Designed to be a resource for both women who want to maintain breast health and those who've been diagnosed with breast cancer, Breast Cancer? Breast Health! The Wise Woman Way
draws on "women's wisdom," or the inner knowledge often ignored by modern medicine, as a powerful tool for healing. Author Susun Weed proposes an anticancer lifestyle, and, if cancer does enter the picture, a six-step plan for healing (sleep is at zero, or "Do Nothing"; surgery is number six, which she terms "Break and Enter"), with various complementary healing techniques included throughout.
Weed is careful to point out that supplements and herbs can hurt as much as they can help, and she lists several alternative-medicine techniques that should be avoided no matter what. The steps she does recommend--from herbal oils for breast massage to help detect lumps early to the herbs milk thistle, dandelion, and burdock for women with liver damage from tamoxifen--are explained clearly, sometimes with fascinating quotes from centuries-old books on healing.
Weed will draw ire from some readers for recommending that mammograms be avoided. She says they tend to squeeze cancer cells into the bloodstream and can't detect cancer until it's metastatic, which are reasons enough to not have them, and adds that women would be better off by making her suggested anticancer lifestyle changes, paying more attention to their breasts, and performing regular self-exams.
The warnings about the dangers of electromagnetic fields, exposure to estrogen, and organochlorides from plastics may frighten some, but Weed means to enlighten and empower. She dedicates the book to environmentalist and Silent Spring author Rachel Carson and poet Audre Lorde, who both died of breast cancer. Extensive herbal resources, a solid glossary, and a thorough index are included.