They wanted to increase funding for research, treatment and support, and they wanted women who had breast cancer to stop feeling embarrassed of having an illness that, until then, had been spoken about only in whispers. In many respects, they succeeded. Breast cancer is no longer mired in shame, and many more cases are being detected and treated early.
Today, despite the ubiquity of the pink ribbon and the best efforts of well-meaning organisations like the Irish Cancer Society to educate us, confusion about the disease still reigns. Few of us realise that even moderate activity can reduce your risk by 18 per cent, or that having babies younger offers protection.
Fewer still appreciate that even one alcoholic drink a day increases our risk. On one level, even commercially-driven awareness about breast cancer is better than no awareness at all. But awareness can help to reduce stigma and make those affected feel supported. However, when it exists in a pink bubble, surrounded by euphemisms and feelgood slogans instead of facts, it can make people unnecessarily afraid. Several studies show that healthy women are likely to overestimate their risk of getting breast cancer by as much as eight times their actual risk.
The average woman has about a 12 per cent lifetime risk of developing it. An American oncologist, Todd Tuttle, recently told the New York Times he believes we have reached the stage where there is too much awareness. There are pink garbage trucks. Women are petrified. Double-edged sword It can be a double-edged sword for those who have cancer, too. The pink ribbon industry is predicated on positivity, but faced with the reality of the disease, not everybody is able to be positive.
The courageous Kerry teenager Donal Walsh was remarkable for his ability to remain upbeat in the face of devastating cancer diagnoses. But not all cancer sufferers are capable of that — nor should they feel obliged to be. Anger, sadness and fear are surely also valid and natural responses. In her book, Smile or Die, Barbra Ehrenreich describes how alienated she felt by constant reminders to think positive after her diagnosis, and by the infantilising nature of so much breast cancer merchandise — all those pink teddy bears, balloons and lip glosses. She notes that recent studies have questioned the belief that a positive mental attitude can help your immune system fight cancer.
The book is simultaneously practical, emotional, clinical and inspirational. Published in May , ISBN: click here to buy this book or to get pricing and ordering information.
If you are one of the 2. You have been through diagnosis and treatment; now you are ready to move from "I have breast cancer" back to "I am leading a normal life. Written from both a professional and personal perspective, Rebecca Zuckweiler covers the practical, physical, psychological, social aspects of life after mastectomy. Zuckweiler provides women with advice about buying and altering clothes, choosing a prosthesis, treatments for phantom pain, and new exercises to deal with the pain and special needs of mastectomy patients.
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Interested readers should be aware that Zuckweiler considers breast reconstruction immediately following mastectomy a poor choice. Her own implants failed and had to be removed 13 years later. Zuckweiler prefers instead to discuss a variety of external breast forms. Published in April , ISBN: click here to buy this book or to get pricing and ordering information. Written for patients, this book provides clear information on what lymphedema is and how it can occur. The authors describe treatment procedures to suit a range of needs, emphasizing that lymphedema can be treated successfully.
Other topics include preventing lymphedema, reducing lymphedema through professional therapy, reducing lymphedema through self-massage, and more. Published March , ISBN: click here to buy this book or to get pricing and ordering information. This book is one of the few available to help children understand and accept a breast cancer diagnosis in the family. Torrey is the daughter of a breast cancer survivor and developed the story after interviews with health care professionals and families experiencing the impact of breast cancer.
For ages five to After her breast cancer diagnosis in , Joyce Wadler, a smart, savvy, forty-something New York writer, fought back with a grounded, roll-with-the-punches outlook. She took charge of her treatments, her options, her life and her disease. My Breast is her irreverently witty, fiercely personal story of facing cancer's obstacles and uncertainties with feisty courage.
Read it for the first time, or read it again. In a new epilogue, meet Joyce Wadler as she is today. My Breast isn't the end of her journey, but a beginning! Award-winning journalist Laurie Tarkan whose mother died of a liver disorder when Tarkan was 11 years old shares the stories of 16 women whose mothers had been diagnosed with breast cancer in this emotional book. In between interviews, Tarkan interjects her own commentary and advice from psychologists. Published April , ISBN: click here to buy this book or to get pricing and ordering information.
