“A Guide for Men as They Walk through the Experience of Breast Cancer with the Women in their Lives: Specifics to Support Emotional and Relationship Health” by Dr. Lesajean McDonald Jennings

This book speaks to all men as they support a woman in their lives (wife, mother, sister, daughter, family member, significant other, friend) through her experience of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. This guidebook translates psychological theories and recent research findings into practical advice, using non-clinical / layman's language. Specific strategies are also recommended towards greater psychological and physical health.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 The Importance of Emotional Support:

“Psychological and emotional supports are both very important to physical healing. Humans of both genders are wonderfully glorious creatures, perfectly made. We, in this field of studying human behaviors, have known for some time and through many studies that people who have stronger emotional health heal quicker and better from all sorts of diseases, including breast cancer.

In some studies the amount of psychological distress and adjustment difficulties of the husbands of breast cancer patients were as high as those of the patients. The partner’s emotional distress contributed to the other partner’s distress.

After breast cancer, men are important in the maintenance of women’s health as well. Many studies showed that people with strong social support networks are more likely to receive preventative health care, including mammograms.

In another study married people who were diagnosed with late stage cancer lived longer than those who were single, divorced or widowed. The authors thought that this was because the women had someone in whom to confide and were less socially isolated. These women also had better eating habits and maintained the suggested medical regimen.

People need each other and most of the time, do better when together. Humans take on each other’s emotion and impact others greatly. Especially during times of crisis people benefit from the social support of another caring human being.”