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.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2008 Release date: 09/01/2008 Genre: Nonfiction