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Gilda's Disease: Sharing Personal Experiences and a Medical Perspective on Ovarian Cancer Paperback – February 2, 1998


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Gilda's Disease: Sharing Personal Experiences and a Medical Perspective on Ovarian Cancer + It's Always Something: Twentieth Anniversary Edition + SNL - Best of Gilda Radner
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (February 2, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076790138X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767901383
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,493,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After the death of comedienne Gilda Radner from ovarian cancer in 1989, her husband, Gene Wilder, contacted Piver, chief of gynecological oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., to learn more about the disease that killed his wife. In this overview of ovarian cancer, Piver outlines known causes, preventive measures, symptoms and available treatments for this disease. Interspersed with the medical information are excerpts from Radner's book, It's Always Something, written when she was under treatment; personal comments by Wilder; and letters from other women who have been treated for this condition. Because in its early stages, ovarian cancer can be symptom-free, this straightforward, textbook-like presentation is useful. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.) FYI: All royalties will be contributed to two agencies for women with ovarian cancer: Gilda's Club and the Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Comedienne Gilda Radner's death from ovarian cancer in May_ 1989 galvanized media attention to the disease and its risk factors. When Wilder, her widower, questioned exclusion of certain facts from a July_ 1989 New York Times article, he was referred to Piver at the Roswell Cancer Institute. The doctor and the actor wound up collaborating on this book, which details causes of the cancer, including "the high-fat, Western diet" ; preventive measures, including oral contraceptives and pregnancy as well as surgical removal of the ovaries; diagnosis; types and stages of the disease; surgical procedures and chemotherapy; alternative therapies, from coffee enemas to touch therapy; and initial thoughts on gene therapy. Wilder's moving personal perspective makes the guide a yet more valuable addition to the growing number of books on women's health concerns. All royalties will benefit Gilda's Club, a free, nonresidential cancer sufferers' support community in New York City, and the Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry in Buffalo. Whitney Scott --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Grovefam@mail.misnet.com on September 20, 1997
Format: Hardcover
One of the most feared cancers is ovarian cancer, with good reason. It may be asymptomatic; what early symptoms do appear are vague, diffuse, and often are not taken seriously by either women or their doctors. As a result, the disease is often advanced before diagnosis occurs--as in the tragic case of Gilda Radner.

This book lives up to its subtitle: sharing personal experiences and a medical perspective on
ovarian cancer. The personal experiences are excerpts from Gilda's book "It's Always Something", excerpts from letters to Gene Wilder, and comments from him. I defy any one to be unmoved by these pages. The voice of the cancer victim and the cancer survivor come through, sometimes tragic, sometimes comic, always honest.

The medical perspective, interwoven with the pertinent experiences, is equally valuable. I think it is superb. Dr. Piver has a remarkable talent for clear and succinct treatment of such complex and scary topics as surgical staging, the 30 different types of ovarian cancer, survival rates and alternative therapies. His historical perspective and obvious mastery of the field enable him to answer the most difficult question-- with a minimum of gobbledegook, and with up-to-date information. This book is almost like having a humane and sympathetic gynecological oncologist across the desk.

Of course, this book could save your life or that
of someone you love. Information is one of the best weapons we have against this killer. I am in awe of how much information and wisdom these gentlemen have packed into 184 pages. I could not recommend it more highly.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was healthy, young and active when,out of the blue, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The next thing I knew they cut me up, filled me with poison (chemo), blasted me into premature menopause and made my hair fall out. I was so overwhelmed.
A kind friend gave me this book. It gave me a clue about what was happening. I read and re-read it and began to understand my disease. With understanding comes hope.
If you know someone with ovarian cancer -- give them (and yourself) this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sylvia S. Davi on December 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A great first read after diagnosis. Very informative about the why's and wherefore's regarding ovarian cancer made personal with excerpts from Gilda's Radner's book: It's Always Something (a great second read).
The author writes with authority and compassion, a rather rare combination in the medical profession. A welcomed book at a time when one needs facts combined with heart.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 1997
Format: Hardcover
The book explains the experiences of Gilda and Gene. It provides an understandable decription of the symptoms, treatment, and the experience of having Ovarian Cancer.It helped me understand what had happened, and was about to happen to my Mother. How the Cancer could have gone so far with so many doctors looking for a cause of all the symptoms they could not find a cause for, till it was too late
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ross Robertson on November 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
Gilda Radner was a comedienne that is remembered as the years pass as a unique character, especially as one of the original cast of Saturday Night Live. Her Roseanne Roseannadanna or Baba Wawa skits were enough to make someone collapse to the floor from laughter. She married fellow actor Gene Wilder, whom we remember from such film as Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein. They were a happy and no doubt "comical" pair; however, Gilda was diagnosed with Stage IV Ovarian Cancer on October 25, 1986. She had been having symptoms previously, but the doctors had been unable to detect the signs of the disease until that time. She underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and many other treatments but passed away on May 20, 1989. After her death, her husband kept her memory alive with his actions to bring about ovarian cancer awareness.
Gilda's Disease by Dr. Steven Piver and Gene Wilder talks about a remarkable woman. The book is written from three perspectives: It has insight from Gilda's autobiography It's Always Something, insights and an introduction from Gene Wilder, and medical knowledge from Dr. Piver. The book not only describes Gilda and Gene's last years together, but also the medical aspect of what happened and why. It is a very informative text, and has a very good description of a first-hand experience of cancer. It explains how cancer is a multitude of diseases that are characterized by the unrestrained growth of mutated cells. It describes the genetic defects of cancer cells, like the mutation of the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 proteins.
The book was very powerful, with pieces that were full of sorrow and laughter. Because it's not written by Gilda, we sympathize with both her and her husband by hearing the story from both sides.
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