Breast Cancer Care WA’s library

Our volunteer librarian Clarisse keeps our shelves stocked with the latest resources on topics including:

Breast cancer treatments
Health and wellbeing
Emotional and spiritual health

We invite you to visit our boutique library located in our Cottesloe office and borrow at no charge resources of interest.

Click here to see the full list of books currently in the library



Latest reviews from Clarisse Jennings

Volunteer Librarian, breast cancer survivor and Spiritual Healer

"Nutritional Healing"  -  Young Today, Young Tomorrow

By Soroush Habibi  M.D.

Another informative resource penned by an Australian Doctor/Author will help to:-

*    Increase your brain power
*    Improve your energy level
*    Use essential nutrients and antioxidants wisely
*    Protect yourself against cancer and heart disease
*    Become health conscious and optimise your health
*    Make a difference to your life and the lives of others

The contents of this valuable book also informs the reader about the treatment of diseases by eating the right foods, the right fruits and vegetables, as well as the use of super- nutrients and antioxidants our bodies need for a healthy life style.

Excellent advice to "Live Longer, Be Healthier and Happier"


“Climbing mountains"

By Stacey Charbachi

Young author Stacy was twenty eight, married and a mother of two when she received a breast cancer diagnosis shortly after the birth of her second child. This heart-felt and honest account of Stacey's breast cancer journey enables the reader to travel alongside this brave and inspirational young woman -  and what a journey it proved to be!

Throughout the book it is very clear that Stacey's unshakeable spiritual belief not only gave her comfort, but the courage to climb those proverbial mountains that stood before her. A myriad of physical issues are faced and addressed. To name a few; treatments, fears of early menopause, body image, loss of health, sexuality and being fit and well for her family.

Stacey shares with the reader her insights of her most intimate emotions and fears, which will not only help, but give encouragement and inspiration to get through those dark days.

I would like to share with you a sentence in this book, (page 106) that came to my notice on compiling this review. "In every situation I look for the sunshine above the storm clouds and count the positives rather than wasting time on the negatives".

Australian and International websites and email addresses can be found at the back of this handy sized publication.

In conclusion, Stacey you have climbed your highest mountain with dignity and courage. May your future life's path be a hop, a skip and a jump with lots of laughter and sunshine along the way.

"Choices in Breast Cancer Treatment" 
Edited by Kenneth D Miller MD

To have access to this publication would clearly be beneficial to the newly diagnosed.  It will attract readers who seek and want to understand the "ins and outs" of breast cancer.  It is ideal for those who are in the research mode and eager to gain information from the internet, from friends and people they know who have had breast cancer.  They will find answers to their questions in easy to understand text and illustrations which may therefore help them with the decisions sometimes necessary for their treatment.

Sound advice and clarification is given from many private consultants including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiologists and plastic surgeons with succinct information on radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and breast reconstruction.  Added to this information are the voices and insights of many breast cancer survivors who share their own experiences and observations of their emotional journeys.

Please note a quote from one of the pages in the book "While some of the survivors' stories are very important, it is possible that some of their information and advice is not medically sound, readers should not make decisions about their own care based solely on these patients' stories"

For concise information regarding important medical decisions to be made, the reader would benefit in borrowing this valuable resource from our boutique library shelves.

"Worms  On  Parachutes - Mystical allies in my cancer survival”
Worms on parachutesBy Sarah-Jane Phillips

This autobiography, with its zany and up-beat title and enchanting naive illustration on the front cover, will certainly attract the most discerning reader whether they are travelling along the breast cancer journey or know of someone in that situation.

A recent new arrival on our boutique library shelves, displays a very brave author who has met adversity head on, not only once but twice in her short life time. Her courage, indomitable spirit and triumph over all that was "thrown" at her on her personal cancer journey, was due to positive thinking, loving family, friends and excellent medical care.

A short synopsis reveals Sarah-Jane as a 16 year old battling Hodgkins Disease with the help of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Overcoming that hurdle and getting "back on track with her life", she embarks on a career, marries and has two small daughters. Then beyond her control, breast cancer gives her yet another challenge in her life. 

