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Fine, Judylaine.

Toronto, Kids Can Press, c1984. 168pp, paper, ISBN 0-919964-79-6 (cloth) $19.95,0-919964-56-7 (paper) $12.95.CIP

Grades 9 and up
Reviewed by Juan VanSickle Heaton

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

Afraid to Ask answers all of the basic questions about cancer that any person, adolescent or adult, might wish to ask. It tells what the disease is, who gets it, how it can appear, how and if it can be treated or cured, and what to do when a loved one contracts it. Clear diagrams support the simple descriptions, and the language Fine uses to deliver her information is conversational and straightforward.

She has consulted many medical and scientific experts, and the final product of her research is organized as a handbook. Chapters deal with all aspects, from the pathology to the psychology, of the disease. Different forms of cancer are described; their frequency of occurrence, suspected causes, rate and form of cure, related cancers, and ways of diagnosing their onset. Medical terminology is defined clearly.

Afraid to Ask offers nothing besides the straight facts. Hospices, home care, miracle cures, and despair are dealt with fairly. In plain black and white, the horror and hope are presented equally.

It is a book that any layman would find to be of interest, and which doctors could use with confidence in dealing intelligently and sympathetically with cancer patients and their families.

The book is recommended to all students of secondary school age and to their teachers and friends.

Juan VanSickle Heaton, Bayridge S.S., Kingston, Ont.
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