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Surviving Triple Negative Breast Cancer: Hope, Treatment, and Recovery [Hardcover]

Patricia Prijatel
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 11 2012 0195387627 978-0195387629 1
After her diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), health journalist Patricia Prijatel did what any reporter would do: start investigating the disease, how it occurs, and how it's treated. While she learned that important research 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. Hormone-negative breast cancer disproportionately affects younger women and African-American women - and 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; 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 to understanding a pathology report and 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 do survive. Surviving Triple Negative Breast Cancer is a roadmap for women who want to be empowered through their treatment and recovery.

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"Surviving Triple-Negative Breast Cancer is a clear and comprehensive guide, a useful companion to anyone traveling the path of a hormone-negative breast cancer diagnosis. Patricia Prijatel's tone is that of a gentle authority, as one who has made the journey and is living disease-free. Her research is thorough; her perspective, genuine. Although today, there are no targeted therapies, she focuses on current promising possibilities within the patient's control, such as diet modification and weight loss. Patricia shares her valuable knowledge generously, relaying a hopeful message." -- Lori Redmer, Executive Director, Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation



"A wonderful blend of memoir, health information, and hope." -- Julie Silver, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, and author of What Helped Get Me Through: Cancer Survivors Share Wisdom and Hope(American Cancer Society)


"The voice of a true friend echoes throughout these pages. I congratulate [the author] on a monumental achievement. She has distilled a great deal of information down to a highly readable volume." -- Carol EH Scott-Conner, Professor of Surgery, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine


"With its blending of facts, personal information, and gentle humor, this book will be valuable to anyone diagnosed with breast cancer, whether triple-negative or not." -- Madlyn Ferraro, former network coordinator of cancer clinical trials, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


"Prijatel's journalistic skills are evident in her fluid prose and the detail with which she lays out the specifics of TNBC . . . She states her goal here is to 'inform, educate, calm, and encourage.' She does so in fine form. Highly recommended." --Library Journal, starred review


"This well-written and informative book would certainly benefit anyone whose life has been touched by triple-negative breast cancer. It is written by a journalist who clearly knows how to research information, and she explains the most important messages in terms that readers of most educational backgrounds can understand without overwhelming them." -- Sandra Joy Peacock, University of New Mexico Cancer Center, Doody's


About 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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars informative Dec 29 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
good informative information, organized and easy to read. Gives you hope of survival and treatment options. stops the blame game.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  53 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good intro to TNBC, but not final word on after treatment lifestyle Jan. 22 2013
By Michigan Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A good beginning reference for anyone recently diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). An accurate description of the disease and medical research, with footnotes and references. This allows the reader to research topics of personal interest in more detail.

However, in terms of making treatment decisions and surviving TNBC, I found this book lacking. I guess this is where the footnotes become so important -- Prijatel provides a roadmap for TNBC, but leaves the reader with the responsibility to research topics in more detail. A reasonable approach to an information-rich topic.

The concluding recommendations for surviving TNBC are largely based on the author's personal experience, and I found this part of the book most lacking. She writes much about life style changes (meditation, diet, etc.), but only gives a mention of breast reconstruction, lymphedema, metastatic disease, etc. A comprehensive book, focused on a quality of life after treatment, should address such topics more completely.

Dr. Susan Love's Breast Cancer Book is another recommended reference about breast cancer, its treatment, and life afterward.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview, but with a caveat July 8 2013
By K. Polzin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This book gives a detailed overview of triple negative breast cancer and its treatment. Prijatel includes real stories of triple negative breast cancer patients to illustrate the information.

A caveat: Some breast cancer patients prefer not to read about the specifics of prognosis, life expectancy, etc. They should not read this book. It might be anxiety-producing for those people. Everyone else will find it well-written and informative.

One quibble: The book has a LOT of statistics, perhaps a bit too much; there are many inset boxes detailing the results of studies, or providing epidemiological data, some of which was already summarized in the text. And not all the statistics were illuminating.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have book on Breast Cancer Nov. 5 2012
By Patricia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is a marvelous book. When I ordered it I assumed it was the usual memoir on an encounter with breast cancer (I like those kinds of books) but this is so much more. Actually, she mostly covers the memoir part in the first 20 pages and then she gets down to the facts about this disease. She is primarily writing about "triple-negative" breast cancer (I'll let her explain what that is since she does it so well) but I think it is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in breast cancer. I wish I had had this book when I was diagnosed (same year as her - 2005 - and I am just 5 years older than she is). It would have explained so much and set me up to ask much better questions. She is not a doctor but a professor and a journalist and she has done her research in spades. The factual information is quite incredible. She carefully explains all about breast cancer and then tells you what to ask, how to deal with your doctors and with treatment options and she shares stories of others who have been through it. It is a very positive book, assuring readers that breast cancer is usually a survivable disease and she helps you confront the myriad decisions on treatment that usually overwhelm those newly diagnosed. And she helps you read all those dreadful statistics in a positive light. Throughout all this serious stuff, she is suddenly and unexpectedly funny! Quite a sense of humor. And I loved that she honestly shared her feelings and her fears of reoccurrence. Cancer makes you paranoid and she faces that quite honestly. I think many people will find that aspect very helpful.

Since the subject is breast cancer, I would like to share a few personal thoughts with those who are newly diagnosed. I had Stage IIa with extension to the lymph nodes and have been through the surgeries, chemo and fallout, and radiation but I want to say this: you will get over it. Most newly diagnosed patients will go on to live full lives. The initial diagnosis and treatment options are overwhelming. When I went to "chemo class" to learn what was coming, I walked out deciding to have no treatment at all - but of course I changed my mind when faced with the alternatives! But in the end it is really not that bad - there are definitely some miserable times (chemo blew out my gall bladder - it was full of gangrene!) but you get through them. When you are in the middle of it, it seems that for about a year the doctors take over your life - but then lo and behold you get your life back! It helped me that my 70-year old sister has been through breast cancer twice and (two different cancers) and now is fighting a lymphoma, but she still teaches every day and is deeply involved with her 6 small grandchildren. Her quality of life is good and the docs assure her that this latest cancer won't kill her. So hang in there - you do have a future. The fears will fade and you will go on with your life. Having had cancer just becomes the "new normal" in your life - it somehow just fits in and you get used to it.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Information in a great format Nov. 5 2012
By Lydia B - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a triple negative breast cancer survivor. There is not a lot of information specifically for triple negative, so I read everything I can find. This book not only gives a large amount of information but weaves in stories of people who have battled it. This keeps you from getting bogged down with just facts -- it gives the human picture too. I am very interested in learning all I can. There are links to many web sites that give additional facts, studies, etc. I have found it to be a great resource and encouragement.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful guide for helping me to make sure do all I can to survive TNBC Oct. 18 2012
By Cndyp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I pre ordered the book, it arrived today, I am halfway through it by evening. I loved her writing style with bits of humor sprinkled through out. I have Triple Negative Breast Cancer and finish radiation in two days. I am thrilled to have found this roadmap to help me make sure I have all the information I need to help me survive TNBC. I am sure many women will benefit from this book. Thank you Patricia for your research!!
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