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After the Cure: The Untold Stories of Breast Cancer Survivors Hardcover – September 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0814707258 ISBN-10: 0814707254 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 203 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814707254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814707258
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,412,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A professor and an assistant research sociologist, respectively, at the University of California, Los Angeles, Abel and Subramanian speak with scores of breast cancer survivors to explore, in depth, the post-treatment symptoms caused by radiation, chemotherapy and surgery, "giving voice to a neglected aspect of the breast cancer experience." The women talk with Pat Garland, for example, whose treatment left her with several debilitating symptoms, including chronic joint pain in her arms and legs, that her doctors dismissed: "there was no validation... They saved my life, but then the value of my life after they saved it with the chemotherapy was zero." The authors hear similar stories from other women such as Ida Jaffe and Leanne Thomas, whose post-treatment symptoms include "hot flashes, dental and vision problems, insomnia, memory loss, fatigue and depression." With cogent, compassionate analysis, Subramanian and Abel (herself a survivor) remind us of the lasting effects of cancer diagnoses, and the tremendous work still ahead for patients who must learn to trust their gut, and doctors who must learn to listen more considerately.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“With cogent, compassionate analysis, Subramanian and Abel (herself a survivor) remind us of the lasting effects of cancer diagnoses, and the tremendous work still ahead for patients who must learn to trust their gut, and doctors who must learn to listen more considerately.”
-Pubishers Weekly

,

“Reveals the long-term post-treatment symptoms that physicians fail to address.”
-Library Journal

,

“An in-depth exploration of the symptoms experienced by some women after breast cancer treatment, giving voice to a neglected aspect of the breast cancer experience. . . . This book calls important attention to the plight of these women.”
-Patricia A. Ganz,University of California, Los Angeles, Schools of Medicine and Public Health



“After the Cure provides voice to breast cancer survivors thrust into a netherworld of chronic disability.”
-Macleans.ca

,

“Reveal[s] the long-term posttreatment symptoms that physicians fail to address. . . . Women who have felt more isolated after treatment will welcome this validation that they are not alone.”
-Library Journal

,

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book fills a very important void. As a psychologist working with many breast cancer survivors, I have witnessed the harm that occurs when women report disturbing symptoms, and are unable to find validation that these symptoms are real, and are, indeed, associated with breast cancer treatment. We know that human resilience is enhanced when the person suffering is able to share her experience with others. Knowing that she is not alone, and that she is not imagining the symptoms, will certainly enhance a woman's willingness to share. Rather than purely theoretical information, the book provides personal stories of numerous women. Not only do their stories illuminate common physical symptoms, but also, the emotional experience of having these symptoms, and of having breast cancer. My hope is that these first person accounts will influence researchers to examine the side effects of treatment. Until we find ways to avoid the side effects, we can, at the very least, validate the reality that breast cancer survivors endure.

The authors have treated the women, and the subject, with remarkable sensitivity. The book is extraordinarily engrossing. I highly recommend the book to women undergoing breast cancer treatment, to their family members and friends. And I strongly encourage the health care professionals to read the book, and consider sharing it with their patients.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Claire F Doyle on June 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
The typical image you see of a breast cancer survivor is a smiling, fit woman in pink finishing up a Komen run or an Avon 3-day walk. This book looks at the rest of us, the women who are continuing to struggle with treatment side effects for a year or more after treatment. Around a third of a women who undergo BC treatment are having issues with fatigue 1-5 years later. Cancer-related fatigue ("chemo brain") can be permanent. This book focuses on women whose lives have been restricted, jobs lost, careers ended, due to the long term effects of being cured. An epilog looks again at some of the women many more years down the line...some have settled on reduced careers, some are doing great, some are struggling with recurrences or metastases. The book also delves into the guilt and shame that women feel when they aren't able to bounce back the way their doctors, families, and friends would prefer.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a 6 year breast cancer survivor ( though I have a hard time saying survivor because I am still dealing with what cancer left me with)..
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Dee Man on December 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read this book as a spouse of a cancer survivor (my wife) who recovered from Hodgkins. I didn't realize the format of the book was really quotes from cancer survivors. Overall, I thought the book did a good job at capturing the sentiments of breast cancer survivors, and is a good resource to bring survivors out of the emotional isolation that comes with being around hospitals.

That being said I thought there was a lot of quotes of resentment and anger towards the medical community - justified, to be sure - but which I do not think are healthy attitudes for people recovering from cancer. One woman describes a response to her friend who said cancer is a "blessing". "So then finally I said to her, 'You know, I have you on my prayer list. I pray you get cancer so you see the wonderful happiness and goodness that comes out of this'".

I'm pulling this quote from the entire book to give you it's more cynical side. Obviously there are good parts of the book - Chapters 3 and 4 in particular, which talk about healthy recovery.
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