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Rita Allen

Shelbyville-Bedford County Library

Rita Allen is director of Shelbyville-Bedford County Library.

Books about breast cancer available

Sunday, October 14, 2018

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. That's a pretty stark and grim statement from the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

One woman dies of breast cancer every 13 minutes. The good news is that 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive today and the odds of survival are getting better every day because of research, educational programs, and early detection. I doubt there is anyone reading this article who hasn't been touched by this nasty villain one way or another. Your library is armed and ready to help you take on the fight if you or a loved one needs to do battle with this vile enemy.

I do want to emphasize that early detection and self-examination are important to getting the fight started as early as possible. So is being well-informed. We need to know our enemy (and that "we" is genderless because breast cancer, although rarer in males, is not limited to females). Your library has a variety of current literature available for checkout. Trying paging through "The New Generation Breast Cancer Book: How To Navigate Your Diagnosis And Treatment Options -- And Remain Optimistic -- In An Age Of Information Overload," by Elisa Port, MD, FACS, chief of Breast Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center and co-director of the Dubin Breast Center. You may have heard people recommend "Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book," by Susan M. Love, M.D. We have a 2015 copy in our collection. For our Spanish language readers, I recommend, "Cáncer De Seno Claro Y Sencillo: Las Respuestas A Todas Sus Preguntas."

Sometimes reading about the experiences of someone who has been in a similar situation can help to empower you for your own fight. "Bald Is Better With Earrings: A Survivor's Guide To Getting Through Breast Cancer," by Andrea Hutton, "Bald, Fat & Crazy: How I Beat Cancer While Pregnant With One Daughter And Adopting Another," by Stephanie Hosford, or Joan Lunden's, "Had I Known: A Memoir Of Survival."

Little readers need information about cancer, too. We have a number of fine children's books on the subject and one that is written specifically with regard to breast cancer is "The Goodbye Cancer Garden," by Janna Matthies. It compares the stages of treatment with a garden that the family plants and nurtures during the mother's healing process.

Laughter is often the best medicine. Maybe a giggle or two found in "Dangerous Boobies: Breaking Up With My Time-Bomb Breasts," by comedian Caitlin Brodnic, will be just what the doctor ordered. It conveys plenty of information about the thought processes she used to make life-changing decisions after testing revealed that she had an 87 percent chance of contracting breast cancer. (A reviewer called her "the common woman's Angelina Jolie.")

As you travel the path of this journey, the library also has special titles that might be of use. Among them are the recent "Breast Cancer Smoothies: 100 Delicious, Research-Based Recipes For Prevention And Recovery," by Daniella Chace, and "Pretty Sick: The Beauty Guide For Women With Cancer," by Caitlin M. Kiernan. Christian fiction authors, Beverly LaHaye and Terry Blackstock, have explored a character with this disease in "Season of Blessing."

Please remember that the gift of a trip to the library or a bag of book sale paperbacks may be just the thing to cheer someone who is recovering from any illness. And, we even have a "loaner" wheelchair that you can use if you aren't feeling 100 percent on the day of your visit. Please ask us for this at the circulation desk.

Please educate yourself to stay healthy -- and keep reading.

--Rita Allen is director of Shelbyville-Bedford County Public Library

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