Cancer Confidential: Backstage Dramas in the Radiation Clinic

University of Toronto Press, 2022

Cancer Confidential

Drawing on my thirty year experience as a radiation oncologist, my book shares behind-the-scenes stories of people dealing with cancer and death – often through avoidance, denial, and conflict, but also as shining examples of quiet courage, resilience, and humour. The stories are woven together by my personal story of my father’s cancer and death, and how that experience led me on a journey of self-discovery.

“There are many books written by surgeons and physicians about their life in medicine, but none are like this one.”

Jock Murray, Dean Emeritus, Dalhousie University Medical School

“With an extraordinary combination of patient cases, personal anecdotes, and dramatic dialogues, Charles Hayter introduces readers to the dramatis personae of medicine and cancer care—patients, doctors and families—as he tells the story of his father’s cancer death, and his own long journey to an authentic expression of his identity. Cancer Confidential is as moving as it is informative and entertaining.”

Robert Maunder MD, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, and author of Damaged

“When you are being treated for cancer, your doctors become the most important people in your life. They are your healers, advisers, and teachers, sometimes even friends, but at some distance. I always wanted to know what they were really thinking about my case. Charles Hayter’s memoir humanizes the most technical of cancer specialties and gives us insight into the physician’s side of the story. He is frank about how the personal plays into the professional as well as his frustrations with colleagues and the system – an interesting and refreshing perspective!”

Libby Znaimer, VP News Zoomer Media, Host Fight Back with Libby Znaimer, and The Zoomer

An Element of Hope:
Radium and the Response to Cancer in Canada, 1900‑1940

(Toronto and Montreal: McGill-Queen’s Press, 2015)

An element of hope. Radium and the response to cancer in Canada, 1900-1940. Charles Hayter

Tracing the origins, establishment, and early development of cancer programs in Canada, An Element of Hope focuses on the introduction of radium therapy and its effect in raising awareness about the need for public support of cancer treatment. It also discusses the historical roots of current problems in cancer control.

“This is a fascinating and informative study of radium therapy in Canada from 1900 to the Second World War…an important book, one of the few studies of cancer and its treatment in Canada.”

Maureen Lux, Journal of Canadian Studies

“The subject matter might lend itself to stultifying technical detail with the severe risk of unreadability. Happily, while Hayter certainly provides the detail, he has succeeded in avoiding boring the reader.”

Charles G. Roland, McMaster University, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences

“…the particular genius [is] how An Element of Hope responds to contemporary frustrations with a patient and engaging narrative of a once-sensational cure…this book deserves wide recognition”

Kenton Kroker, York University, The Canadian Historical Review

Gilbert and Sullivan

(London: Macmillan, 1987)

Gilbert and Sullivan

Building on my Masters research into the non-musical comedies of W.S Gilbert, this book assesses the place of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas in history of the British theatre, examines six major works, and discusses the working relationship of the librettist and composer.

“A very worthwhile introductory volume…Charles Hayter is a relaxed and shrewd guide to the subject…(he) takes care to place their work in a social and political context as well as a theatrical one.”

Stephen Wyatt, Theatre Research International