Sarah-Jane writes and shares with the reader an account of her "journey" with honesty, humour and finally success, being able to resume her life with her loved ones, healthy and well. It never ceases to amaze me how courage and positive thinking can be given to us when we have HOPE.

The Breast Cancer Book of Strength and Courage
By E Bodai & J Fertig

Even before advancing to chapter one, my attention was drawn to the contents page. Forty six short stories written by breast cancer survivors– and what inspirational and uplifting titles;

  • Ice cream for breakfast
  • Jumping the waves
  • Look good, feel better
  • Like a rose in your garden
  • A women's best friends
  • Breast cancer just speed bump
  • Fifty-five and alive!
  • Celebrate life

Hopefully I might have aroused your curiosity and whet your appetite, but don't forget there are thirty eight more titles to "devour!"

A quote from the inside cover sums up this edition so well…
"These touching personal stories are told by special women who dug a little deeper to climb the biggest mountain of all. Their reassuring words are like having a welcome friend come to you in a moment of need - an invaluable source of strength, wisdom, love and laughter. Page after page, you'll learn not only how to survive, but also how to forge a powerful and positive mental attitude."

On a final note,“may you the reader, learn from these stories that the strength and courage you might not feel right now, is indeed there - deep within you, ready to emerge, ready to fight."

"Surviving Cancer"

Inspiring Stories of Hope and Healing

Both the editor, Paul Kraus and introduction author Dr Ian Gawler are cancer survivors. Dr Ian Gawler is also well known as the Founder and Therapeutic Director of The Gawler Foundation in Victoria.

Included in this publication is a collection of incredibly brave and inspiring accounts from 28 survivors from all walks of life, who were each given a cancer diagnosis.

A common thread they all shared - above and beyond main-stream medical treatment - were the benefits of self-empowerment by adopting strategies learnt from the therapeutic team at The Gawler Foundation.

Each story is unique in the way they relate their healing journey from first diagnosis to ultimate recovery using self-help strategies which focus on body, mind and spirit. They illustrate the enormous potential of the body to heal itself, given the opportunity to do so.

Although only three personal journeys relate to breast cancer and the remainder to other cancers, I felt compelled to finish the book as each and every story displays courage and fortitude of magnificent proportions, guaranteed to inspire hope and healing to the reader.

A paragraph jumped out to me whilst compiling this review, it portrays my sentiments which I would like to share with you. "Whilst cancer can be viewed as a frightening threat to our existence, for me it has provided an opportunity for an incredible awakening, without the challenge to my life, I kept taking too many things for granted".

Certainly, food for thought.

Another resource by Dr Ian Gawler, "You Can Conquer Cancer" is available for loan in our boutique library.

“Araluen” CD   
A kaleidoscope of sound and music by Australia's own Robert J Boyd

This CD speaks to the soul. Unique methods are implemented using sound frequencies as a healing tool for pain and stress related disorders.

Robert composes his beautiful music as an interactive statement. With its natural environment, Araluen Botanic Park, is set on the outskirts of the Darling Range, here in Perth. The blend of exotic flowers and trees, together with native birds and bushland, enables the visitor to experience the peace and tranquillity that the park offers.

For those who have visited Araluen, this eight track CD will surely bring back pleasant memories and for those who have not yet had the opportunity, by listening to the calm and relaxing music, I feel sure that many 'appetites will be whetted' to make time for a visit.

My own well used copy that I keep at home has been used and praised by several friends and acquaintances who have experienced sleep problems etc. 

Sit back, relax and enjoy the music and sounds of nature.

Secrets of Cancer Survivors
A book of hope for cancer patients, their families and friends

By Elizabeth Gould

This book is of hope, survival and how to discover your own path through an enormous physical and mental challenge written with empathy and understanding by a breast cancer survivor.

What are the secrets in this publication?

  • Controlling information
  • Choosing supporters
  • Doing it your way
  • Creating a thinking pattern
  • Finding the meaning of life

By interviewing five other cancer survivors and sharing her own experience, Elizabeth Gould focuses on a practical step-by-step approach to describing both the emotional and physical journey through to remission.

