Foreword Review — Fall 2012
Prostate cancer doesn’t just affect the patient, but also his spouse or partner, asserts Anne Katz, RN, PhD, in Prostate Cancer and the Man You Love. A clinical nurse specialist at Canada’s Manitoba Prostate Centre and editor of the Oncology Nursing Society’s prestigious Oncology Nursing Forum journal, Katz tackles this intimate and sensitive subject with the same professionalism and compassion that appear in her four previous books about cancer. And like those earlier titles, her reason for writing Prostate Cancer and the Man You Love, she says, is simple: to help those dealing with prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery not just survive, but thrive.
Katz, who has dedicated much of her professional life to educating and counseling couples on the sexual changes that come with cancer, includes all types of couples in her book—old and young, gay and straight, and those from mixed cultural and racial backgrounds. This inclusiveness makes the book even more invaluable and unique among those on bookshelves today. Also notable is the scope and depth of information Katz provides. Chapter topics range from the very basic “Where and What is the Prostate Gland?” to an in-depth look at surgical options and side effects to detailed, compassionate advice on how to talk about sexual needs and fears with a partner. Also covered are other intimate, uncomfortable, and often embarrassing aspects of prostate cancer, including incontinence, erectile difficulties, and messy bowel problems.
The last two chapters focus on end-of-life care and the importance of the partner not forgetting about the need for self-care because, as Katz puts it: “If you don’t take care of yourself, you really can’t take care of, or take part in the care of, your partner or spouse. But so often we forget this … and we end up not being able to help anyone.”
Throughout, Katz mixes firsthand stories with her straightforward, well-thought-out and well-composed prose. The book is dense. It lacks any of the bulleted lists or drop quotes that authors often use to highlight key information and, in many cases, allow a reader to skim. But for those willing to invest in the time to read and digest this comprehensive reference, Prostate Cancer and the Man You Love provides loving advice, comfort, and insight that any couple facing the disease will benefit from receiving.