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December 9, 1992

My Breast: One Woman's Cancer Story

JAMA. 1992;268(22):3257. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490220101045

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If there are a dozen or more memoirs of breast cancer in print, it is because it is indeed an epidemic. To the list add My Breast: One Woman's Cancer Story. Journalist Joyce Wadler recounts diagnosis, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy with clarity, candor, and a continuous, irreverent humor. She touches on, among other things, second opinions, multispecialty care, and, through the eloquent words of a social worker, the problem with the idea that a positive mental attitude prevents cancer, with its sad blame-the-victim corrollary. In her afterword, breast cancer specialist Dr Susan Love corrects misimpressions, some, as she notes, ironically the result of public service messages, and sounds a strong call for more attention to this affliction of one in nine women.