpful books for people living with colon or rectal cancer. Research results are changing colorectal cancer treatment very rapidly, so books can become out of date easily. Always check the publication date and look for the latest edition.
While you certainly cannot read everything — and shouldn’t overwhelm yourself — we’ve listed several key books and booklets to have on hand to cope with colorectal cancer. Your medical team may also have recommendations.
Helpful Books to Read
- Frankly Speaking about Colorectal Cancer, was developed by The Wellness Community and C3, and it can be read online or you can get a free printed copy by calling the C3 Answer Line at 877-4CRC-1111 (877-427-2111).
- Complete Guide to Colorectal Cancer from the American Cancer Society is an important handbook for every patient with colon or rectal cancer. Its chapters are written by experts in their fields, and it has been reviewed by both health professionals and cancer survivors. Well-illustrated with charts, diagrams, and worksheets you can use, it covers colorectal cancer from prevention through survivorship. Put this one on your shelf!
- What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Colorectal Cancer: New Tests, New Treatments, New Hope by Mark Bennett Pochapin M.D. Dr. Pochapin is a gastroenterologist who treated Katie Couric’s husband Jay Monahan and now directs the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health in New York. This highly readable book is comprehensive.
- Colon and Rectal Cancer: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients and Families by Lorraine Johnston was published in 2000 and does not contain the latest treatment options, but overall its information is detailed and solid. Ms. Johnston is a medical writer who has family members with colorectal cancer. She includes many stories and personal experiences from colorectal cancer patients and their families in her book.
- Understanding Colon Cancer by medical oncologist A. Richard Adrouny, M.D. is a small, concisely written guide to colorectal cancer with a strong emphasis on diagnosis, staging, and treatment. Published in 2002, some of the new trends he discusses have now become part of standard therapy. There is a good bit of medical terminology, but the book is fairly easy to read and understand. His glossary is especially good.
- The Human Side of Cancer: Living with Hope, Coping with Uncertainty is a superb book by Jimmie Holland MD, who is the Chairperson of the Department of Psychiatry and Behaviorial Sciences at Memorial Sloan Kettering. She is a founder of the field of psycho-oncology. This is a warm and informative book written for patients and families. If you feel frightened or depressed or guilty, this book will help! A key book for your shelf.
Booklets, brochures and pamphlets
Free from the National Cancer Institute
- What You Need to Know About Cancer of the Colon and Rectum An important publication to have on your shelf.
- Many helpful booklets to help you learn about cancer and how to cope with it are available from NCI and sent free. Browse here.