Baystate Oncologist Co-authors New Book That Helps Empower Patients

SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Grace Makari-Judson, a medical oncologist in the Baystate Regional Cancer Program at the D’Amour Center for Cancer Care, and medical director of the Comprehensive Breast Center at Baystate Medical Center, is one of three cancer specialists to offer their knowledge, advice and hope to cancer patients preparing for treatment in the newly-published McGraw-Hill book, Coping with Chemotherapy and Radiation.


“Research shows that well-informed cancer patients fare better during treatment and recover more easily than those who are in the dark about their illness,” she said.
Coping with Chemotherapy and Radiation provides an outlet for patients to become better informed by answering their questions and providing sound advice to assist them in preparing for and managing their cancer treatment.

“The book is unique; there is nothing out there like it. It is multi-disciplinary and addresses different cancers along with their treatments,” said Makari-Judson.

“Coping with Chemotherapy and Radiation explains what to expect at the time of treatment, making patients better prepared to face side effects and to effectively alleviate them,” she added.

In addition to Makari-Judson, co-authors of the self-help book include lead author Dr. Daniel Cukier, of Northampton, who has been a radiation oncologist for more than 30 years; Dr. Frank Gingerelli, chief of radiation oncology at Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood, N.J.; and Virginia E. McCullough, noted health writer whose books include A Consumer’s Guide to Alternative Health Care and Testing and Your Child.

“Dr. Cukier originally called me to write a chapter on breast cancer, but when the book was expanded to include both chemotherapy and radiation, I ended up bringing a medical oncologist’s perspective to every part of the book,” said Makari-Judson.

Coping with Chemotherapy and Radiation offers advice about diet and lifestyle adjustments that will help ease a patient through treatment. The authors also discuss:
• Understanding the multidisciplinary approach to cancer and the treatment-team concept;
• Combination therapy and how surgery, chemotherapy and radiation work together;
• The latest advances in diagnostic radiology, including PET scanning;
• Strategies for pain management and reducing side effects of treatment;
• Forming questions to ask your team of doctors, including a frequently-asked-questions section, and
• The value of support groups and counseling.

Makari-Judson, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, has worked hard to assure the best training for doctors who work at Baystate Medical Center and equally hard to educate the public through programs and materials provided by Rays of Hope. She has announced that she is donating her portion of the royalties from the book sales to Rays of Hope.

“I am donating my royalties in honor of all the patients and families I have had the privilege of knowing and who have been a source of inspiration to me,” she said.
Rays of Hope, the most successful fund raising walk-a-thon in Western Massachusetts for breast cancer, was created in 1994 by Springfield native Lucy Giuggio.

ast October, the walk through Forest Park raised a record of over $600,000 to support breast health and research at Baystate Health System, as well as various community projects.

Baystate Medical Center’s Comprehensive Breast Center, part of the Baystate Regional Cancer Program, is a unique interdisciplinary program incorporating Baystate Medical Center staff physicians and community physicians. Under the medical direction of Makari-Judson, the program includes routine mammography services, as well as diagnostic mammography and core biopsy, diagnostic evaluations, multidisciplinary consultation, high risk screening, education and outreach, and support services. The Center also supports community education and treatment programs at Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield and Mary Lane Hospital in Ware.