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Knowledge is Power: New Book Offers Women Straight Talk and Facts about Breast Cancer

Esteemed oncologist Dennis Citrin, MB, ChB, PhD, walks women through the “must know” facts of breast cancer, from diagnosis through treatment and beyond

CHICAGO – Women today are very aware of breast cancer. They know the risks, perform self-exams, support non-profits to advance research, and typically know someone who has battled the disease. Still, hearing the words “you have cancer” throws nearly every woman into a tailspin. When it happens to you, the feeling of empowerment dwindles. Fear sets in. Confusion and uncertainty mount. But knowledge is power. Dennis Citrin, MB, ChB, PhD, a medical oncologist from Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern), has dedicated nearly 40 years to helping women survive breast cancer. His vast experience and research led him to write the book Knowledge is Power: What Every Woman Should Know About Breast Cancer. Released in May, the honest and informative book helps women understand the disease and invites them to become a partner in developing their treatment plan.

“Breast cancer is not one disease, but many. It is important for women and the families who love them to understand this fact, and to know that breast cancer is highly curable,” said Citrin.  “The greater their understanding of the disease is, the better we can treat it, cure it, and keep it in remission.”

One in six women delay breast cancer treatment. Citrin addresses this alarming statistic in his book, and shares the risks associated with delaying treatment, which include the cancer becoming more advanced and potentially metastasizing to other parts of the body. He also discusses the new paradigm of breast cancer treatment, which is to obtain all the relevant information about the cancer, including its genetic structure and possible gene mutations, before a multi-disciplinary treatment is started. In the past, many doctors immediately recommended surgery, whereas today, each woman’s unique cancer should first be analyzed to determine what treatment will be the most effective. 

"Not all cancer is the same. When facing breast cancer, it’s important for women to get the facts specific to their disease, which may include getting a second opinion,” said Citrin. “Education is key, but so is acting quickly. Delaying treatment can lead to a late-stage battle which is more difficult to cure.”

Knowledge is Power: What Every Woman Should Know About Breast Cancer also includes short stories featuring a handful of patients Citrin has personally treated. The book’s combination of medical knowledge and compelling real-life stories, makes it a must read for any woman battling breast cancer. 

In the midst of a cancer diagnosis, most patients find it difficult to retain the information they hear during a consult with their doctor. Citrin’s book begins with an easy-to-understand commentary on what breast cancer is and how it is staged. Citrin then walks readers through treatment options, shares unique cases and discusses the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. Above all, the book is about empowerment. It is intended to guide women bravely through their breast cancer journey.

“An informed patient is a strong patient with the will to win over the disease,” said Citrin. “My hope is that women reading the book will not fear breast cancer, but rather take the reins and be their best health advocate.”

Breast cancer has changed significantly over the last 30 years. Medical innovations have made the disease highly treatable, women have become vigilant about prevention, and many with the disease can now expect to be cured. Still, approximately 4,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each week, and countless women die from the disease annually.  

Knowledge is Power: What Every Women Should Know About Breast Cancer is available for purchase on Amazon.

For more information on CTCA at Midwestern or Dr. Citrin, visit www.cancercenter.com/midwestern.

About Dennis Citrin

Dennis Citrin, MB, ChB, PhD, is a board-certified medical oncologist with more than three decades of experience. Specializing in treating advanced and complex breast cancer, Citrin works with a team of experts to help patients fight breast cancer. Citrin earned a medical degree and PhD at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He also completed an internal medicine residency and fellowship in academic medicine at the university. He then completed a human oncology and medicine fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining Cancer Treatment Centers of America in 2004, Citrin served patients in private practice and as a staff member at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Additionally, he has served as assistant and/or associate professor of medicine at the University of California in San Diego, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York and Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. Citrin is a member of several professional associations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research and the Chicago Medical Society. His research has been published extensively over the years in journals such as Cancer and the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

About Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Inc. (CTCA) is a national network of hospitals focusing on complex and advanced stage cancer. CTCA offers a comprehensive, fully integrated approach to cancer treatment and serves patients from all 50 states at facilities located in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tulsa. Known for delivering the Mother Standard® of care and Patient Empowerment Medicine®, CTCA provides patients with information about cancer and their treatment options so they can control their treatment decisions. For more information about CTCA, go to www.cancercenter.com.

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