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Women Confront Cancer: Twenty-One Leaders Making Medical History by Choosing Alternative and Complementary Therapies

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Each year hundreds of thousands of women are diagnosed with cancer. More and more frequently, women are turning to alternative treatments to take control of their illnesses and their lives. Information, however, has been scarce for women navigating through conventional and unconventional medicine. Research funding continues to support traditional cancer therapies. Women Confront Cancer declares the need for new, less toxic therapies and diagnostic procedures.

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Overview

Each year hundreds of thousands of women are diagnosed with cancer. More and more frequently, women are turning to alternative treatments to take control of their illnesses and their lives. Information, however, has been scarce for women navigating through conventional and unconventional medicine. Research funding continues to support traditional cancer therapies. Women Confront Cancer declares the need for new, less toxic therapies and diagnostic procedures.

For the first time, Women Confront Cancer unites the voices of women leaders who have breast, cervical, ovarian, and other cancers. Documenting the decision process, the choices, and the dilemmas these women faced as they chose alternative and complementary cancer treatments, a powerful unity emerges, pointing the way to the future of the diagnosis and treatment of cancer by less toxic methods. Ann Frahm, the author of A Cancer Battle Plan, Susan Moss, the author of Keep Your Breasts, and Cathy Hitchcock, coauthor of Breast Cancer, are only three of the leaders who relate their personal experiences with cancer. All of the women featured in Women Confront Cancer share how and why they created treatment programs that combine the best of conventional and unconventional approaches, and how it has improved their health and their lives.

A call for patients' rights, for policy reform in cancer research and for better information about both conventional and alternative medicine, Women Confront Cancer will be both a source of inspiration for women who have cancer and an aid for them in creating their own approach to healing.

The book contains no figures.

An innovative resource for women who want to play an active and more informed role in their own cancer treatment. Through extensive interviews, this book unites the voices of women leaders who have breast, cervical, ovarian, and other cancers. Documenting the decision process, the choices, and the dilemmas these women faced as they chose alternative and complementary cancer treatments, a powerful unity emerges, pointing the way to the future of the diagnosis and treatment of cancer by less toxic methods. All of the women featured share how and why they created treatment programs that combine the best of conventional and unconventional approaches, and how it has improved their health and their lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Kathleen O'Connell
This is a collection of different women's experienceswith conventional and alternative/complementary medicine. The purposeis to present stories and information regarding patients' experienceswith breast cancer with conventional and alternative/complementarymedicine. This is a worthy objective. The personal stories at timesseemed more emotional than objective. This book is targeted at alarge audience of patients, doctors, health professionals, andadvocates, according to the editors. The contributors interviewed thepatients and did not attach any follow-up documentation of data thatshould be available to the medical community, Medical, psychosocial,and political aspects of breast cancer care are discussed. The bestaspects of the book are the personal reflections. The women seem quitecompassionate. The main shortcoming is the misleading data onconventional medical intervention. Alternative/complementary therapiescan be presented in a positive way alongside modern, conventionalmedicine. The women's stories about their breast cancer experiencesportray conventional medicine in a very negative light. The concludingchapter attempts to analyze both aspects of breast care, but it is notenough. Women need to decide on their care with strong, accurateinformation. My fear is that women will not heed the warnings againstusing this book for medical advice. It needs added accurateresearch-based information to back up each chaptertopic.
Library Journal
A collection of profiles of women with breast and other cancers, this work stems from research funded by the National Cancer Institute to study the public's understanding of science. The selected women represent "the opinion leaders in the intersecting worlds of cancer, advocacy, the women's health movement and alternative/complementary medicine." Informal and open-ended interviews, based on a uniform series of questions, include personal experiences, how decisions were made, what role science or other factors played, advice for other women, and personal opinions on cancer research and publicly funded organizations. Written by a research biochemist (Wooddell) and a professor of anthropology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Hess), the book is informative but easy to read and even personable. Often-quoted references include Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book (LJ 6/1/95) and Susan Weed's Breast Cancer? Breast Health! The Wise Woman Way (Ash Tree, 1996). As a call for patients' rights and partnership in medical care, this work is recommended for public libraries and consumer health collections.--Virginia Lingle, Hershey Medical Ctr. Lib., Pennsylvania State Univ., Hershey
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Kathleen O'Connell, MSW (Northwestern Memorial Hospital)
Description: This is a collection of different women's experiences with conventional and alternative/complementary medicine.
Purpose: The purpose is to present stories and information regarding patients' experiences with breast cancer with conventional and alternative/complementary medicine. This is a worthy objective. The personal stories at times seemed more emotional than objective.
Audience: This book is targeted at a large audience of patients, doctors, health professionals, and advocates, according to the editors. The contributors interviewed the patients and did not attach any follow-up documentation of data that should be available to the medical community,
Features: Medical, psychosocial, and political aspects of breast cancer care are discussed. The best aspects of the book are the personal reflections. The women seem quite compassionate. The main shortcoming is the misleading data on conventional medical intervention. Alternative/complementary therapies can be presented in a positive way alongside modern, conventional medicine.
Assessment: The women's stories about their breast cancer experiences portray conventional medicine in a very negative light. The concluding chapter attempts to analyze both aspects of breast care, but it is not enough. Women need to decide on their care with strong, accurate information. My fear is that women will not heed the warnings against using this book for medical advice. It needs added accurate research-based information to back up each chapter topic.
From the Publisher

