Surviving Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Hope, Treatment, and Recovery

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Overview

After her diagnosis of hormone-negative breast cancer, health journalist Patricia Prijatel did what any reporter would do: start investigating the disease, how it occurs, how it's treated, and how to keep it from recurring. While she learned that important research on triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) was emerging, she found a noticeable lack of resources on the disease, which differs from hormone-positive breast cancer in important ways, including prognosis and treatment options. Triple-negative breast cancer...

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Surviving Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Hope, Treatment, and Recovery

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Overview

After her diagnosis of hormone-negative breast cancer, health journalist Patricia Prijatel did what any reporter would do: start investigating the disease, how it occurs, how it's treated, and how to keep it from recurring. While she learned that important research on triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) was emerging, she found a noticeable lack of resources on the disease, which differs from hormone-positive breast cancer in important ways, including prognosis and treatment options. Triple-negative breast cancer disproportionately affects younger women and African-American women—and some forms of it can be more dangerous than other types of breast cancer. But there are many reasons to be hopeful, as Prijatel shows in this book.

Surviving Triple-Negative Breast Cancer delivers research-based information on the biology of TNBC; the role of genetics, family history, and race; how to navigate treatment options; understanding a pathology report; and a plethora of strategies to reduce the risk of recurrence, including diet and lifestyle changes. In clear, approachable language, Prijatel provides a fact-filled guide based on a vast array of scientific studies. Woven throughout the book are stories of women who have faced TNBC. These are mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters who went through a variety of medical treatments and then got on with life—one competes in triathlons, two had babies after being treated with chemo, one got remarried in her 50s, and one just celebrated the 30th birthday of the son she was nursing when she was diagnosed.

Writing with honesty and humor, Prijatel delivers an inspiring message—that TNBC is a disease to take seriously, with proper and occasionally aggressive treatment, but it is not automatically a killer. Most women diagnosed with the disease survive and go on to live full lives. Surviving Triple-Negative Breast Cancer is a roadmap for women who want to be empowered through their treatment and recovery.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
09/01/2014
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC)—estrogen-receptor negative, progesterone-receptor negative, and negative for the Her2/neu human epidermal growth factor receptor—is the triple whammy of cancer diagnoses. Journalist and TNBC survivor Prijatel here lays out the specifics of this rare form of the disease. Highly recommended. (LJ 9/1/12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199393855
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 265,311
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Prijatel, E.T. Meredith Distinguished Professor Emerita at Drake University, has helped educate, motivate, support, and challenge people for the better part of three decades. She is a nationally published magazine writer, an award-winning teacher, and a well-respected writing coach. Her "Positives About Negative" blog has reached more than 100,000 readers and is one of the few sites that deals specifically with triple negative breast cancer.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Carol Scott-Conner, MD, PhD

Chapter 1: The Sun Shines on My Bald Head

Chapter 2: What is this Disease?

Chapter 3: Understanding Your Diagnosis

Chapter 4: The Biology of Triple Negative

Chapter 5: Treatment: Your Options

Chapter 6: The Positives of Healthy Living

Chapter 7: My Life Right Now

Glossary

Annotated Pathology Report: Pat's Case

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 10, 2015

    more from this reviewer

    In March of 1989, my mother was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. M

    In March of 1989, my mother was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. My parents, determined to fight it out, took to reading all they could on the subject, spending an enormous amount of time at the University of California, Irvine medical library. Later that year, after my father began his Ph.D. program and could actually check out books, I remember them bringing home gigantic black volumes with long words and gross pictures. They became completely absorbed in studying this disease, the effects of chemotherapy and radiation, and the consequences of postponing the treatments (since by then it was apparent that my mother was also pregnant). It was obviously a daunting task, being pre-internet and all. And I think the only reason why my parents didn’t let themselves get too intimidated by the research was partly because the situation was desperate and partly because they both had their Masters degrees. At any rate, I’m convinced that they would’ve welcomed an easier way to start their search than with the card files on obscure academic journal articles.

    This is what came to mind when I read Surviving Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Hope, Treatment, and Recovery (Oxford University Press, 2014). The author, Patricia Prijatel, is a health journalist who, after being diagnosed with TNBC, a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer, undertook the same sort of research that my parents did years ago. Recognizing that many other patients could benefit from a concise book that guides the reader through the basics, she wrote Surviving TNBC.

    In a warm tone, filled with empathy, Prijatel educates her readers on causes, treatments, risks, statistics, and other information while providing an extensive number of references for those who don’t mind delving further. You might ask why I think books like this needed. Sure, we have Wikipedia, but that doesn’t cover a whole lot. And it’s not like the average reader is going to want to go directly to the medical journals cited. Prijatel’s book does that for you. In other words, it has the potential to encourage those who never liked school to educate themselves about the disease.

    Where I think the book’s chief disadvantage lies is the likelihood of it quickly becoming outdated, especially since TNBC is a “newer” disease about which more is constantly being discovered. It also is a bit technical at times, when I think an easy-read approach is warranted. In addition, I wish that it had a comprehensive bibliography at the end, rather than just the end notes after each chapter.

    Is Surviving TNBC a tear jerker? Not really. While Prijatel does tell her personal story, she’s writing an informative book, not a biography. Readers looking for an emotional connection with another survivor might have to look elsewhere. Luckily though, Prijatel has a blog, Positives About Negative, that I suspect allows for more personal interaction. And from the looks of it she seems to be doing well, despite various setbacks – something in which her readers can most certainly take comfort.

    Disclaimer: I received a uncorrected advance reading copy of this book through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program. I was not required to write a favorable review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2013

    A Must Read for those diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer!

    I came across this book shortly after I was diagnosed with this type of Breast Cancer. I don't normally read non-fiction books, but this book is written in a way that keeps you interested in the topic. It is extremely informative and the author gives you research details in a way that is easy to understand for those who aren't doctors or medical researchers. I could easily relate to the survivor profiles in every chapter. This book truly helped me understand more about my cancer and gave me the hope and self-impowerment that I needed during my treatment and reconstruction journey.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Highly recommended. I told our support group moderator about the book so she could recommend it to other triple negative survivors and patients. It gives you a wealth of information.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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