Living Beyond Breast Cancer: A Survivor's Guide for When Treatment Ends and the Rest of Your Life Begins

James Metz, MD
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Authors: Marisa C. Weiss, MD, and Ellen Weiss
Publisher: Times Books, Random House
Price: $16.95 US
ISBN: 0-8129-2689-7
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Marisa Weiss, MD is a founder of the nonprofit organization Living Beyond Breast Cancer. This organization offers support to breast cancer survivors to help them cope with the emotional, financial, and physical hurdles which arise after their treatment has completed. Ellen Weiss has been involved with Living Beyond Breast Cancer since it was founded. The two authors have worked to create an excellent reference for the breast cancer survivor.

This book guides the breast cancer survivor through many of the issues that she may face in the coming days, months, or years. The authors utilize quotations of many patients who have dealt with these issues. This gives the reader the benefit of personal experiences which relate to their own. There are in-depth analyses of complicated medical topics that are explained without confusing medical jargon. The authors include excellent chapters on breast reconstruction, tamoxifen, lymphedema, diet, and menopause. The important issues of medical follow-up, recurrence of cancer, and metastatic disease are also extensively addressed. There is a comprehensive resource guide at the conclusion of the book.

The book empowers the breast cancer survivor to become her own best advocate. The authors both educate and encourage the reader to take control of her life. "You can't sit back and hope that you will stay well. This is your life and you've got to work on it." The reader is encouraged to become an active participant in the health care team, and to live a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise, self-examination, education, and appropriate medical follow-up. The author states, "....old age is a welcome goal for any woman, particularly if you've had breast cancer. I hope this book can help you become as healthy as possible as you make this trip."

"Living Beyond Breast Cancer" is highly recommended for the breast cancer patient who has completed or is nearing completion of her planned treatment. It fully educates the reader about many of the issues that she may encounter. It is well written and will serve as an excellent reference for the breast cancer survivor.