The end of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is approaching, but our support for the cause will keep going strong. Sadly, one in eight women will be affected by breast cancer during their lives. While you can still do your part by buying certain pink products or doing a 5K run, one of the easiest things to do is get informed. Whether you know someone who has breast cancer, you're going through it yourself, or you'd simply like to learn more, we've gathered 12 of the best books on the topic. Like the experience itself, some are heavy, some uplifting, some funny, but each offer insight into courageous women battling cancer.
Kelly Corrigan is a mother, wife, and newspaper columnist when she discovers a lump in her breast. As she's undergoing treatment, she finds out her father has cancer, too. Even though The Middle Place deals with heavy material, the memoir delivers honesty and ultimately is about an adult straddling the lines of mother and daughter, and finding her inner strength.
Marisa Acocella Marchetto bases her graphic memoir off this one question: "What happens when a shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, about-to-get-married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life finds . . . a lump in her breast?" In Cancer Vixen: A True Story, she answers the question with humor, courage, and cartoons just as bold as her message.
Hanging Out With Lab Coats: Hope, Humor & Help for Cancer Patients and Their Caregivers has been called informative and inspirational in its approach to breast cancer. Wendi Fox Pedicone details her own experience, personally and professionally, dealing with the cancer and offers information on different treatments available.
Using characters like chemo commando, Metu and Lee Learn About Breast Cancer is a book by Dr. Shenin Sachedina for children five and up whose mothers have breast cancer. Illustrations also help discuss topics like surgery, radiation, and normal fears.
Monique Doyle Spencer wrote The Courage Muscle: A Chicken's Guide to Living with Breast Cancer after she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer at age 46. The book acts as a humorous guide for breast cancer patients and family members while tackling typical fears. All proceeds benefit the oncology department Windows of Hope at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
When Jennie Nash wrote The Victoria's Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming: And Other Lessons I Learned from Breast Cancer, she did so from the perspective of a 36-year-old "wise old woman." As the book description details, her survivor's memoir is about "both the large and small lessons learned along the way: the importance of a child's birthday cake; the pleasure of wearing a beautiful, provocative red dress; and how to be grateful rather than guilty when someone brings lasagna to the door."
Breast cancer doesn't just affect women, and this book by Marc Silver is directed at supportive partners. Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) Through Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond offers medical info, coping strategies, and more.
Who said cancer and comedy can't ever go together? In Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person: A Memoir in Comics, no topic is off limits. Miriam Engelberg tackles wigs, sex, nausea, and even what not to say to women with breast cancer.
Stealing Second Base: A Breast Cancer Survivor's Experience and Breast Cancer Expert's Story is the story of living on the flip side: Lillie Shockney went from medical professional to patient herself. The book chronicles her journey to a now survivor and expert speaker on the subject.
Nordie's at Noon: The Personal Stories of Four Women "Too Young" for Breast Cancer is about four women who face breast cancer before the age of 30. Patti Balwanz, Kim Carlos, Jennifer Johnson, and Jana Peters get together once a month for lunch at Nordstrom’s café and through telling their personal experiences, share stories on courage and how you can be proactive about your own health.
Uplift: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors by Barbara Delinsky is considered one of those ultimate guides for dealing with breast cancer. Offering hundreds of tips from breast cancer patients, it includes suggestions like what kind of deodorant to use during radiation and what type of exercise to do after a mastectomy.
Deanna Favre, Brett Favre's wife, uses Don't Bet Against Me!: Beating the Odds Against Breast Cancer and in Life to shed light on how to overcome tragedy, including her own breast cancer and several deaths in her family — and how her faith played a major role along the way.