cover image Feisty Womans Breast Cancer Book(t

Feisty Womans Breast Cancer Book(t

Elaine Ratner. Hunter House Publishers, $14.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-89793-269-1

A woman with an immensely positive attitude, Ratner, a Berkeley, Calif.-based editor and writer, offers this guide to the psychological and emotional aspects of breast cancer. Ratner describes her own encounter with the disease in 1995, when, at age 51, she found two lumps that were later diagnosed as malignant. The experience led her to challenge prevailing myths about breasts and women's self-image, and to assert her right to make decisions about her own body. She urges women to take time to learn about their treatment options, to find a doctor they can trust, to have confidence in their own decisions--and to expect a good outcome. She especially counsels sharing thoughts and feelings with family, friends and even one's children. Her own experience was indeed a positive one: four years after cancer, she is healthy and happy, and she reminds women that the great majority of those with breast cancer will, like her, recover. Never saccharine, and often adamant (she argues that women shouldn't let doctors convince them to have breast reconstruction on grounds that they would be incomplete without it), Ratner delivers an upbeat message about assertiveness, strength and positive thinking. (Oct.)