Howard Bressler

The Layman's Guide To Surviving Cancer


The combination of personal anecdotes, practical guidance and realistic encouragement Howard Bressler provides in TheLayman’s Guide to Surviving Cancer has resulted in a powerful and inspiring must-read book for any cancer patient and their loved ones navigating through the cancer experience. I highly recommend it.
Joseph I. Lieberman
Former United States Senator and Vice Presidential Candidate


In my forty-five years as a practicing oncologist, I could impart to my patients only a small part of the wisdom expressed in Howard Bressler’s outstanding book for cancer patients. He covers everything that is important, and this book should and will become “The Bible” for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. It will serve as the switch that will turn on the light of understanding, knowledge, pathways of thinking and action, and most importantly, self-fulfillment in the face of a daunting obstacle. My successor oncologists will have one great advantage over me: they will have this vital volume to recommend to patients. I wish I had this book long ago to give to my own patients.
If you are newly diagnosed with cancer, or are already in this new world you did not ask for, read this book from cover to cover. A new world of understanding, positive action, and peace awaits you. This book is truly “Everyone’s Guide” to dealing with cancer.
Malin Dollinger, MD, FACP
Clinical Professor of Medicine
Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
Author of Everyone’s Guide to Cancer Therapy: How Cancer is Diagnosed,Treated, and Managed Day to Day


Cancer patients invariably face a number of questions and concerns when they are diagnosed and go through their treatment. Among them are what they will encounter along the way, how their treatments will likely affect them, what they can do to manage the effects of their treatments and how they can manage their affairs and relationships with their loved ones during the course of their battle. What has been missing from the scene is a convenient, straightforward source to help guide them through these issues. Howard Bressler has created that source. In The Layman’s Guide to Surviving Cancer, he has combined the wisdom and emotion of his personal experience with extensive research to create an informative book that offers useful advice, humor and encouragement to light the way for other patients and their loved ones. His book walks the fine line between personal memoir and practical roadmap unlike any other cancer-related book. I have no doubt that many cancer patients will find the guidance and support they are looking for in these pages. A masterful job.
Stuart M. Lichtman, MD, FACP
Attending Physician
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Professor of Medicine
Weill Cornell Medical College


The diagnosis and treatment of cancer, even when the outcome is successful, is often an extraordinarily difficult and challenging experience for a patient. The physical, emotional and financial toll on the patient, family and friends is often huge, and there has been no good published guide to help prepare all those involved for what lies ahead.
Howard Bressler has gone a long way toward helping affected people through this daunting period of their lives. He has written an easy-to-read, engaging, commonsense guide for the newly diagnosed cancer patient and those undergoing treatment, based on his own personal battle against leukemia. He combines his own experiences, anecdotes and perspectives to create a practical guide that is positive, proactive and often humorous, and that will inspire and lead other cancer patients through the grueling minefield of the world of cancer. As someone who has spent his career treating cancer patients, I expect to enthusiastically recommend this book to my newly diagnosed patients and those of my colleagues. A terrific read!
Mark Weinblatt, MD
Chief, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Director, Cancer Center for Kids
Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola, New York
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Stony Brook University School of Medicine


Howard Bressler has accomplished what few have in writing a cancer-related book; he has crafted a work that provides important, practical information, with interesting references, while flowing naturally and being easy to read and understand. Any reader will relate in some form to this book, as Howard describes his emotional and intellectual journey that transforms sorrow and anxiety into hope and life enrichment while he beats leukemia. Furthermore, he presents a step-by-step guide for individuals who receive a shocking cancer diagnosis, and provides invaluable tools that not only will assist them in getting through their treatment but also emerging with a renewed sense of positivity, perspective and purpose. This is a book that every cancer patient should read and it is one that I will recommend with confidence to my own patients and colleagues.
Fernando J. Bianco, MD
Associate Professor of Urology
Department of Urology, Columbia University
Founder, Columbia University Division of Urology at Mount Sinai Medical Center


One of the social workers at my husband’s cancer center once said that being diagnosed with cancer is similar to being dropped in a treacherous jungle without any survival training. In today’s environment of cancer care, being alert, empowered, and involved in your cancer journey has never been more vital! Just consider that most oncologists only have 15-20 minutes at each appointment to discuss protocol, short- and long-term side effects of treatment, and even expected goals and outcomes. The Layman’s Guide to Surviving Cancer is an excellent, easy-to-follow guide to help you through every step of the survival process.
Joni Aldrich, International Cancer Advocate and Speaker (Cancer Support Network) and iHeart Talk Radio Show Host
Author: The Saving of Gordon; Lifelines to W-I-N Against Cancer


As an Oncology Nurse who has overseen the treatment of hundreds of cancer patients and has watched them go through the travails of dealing with their disease, I would recommend this book to anyone diagnosed with and being treated for cancer. Howard Bressler has used his personal experiences, struggles, insights and coping strategies, as well as extensive research, to create a practical, easily relatable road map that truly depicts the cancer experience and will direct other cancer patients along their journeys. The stories he tells, the personal thoughts and feelings he relates and the perspectives he has gained as a cancer patient and survivor bring the reader into his world and will open the eyes not only of cancer patients and their families, but of the professionals who treat them. While not hiding from the rigors and realism of the cancer experience, this book still manages to bring a proactive feeling of hope into the equation, and it is one that I believe the patients I work with, as well as my colleagues, will benefit greatly from.
Jennifer Cuevo, RN, MSN, OCN


For many people, a cancer diagnosis is devastating news. I know this from my own experience. So many of us feel terrified and don’t know where to turn. So many questions face us as cancer patients: Do I have any control over this extremely traumatic problem? How do I choose the right doctor? What treatment options are best for me? What should I expect? It can be difficult even figuring out where to start.
This book is a terrific guide to help newly diagnosed or current cancer patients deal with the difficulties that all patients will inevitably face during their treatment and on the road back to health. It is both optimistic and honest. No matter what form of cancer a person has, Howard Bressler’s insights, suggestions and experiences will relate to them and his recommendations as to how to manage one’s treatment are essential to anyone who may be unsure of what to do. It’s the kind of book I wish I had had when I was first diagnosed with cancer. Bravo!
David Klein
Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor


This book has been an enormous help to me during my treatment and especially during those difficult days in the hospital. It contains so much useful information and advice that I have been able to put into practice in my own battle, and at the same time is so easy to read and relatable. Having been written by someone who has actually “been there” and has gone through his own cancer ordeal, it truly speaks to fellow cancer patients and future survivors.
Gisela Miceli
Ovarian cancer patient