Areas also covered are;

  • Mental tools and techniques to cope with each stage of cancer
  • How your body will change during treatment and how to cope with those changes
  • The best ways to emotionally support a cancer patient, and
  • Most importantly, how the cancer journey can transform your life

A few sentences jumped out at me whilst reviewing this book, so I would like to share them with you.
"Surviving cancer is a hard thing to do. Not impossible, just tough. Once you have done it, other things don't seem so hard anymore. I believe surviving cancer gives you the courage to try and live the life you have always dreamed about. It gives you an appreciation of life that is unparalleled. I wish you good health (every survivor's dearest wish), trust in your body and look forward to the rest of your life with love and joy"


Off the Rack - Chronicles of a thirty something, single, breast cancer survivor

By American author, Genae Girard

Another recent acquisition to our library shelves is a bitter-sweet humorous, real-world portrayal of getting through the trauma and recovery from breast cancer.

Published in 2010, this handy size paper back gem has a no nonsense account of the author's account of her breast cancer journey. Thirty one, short, sharp, witty chapters will give the reader an insight into Genae's philosophical survival strategies that helped her through the raw pain of cancer diagnosis to a "new normal" way of vital living.

Hard as it is to remain positive when coping with breast cancer, the author shows the reader, or their loved ones also travelling on a breast cancer journey, that there is power in self-education, taking control which helps one deal with the scary stuff and making fear, a friend.

An ideal "hand bag book" which can be read and yes enjoyed, for those quiet moments in our daily life.

On a final note, it is a pleasure to read that Genae is involved as a volunteer, working and helping women who are travelling along the same path as she trod. This surely must give hope and reassurance to so many.

Tell me what to eat to help prevent breast cancer - Nutrition you can live with

By Elaine Magee

Although written and published in America, the majority of this small paperback’s contents can apply to us in Australia too. Readers get a detailed yet completely understandable picture of how cancer begins and how it spreads - a picture that is based on medical information that will give you a better understanding of what breast cancer is.

Eight easy to read and informative chapters come under the following headings;

  • Everything you ever wanted to ask your doctor about breast cancer
  • Diet and breast cancer connection
  • Everything you ever wanted to ask a dietitian about preventing breast cancer
  • 10 food steps to freedom
  • The joy of eating
  • The recipes you cannot live without
  • Navigating the supermarket
  • Restaurant rules to live by

You’ll get sound advice by reading the latter two informative chapters which are not always included in resources covering cancer diets. Enjoy the read as well as the recipes.

Breast Cancer - The Facts

By Christobel M Saunders & Sunil Jassal

Do not be fooled by this handbag size red and white paperback book that is one of "The Facts" series published by Oxford University Press!

Written by two eminent Perth breast cancer specialists, each page displays clear, concise and informative layouts, which enables the reader to focus on subject areas that are relevant to their specific concerns.

Topics covered begin with "who are at risk" through to "surviving life after breast cancer" with abundant information in between.

This book would be beneficial not only to those newly diagnosed women, but to their family and friends who have so many questions that they need to find answers for. If this should be the only book read on the subject of breast cancer, then the reader would derive sound knowledge of just what breast cancer entails. Oh, how I wish this valuable resource was in print seventeen years ago when I had breast cancer! For starters, the seven page glossary towards the end of the book, will enlighten those readers, who like me, had so much to learn!

Click here to view images of breast cancer surgery outcomes and treatments as featured in Breast Cancer - The Facts.

Warning: some people may find these images distressing

Breast Cancer Husband - How to Help Your Wife (and yourself) Through Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond

By Marc Silver

Breast Cancer Husband bravely discusses topics, including talking with your children about the diagnosis, the nuances of diagnosis, therapy and intimacy issues that men need to understand to be helpful and supportive partners in the battle against breast cancer.

A touch of humour here and there helps to alleviate the stresses that are put upon our husbands and partners.

A "must" read for every man who faces the challenge of learning to live through breast cancer.

DVD Resources

Within our library you will also find many useful DVD resources. Three recent additions include;

  • You're not alone - a film about living with secondary breast cancer
  • Walking beside her - a partners journey with secondary breast cancer
  • Ask a radiation oncologist - common questions about radiotherapy in the treatment of breast cancer

All three resources have been produced by the Advanced Breast Cancer Group and funded by Queensland Health. If you are not able to visit our library, you can request your free copy by emailing