2009 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
2009 Association of American University Presses Award for Jacket Design
Chemo brain. Fatigue. Chronic pain. Insomnia. Depression. These are just a few of the ongoing, debilitating symptoms that plague some breast-cancer survivors long after their treatments have officially ended. While there are hundreds of books about breast cancer, ranging from practical medical advice to inspirational stories of survivors, what has been missing until now is testimony from the thousands of women who continue to struggle with persistent health problems.
After the Cure is a compelling read filled with fascinating portraits of more than seventy women who are living with the aftermath of breast cancer. Emily K. Abel is one of these women. She and her colleague, Saskia K. Subramanian, whose mother died of cancer, interviewed more than seventy breast cancer survivors who have suffered from post-treatment symptoms. Having heard repeatedly that “the problems are all in your head,” many don't know where to turn for help. The doctors who now refuse to validate their symptoms are often the very ones they depended on to provide life-saving treatments. Sometimes family members who provided essential support through months of chemotherapy and radiation don't believe them. Their work lives, already disrupted by both cancer and its treatment, are further undermined by the lingering symptoms. And every symptom serves as a constant reminder of the trauma of diagnosis, the ordeal of treatment, and the specter of recurrence.
Most narratives about surviving breast cancer end with the conclusion of chemotherapy and radiation, painting stereotypical portraits of triumphantly healthy survivors, women who not only survive but emerge better and stronger than before. Here, at last, survivors step out of the shadows and speak compellingly about their “real” stories, giving voice to the complicated, often painful realities of life after the cure.
This book received funding from the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
|Publisher:||New York University Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Emily K. Abel is Professor in the School of Public Health and Women’s Studies Department, University of California, Los Angeles. A breast cancer survivor, she is the author of many books, including Hearts of Wisdom: American Women Caring for Kin, 1850–1940.
Saskia K. Subramanian is assistant research sociologist in the UCLA Center for Culture and Health as well as a visiting assistant professor in the UCLA Women’s Studies Department.
Table of Contents
Foreword Patricia A. Ganz ix
1 "Standing on New Ground" 19
2 "We Saved your Life. Now Leave Us the Hell Alone" 39
3 Remedying, Managing, and Making do 65
4 "Like Talking to a Wall" 81
5 Narrowed Lives 97
6 "Turning a Bad Experience into Something Good" 119
About the Authors 183
What People are Saying About This
“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.”
“An in-depth exploration of the symptoms experienced by some women after breast cancer treatment, giving voice to a neglected aspect of the breast cancer experience. . . . This book calls important attention to the plight of these women.”
-Patricia A. Ganz,University of California, Los Angeles, Schools of Medicine and Public Health
“Reveal[s] the long-term posttreatment symptoms that physicians fail to address. . . . Women who have felt more isolated after treatment will welcome this validation that they are not alone.”
“Reveals the long-term post-treatment symptoms that physicians fail to address.”
“After the Cure provides voice to breast cancer survivors thrust into a netherworld of chronic disability.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews