Click below to view covers and articles from a particular year of MAMM issues.
Does Breast Cancer Discriminate?: In the United States, the overall incidence rate of breast cancer among African American women is lower than that of their white counterparts, but the mortality rate is significantly higher. While most researchers and activists agree that social inequality is responsible for much of that difference in rate, there's a debate in the scientific community about whether genetic factors are also responsible.
Protecting Patients: Researchers and institutions involved in clinical trials often have financial ties to drug companies sponsoring their trials. MAMM investigates the impact of these conflicts of interest on the safety of patients enrolled in such trials, as well as the integrity of the research.
Awkward Silences: When it comes to advocacy on a national level, breast cancer activism can be held at a pretty high ranking. However, an entire group of women--those living with advanced breast cancer--seems to be missing from the whole. MAMM contributing editor Musa Mayer examines why advanced breast cancer needs a place in the spotlight
Sleeveless Survivors: As the summer season gets under way, our Cancer Girl is confronted with the same old dilemma: Should she go sleeveless--which means showing her scar-or not? But this year, a new attitude is helping her bare it all.
All the Right Moves: Un- and underinsured women frequently face problems when trying to receive quality health care, especially when a pre-existing condition, such as a cancer diagnosis, exists. But there is hope--MAMM investigates ways to make the system work for you.
Dinner for Seven: In the January cold, Chicago's Saint Joseph Hospital ovarian cancer support group made time for its annual (and belated) year-end party. It was time to get out of the non-descript hospital conference room where they usually meet, and eat a little food. So off they went to a natural foods restaurant on Chicago's North Side.
Fashionable Survivors: A few months back, MAMM flew to glistening, vibrant Miami for our second fashion shoot. There, we met our four models-cancer survivors all and members of the Florida Breast Cancer Coalition (FBCC), a statewide advocacy group. With their help, and the help of retailers Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Eileen Fisher, The Gap, Lee Jeans, Liz Claiborne and Old Navy, we hit the beaches.
Lifesaver? : In 1968, Elizabeth Bain, then 15, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a lymphatic cancer. After two months of radiation treatment, Bain was found to be cancer-free. But what she did not know then was that like thousands of other Hodgkin's survivors, she would battle the effects of her treatment for decades. Indeed, 32 years later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, most likely caused by the radiation treatment that saved her life.
Unexpected Blessing: Moline, Illinois' Cindy Buranek always obeyed her mother. So when she heard her mother tell her to "Check your breast," she wasn't about to stop, even if Buranek was forty-three and her mother had been dead for nearly 10 years. It was a good thing she listened: Buranek discovered a lump that turned out to be early stage cancer.
Taking Care of Mom: Associate Editor Elsie Hsieh, who moved to the United States from Taiwan at age eight, grew up translating the world into Mandarin Chinese for her mom. That was never more true than in 1998, when her mother, a self-employed hairdresser, was diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer.
A Year In The Life: Since 1994, an ovarian cancer support group has been meeting at Saint Joseph Hospital on Chicago's North Side. It includes women with no evidence of disease as well as women in treatment for recurrence. With this issue of MAMM, we begin our second, yearlong documentary series, this one following the St. Joe's group.
Joint Pain: A Chemo Connection?: Although women with cancer rarely hear about chemotherapy-related arthritis, the treatment can induce this often long-lasting side effect. In this story, survivors speak out about the problem--and the latest research exploring the link is reviewed.
Early Strike: Some doctors believe that giving women with breast cancer chemotherapy or other systemic therapies before surgery can improve survival. The concept, called neoadjuvant therapy, may help doctors tailor chemotherapy according to patient response and, as a result, less radical surgery would be performed. MAMM evaluates this new treatment approach.
Out of Order: Letís face it, for all the help and support they can provide, phone calls from friends can also be a little bit much when youíre getting through cancer treatment. This month, Cancer Girl Jami Bernard looks at the problem of friendly annoyances and provides a few tactical strategies for avoiding them.
Hard Luck in the Heartland: One in every four American women lives in a rural area. And while many of them treasure the small towns and beautiful landscapes they live in, these women face obstacles to the early detection of cancer and to its adequate treatment that are uncommon or at least less pronounced among their urban and suburban peers.
Danger in Disguise: Inflammatory breast cancer is a relatively rare but aggressive form of the disease with usual symptoms, such as a reddening or dimpling of the breast skin, that often lead to late diagnosis. Recent years have brought some treatment advances and increased awareness, but many doctors (and women) are still unfamiliar with inflammatory breast cancer.
Skin Savvy: Radiation therapy can have detrimental effects on your skin--a common side effect many patients are never warned about. Take a closer look at the itching, peeling and pain some women may experience and find out ways to help relieve the redness and discomfort.
Close Encounters: After a diagnosis of cancer, family tensions sometimes play out around caregiving. Family members may compete to be the best caregiver and feel jealous of each other's importance to the patient. Oncology social worker Hester Hill Schnipper analyzes the dynamics of family conflict and offers readers solutions.
The Thought Police: Donít look now because the Thought Police are about to strike! This month Cancer Girl Jami Bernard faces down these agents of repression, exposing their clandestine plot to make cancer a bright and happy experience.
Do Abortions Raise Breast Cancer Risk?: Some pro-life activists claim that abortions increase women's risk of breast cancer. But many epidemiologists and women's health advocates disagree. Although 30 scientific studies have examined the possible link between abortion and breast cancer, it is difficult to interpret the facts apart from the politics. MAMM reviews the scientific evidence to date on this controversial issue.
Good for You: Can diet prevent breast cancer? Nowadays, the popular belief is that "good" foods can prevent illnesses and "bad" food can contribute to them. While it is not clear whether diet can prevent breast cancer or its recurrence, nutirition experts agree that a healthy diet during cancer treatment can help patients maintain strength and boost the immune system to counteract potential complications from treatment.
The High Cost of Living: Generic drugs can save consumers and insurance providers millions of dollars. MAMM investigates whether pharmaceutical companies' backroom deals are keeping lower-priced generic drugs off the market so that their blockbuster drugs can continue to make big money.
Face-off on Silicone Gel-filled Implants: The discourse concerning silicone gel-filled implants has been a heated debate since their safety was first questioned in the early 1990's. In this month's Point of View, two advocates face off against this controversial issue and its' role in breast cancer reconstructive surgery.
Lord of The Fridge: Mounds of tofu, endless jars of capers and pretty pictures on TV dinner boxes-Cancer Girl Jamie Bernard has it all in her fridge. Read about about the challenges of eating well, and the sometimes extreme dietary rituals cancer survivors may embrace.
Moving Forward: Advances and options in ovarian cancer treatment, by Sue Rochman. Advocates for the estimated 25,000 American women diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year are working hard to increase awareness of the disease. But many still receive what doctors call "sub-optimal" care, in part because they don't know what type of treatment they should be getting. To help women with ovarian cancer better understand their treatment options, MAMM offers this primer on ovarian cancer care.
On the Job: Four out of 10 Americans worry that a cancer diagnosis would cost them their jobs, and one of five say they would keep such a diagnosis secret. Yet the workplace can be an important source of strength for women during and after cancer treatment. MAMM explores the legal, emotional and social implications of cancer at work.
The Best of Friends: It's no small feat to be a good pal to someone with cancer. Friends have to figure out what to say when they hear bad news and how best to help out during treatment. A penetrating look at the many facets of friendship.
The Date : Dating is hard enough, and can be even tougher when dealing with questions of sensuality after breast cancer surgery. Susan Rust shares her fears, skepticism and inspirational outcome of her first date after a double mastectomy.
Three's Company: The Department of Defense (DoD) has unexpectedly joined forces with the medical community and women with cancer. In the last seven years, the DoD's Breast Cancer Research Program has evolved in one of the largest and most innovative funders of cancer research in the country. The Ovarian Cancer Research Program, based on the breast cancer program, is also meeting success.
Philanthropy 101: As women's cancer organizations blossom, to more than 300 breast cancer and 15 ovarian cancer groups nationwide, the task of figuring out which to support becomes increasingly daunting. In Philanthropy 101, MAMM explores how to give effectively of one's time and/or money, and how various national and emerging organizations are trying to meet women's needs.
My Bald Head: Hair loss looms large for many women undergoing chemo therapy. "It's easy for hair to become a symbol of power," notes MAMM contributor Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, "and for its loss to represent diminution and shame." Through photographs, first-person accounts and children's drawings, MAMM explores women's experiences with chemo-related baldness, including some routes less-taken.
The Next Screening Frontier?: What are tumor markers and how can they help improve early detection of cancer? In the last 20-30 years, as scientists learn more and more about cancer cell biology, efforts are being made to study how microscopic substances produced by cancer cells or by the body's immune response to cancer can be used to improve the accuracy of cancer screening.