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Guides to Understanding Breast Cancer

In this section, learn more about our guides to understanding breast cancer. These books and brochures address the unique needs of women newly diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and women with metastatic (advanced) breast cancer. Read descriptions of the guides, download free PDFs and order single or bulk copies at our online marketplace

Please note we can mail only single copies (no bulks) to non-U.S. addresses at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience and encourage our international visitors to download print-friendly or PDF versions of our guides, accessible below. 

Please use the links below to access the guides of interest to you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Treatment for Early-Stage Breast Cancer

This FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions About Treatment for Early-Stage Breast Cancer, will help you discuss your choices for neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy with your healthcare team. Learn about goals, benefits and risks, and hear answers to common questions about therapy given before surgery.

Breast Cancer inFocus: Getting the Care You Need as a Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual Person

This guide will help you discover how to communicate with your breast cancer care team about your sexual orientation or gender identity in ways that are most comfortable to you. Learn about the resources available to you online and at many cancer treatment centers, and get tips on deciding when, and if, to come out to your providers.

Guide to Understanding Complementary Therapies

This guide will help you gain useful knowledge about some of the most common complementary therapies available, such as acupuncture, meditation, tai chi, reiki and others. Learn what symptoms and side effects each therapy may help ease and the level of scientific evidence available for each practice. Get practical advice about where you can access them, what to look for in a trained professional, and where to find other resources for trusted information. 

Guide to Understanding Financial Concerns

The Guide to Understanding Financial Concerns will help you navigate private and public health insurance plans and explains how to get insurance if you don't have it. Discover what to do if your claim is denied, how to access federal and private programs, when to use COBRA and disability and how to handle the "hidden" costs of breast cancer. Available online only.

Guide for the Newly Diagnosed

Learn the basics of breast cancer for the recently diagnosed. Find out about breast cancer types, pathology reports, the medical team, cancer stages, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, hormonal therapies, targeted therapies, clinical trials and second opinions. Explore questions to help you make informed decisions and find emotional support.

Guide to Understanding Genetics and Family Risk Assessment

Find out whether genetic testing is right for you and your family in this comprehensive guide about genetics and breast cancer risk. Learn what factors healthcare professionals look for in families that may suggest an inherited gene mutation led to breast cancer developing, what genetic counselors do, and how genetic test results may impact your treatment, family, and emotions.

Guide to Understanding Yoga and Breast Cancer

Gain a basic understanding of how yoga practice enhances overall wellness, improves quality of life and supports recovery after a breast cancer diagnosis. Learn about the mental and physical side of yoga, common yoga poses, how to adapt poses to suit your abilities during or after treatment, and where to find yoga classes for women with breast cancer.

Guide to Understanding Treatment Decisions

Learn how diagnostic tests and pathology tests help your doctor build a tailored plan for your breast cancer treatment. Find out what questions to explore so you can make empowered decisions about surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy.

Guide to Understanding Hormonal Therapy

This guide explores medical and surgical options for early-stage breast cancer. Learn about the role of hormones in the body and in the development of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Find out how tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors and ovarian suppression and ablation work to decrease your risk for recurrence. Equally important, find out about side effects, and get practical tips and advice on how to manage them. 

Guide to Understanding Intimacy and Sexuality

Learn practical ways to manage the sexual side effects of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, how to talk to your partner or healthcare providers about sexual concerns, and where to go to find the resources you need.