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Conversing with Cancer

How to Ask Questions, Find and Share Information, and Make the Best Decisions


Lisa Sparks and Anna Leahy

With more than 40% of people eventually facing a cancer diagnosis, Conversing with Cancer is a much-needed addition to understanding and improving cancer care through strong communication among providers, patients, and caregivers. Each person whose life is affected by a cancer diagnosis—patient, healthcare provider, caregiver—has information and needs information in order to make the best decisions possible under the circumstances. After studying and writing about the topics of communication and cancer for many years separately, authors Lisa Sparks and Anna Leahy combine their expertise in this new tour de force. Here, they apply principles from the field of health communication to the cancer care experience, drawing from a wide range of scholarship to offer a comprehensive view of cancer care communication and extend existing work into new insights. Engaging chapters cover all phases of the journey through cancer, from prevention to recovery or end-of-life; analyze the roles of the variety of cultural and social identities and relationships; and explore written, verbal, non-verbal, and electronic communication. In addition, this book draws from the real-life stories of cancer patients themselves to enrich the book’s unique discussions and to better understand how theory can be put into practice. Conversing with Cancer is ideal for use in health communication classes, medical and nursing programs, and formal caregiver training. In addition, it is useful for cancer patient and caregiver supports groups and for individual providers, patients, and caregivers.

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This series explores new and exciting advances in the ways in which language both reflects and fashions social reality—and thereby constitutes critical means of social action. As well as these being central foci in face-toface interactions across different cultures, they also assume significance in the ways that language functions in the mass media, new technologies, organizations, and social institutions. Language as Social Action does not uphold apartheid against any particular methodological and/or ideological position, but, rather, promotes (wherever possible) cross-fertilization of ideas and empirical data across the many, all-too-contrastive, social scientific approaches to language and communication. Contributors to the series will also accord due attention to the historical, political, and economic forces that contextually bound the ways in which language patterns are analyzed, produced, and received. The series will also provide an important platform for theory-driven works that have profound, and often times provocative, implications for social policy.

For further information about the series and submitting manuscripts, please contact:

Howard Giles

Department of Communication

University of California at Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4020

To order other books in this series, please contact our Customer Service Department at:

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