"Women Confront Cancer offers more than case stories of hope triumphing over despair, more than options, alternatives and resources. Its message about individuality, empowerment and leadership makes it must reading for every woman diagnosed with cancer. Its quiet demand for medical freedom of choice and for a patient-driven shift in oncologic policy should be heard by every professional in the cancer field. If ever there was a time for this book, it is now."

-Susan Silberstein, Ph.D.,Executive Director of the Center for Advancement in Cancer Education

"Without telling us what we ought to do, these women make it clear what we can do: Remember that miracles do occur and that no one, not even orthodox medicine, has all the answers."

-Susun S. Weed,author of Breast Cancer? Breast Health!, The Wise Woman Way

"An outstanding contribution to the international debate over breast cancer. Women Confront Cancer not only focuses on exciting new non-conventional treatment options, but allows outspoken women cancer patients to describe their experiences and ordeals in their own words. A landmark in the struggle for patient autonomy."

-Ralph Moss, Ph.D.,author of The Cancer Industry


2 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814735862
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1998
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.23 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret J. Wooddell was a research biochemist for Burroughs Wellcome Company. She is a doctoral candidate at Rensselar Polytechnic Institute.

David J. Hess is Professor of Anthropology in the Science and Technology Studies Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His books include Science Studies: An Advanced Introduction (also available from NYU Press), Science in the New Age and Science and Technology in a Multicultural World.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Patient No More 9
2 The Growing Lymphedema Epidemic 18
3 Giving Your Program 100 Percent 33
4 A Mother Battles the FDA for Medical Freedom 41
5 Using Visualization and Fantasy for Healing 50
6 Diet, Faith, and the Manner Protocol 57
7 On Becoming a Cancer Activist 69
8 Maintaining Hope after the Doctors Give Up 80
9 Saying No to a Mastectomy - Twenty-Five Years Ago 91
10 Overcoming Cancer with Diet 103
11 What Your Doctor May Not Tell You 110
12 Confronting "National Breast Policy" 120
13 A Doctor Combines Chemo and Macrobiotics 137
14 The Wake-Up Call from Your Body 147
15 Everything Counts 159
16 Cancer as a Spiritual Voyage 168
17 A Chemist on Grapes, Nutrition, and the Bible 178
18 The Marathon Olympic Tumor Eradication and Prevention Program 189
19 Going to Mexico to Regain Medical Choice 197
20 A Journey from the Personal to the Political 209
21 Healing through Personal Power 221
Conclusion 229
Index 253
About the Authors 257
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2000

    None-Victim Strategies for Breast Cancer

    'Women Confront Cancer' is a powerful testimony from survivors of breast cancer who took matters into their own hands. 'Passive patients fare worse,' is a classic rule-of-thumb in the Medical Literature on Cancer. Yet the Medical Establishment would turn us into robots to operate upon, poison, and burn with carcinogenic radiation as if disease could be 'killed.' Unfortunately, disease cannot be surgically removed or cut out of the body. Disease cannot be killed, only the patient. These women have the courage to just say no and get well with alternative natural treatments instead of destroying their immune system with medical 'treatments.' These treatments will be called 'the dark ages of cancer treatment,' someday.

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