Taking charge of breast cancer /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Ericksen, Julia A., 1941-
Imprint:Berkeley : University of California Press, ©2008.
Description:1 online resource (xiv, 319 pages)
Subject:Breast -- Cancer -- Patients -- Interviews.
Breast -- Cancer -- Psychological aspects.
Breast Neoplasms -- psychology.
HEALTH & FITNESS -- Diseases -- Cancer.
SOCIAL SCIENCE -- Gender Studies.
Breast -- Cancer -- Patients.
Breast -- Cancer -- Psychological aspects.
Electronic books.
Electronic books.
Format: E-Resource Book
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/11172305
Hidden Bibliographic Details
Notes:Includes bibliographical references (pages 293-306) and index.
Print version record.
Summary:Vividly showcasing diverse voices and experiences, this book illuminates an all-too-common experience by exploring how women respond to a diagnosis of breast cancer. Drawing from interviews in which women describe their journeys from diagnosis through treatment and recovery, Julia A. Ericksen explores topics ranging from women's trust in their doctors to their feelings about appearance and sexuality. She includes the experiences of women who do not put their faith in traditional medicine as well as those who do, and she takes a look at the long-term consequences of this disease. What emerges from her powerful and often moving account is a compelling picture of how cultural messages about breast cancer shape women's ideas about their illness, how breast cancer affects their relationships with friends and family, why some of them become activists, and more. Ericksen, herself a breast cancer survivor, has written an accessible book that reveals much about the ways in which we narrate our illnesses and about how these narratives shape the paths we travel once diagnosed.
Other form:Print version: Ericksen, Julia A., 1941- Taking charge of breast cancer. Berkeley : University of California Press, ©2008 9780520252912 0520252918
Standard no.:9786611385675
Review by Choice Review

The title and cover art notwithstanding, this is not a self-help book written for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. Instead, Ericksen (sociology, Temple Univ., and herself a breast cancer survivor) presents a well-crafted sociological analysis of the varying ways women approach their diagnosis and treatment. From her interviews of almost a hundred women, she has created a typology of approaches based on the women's attitudes toward biomedical authority and their involvement in decisions about their treatment. Each of four chapters focuses on one type, fleshing out the analysis with interview excerpts from a few representative cases. Additional chapters discuss the patients' responses to treatment consequences: breast disfigurement, hair loss, weight gain, and other bodily changes. One chapter, "Breast Cancer Activism, Education, Support," offers an unusual look at breast cancer fund-raising, public awareness, and patient support resources in the US, emphasizing philosophical and political disparity and linking constituencies back to her typology and case studies. Though grounded in solid scholarship, with some 50 pages of notes and bibliography, Ericksen's work is highly readable, a fine example of ethnographically based microsociology. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels. E. L. Maher emerita, Indiana University South Bend

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review