Not Just One in Eight shares the stories of 18 women and one man, all of whom have had different experiences dealing with breast cancer. Each story takes an intimate look at the survivor and his or her family and addresses questions, such as how each person handled the diagnosis, what medical decisions were made, what fears were confronted, how relationships were strengthened or weakened, and how their children coped with their diagnosis of breast cancer.
Through firsthand accounts of ten survivors of breast cancer, the author offers support and advice concerning such issues as telling family about ones diagnosis, maintaining intimacy with a partner, and adjusting to a new body image. Appendices include fully annotated reading and resource lists as well as information about mammography and breast self-exams.
In her inspiration book, Gabbard tells the story of 17 women who battled breast cancer and then took on the challenge of climbing Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere, to raise money for breast cancer research and education programs. The mountain climb was the first of three climbs sponsored by the Breast Cancer Fund, a non-profit organization devoted to raising breast cancer awareness. Published July , ISBN: click here to buy this book or to get pricing and ordering information. Two sisters who are diagnosed with breast cancer offer guidance to other women who are battling the disease in this sensitive and emotionally supportive book.
There is no medical jargon or explanation of diagnostic or treatment options. Rather, this book is meant to serve as a positive, uplifting story for women who are facing breast cancer. In this compelling account written from within an illness, Kathlyn Conway gives us a deeply honest description of her own struggle with breast cancer and its many reverberations through her everyday life. Conway brings the reader to the heart of the experience of illness without preaching or being sentimental. Published December , ISBN: click here to buy this book or to get pricing and ordering information.
Cancer myths and facts - breast cancer and contraceptive pills
Our Mom Has Breast Cancer is written by two young girls, Adrienne Ackermann, 9, and Abigail Ackermann, 11, and is meant to help other children understand the impact of cancer on a family. According to the American Cancer Society, who published the book, the tone is upbeat, but Abigail and Adrienne do not shrink from honestly sharing their feelings. They write about the fear that their mother would die and the effects of chemotherapy, especially fatigue and nausea.
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The book ends with Adrienne and Abigail reflecting on their experience and how it has brought their family closer together. Now that author Mimi Dietrich has six cancer-free years behind her, she has combined her quilt-making talents and her experience with breast cancer to create an inspiring book of quilt projects especially for women and the people who love quilts struggling with breast cancer.
Quilters of all skill levels can create a quilt to brighten a day in the life of a breast cancer patient, survivor, or caregiver, and join Dietrich and thousands of other women in the enduring fight to find a cure for breast cancer. Eleven step-by-step projects include a comfort pillow, friendship quilts, and large raffle quilts. All of the designs use a pink-ribbon theme or pink fabric.
Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Breast cancer is the leading killer of women over 30, but its victims too often know too little about it.
Enough of the fuzzy euphemisms. It’s time for a grown-up conversation about breast cancer
Nancy Brinker's sister Susan died of the disease at the age of Nancy Brinker established The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in to honor the memory of her sister and to help other women learn about and beat breast cancer. When Brinker herself developed breast cancer, she became even more involved into learning about how to beat the dreaded killer. The book contains Nancy's personal story; however, the longer part of the book is devoted to guiding other women through the medical side of their breast cancer. The advice is sound but portions of it may be dated.
Nonetheless, this book will appeal greatly to breast cancer survivors who seek other stories of courage and wish to widen their acquaintance with the cause.
The author is a clinician who specializes in medical psychology and who herself has had breast cancer, twice. This is an unusually aware and supportive book that recognizes and addresses cancer's assault on one's senses of self, femininity, and womanhood. It speaks with equal resonance to women with or worried about cancer and to those who love them, as well as to the professionals in mental, physical, and spiritual health who work with them.
Kristine Falco leavens the hard parts with her unshakable assurance that the experience of cancer can lead to a "choiceful, redecided life based on new and amended definitions of womanhood and humanness. The author is a physical therapist who has worked almost exclusively with breast cancer patients for nearly 30 years. Stumm writes a warm and understanding book that uses the stories of real women as examples to discuss the best exercises and therapies for relieving pain after breast cancer surgery.
Breast cancer is the abnormal growth of the cells lining the breast lobules or ducts.
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