Dr. Richard Frank is no stranger to accolades. Since taking over as director of cancer research at Norwalk Hospitals Whittingham Cancer Center a decade ago, the Fairfield resident has received the Humanitarian Award of the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society of Fairfield County (in 2005) and the David King Community Clinical Scientist Award from the Association of Community Cancer Centers (in 2007). And just last year, Connecticut Magazine named him one of the states Top Doctors.
The cancer specialist recently found that he will be honored again. But this time it wont be for his bedside manner or volunteer work with CancerCare, but for his writing. His book, Fighting Cancer With Knowledge and Hope, won first prize in the American Medical Writers Association Medical Book Awards in the medical professionals category. The purpose of the book, he said, is to continue helping cancer patients.
I felt that patients who are confronted with cancer have tremendous questions, Frank said in a radio interview last year. But there was not one good resource that made a lot of the critical information comprehensible, approachable, enjoyable, [and] non-threatening to read, such that they could go forward with whatever they were diagnosed with and understand the basis for why doctors do what they do and how the treatments work.
Frank also found another way to help cancer sufferers with his book. He donates a portion of the proceeds to CancerCare . The Norwalk-based center offers free professional support services to cancer patients and their family members and caregivers.
In the book, published by Yale University Press last year, Frank set out to cover the entire experience of the disease. He outlines how cancer spreads, how it can be prevented and treated, and how friends, family and victims can deal with terminal cases.
He covers many of the same topics in his ongoing blog as well. But he told CancerCare that the book takes a more interesting approach.
What makes this book unique is that it is personal, he said. I include real-life cancer situations drawn from my practice, and I also talk about how I personally cope and feel about trying to help people through very challenging times.
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