Like Deborah Hobler Kahane's No Less a Woman (reviewed below), this excellent work centers around interviews with breast cancer patients--but here the interviews are bracketed with considerably more detailed clinical information than in the Kahane. Mirabella editor Gross and health, writer Ito (The Healthy Body Handbook--paperback) have gathered 25 unusually savvy and articulate breast cancer survivors, primarily from the worlds of publishing, academia, and the arts. The survivors, highly opinionated, are often contemptuous of practitioners who come across as patronizing, reticent, or lacking in ""good vibes."" They usually know just what kind of malignancies they have--in situ, invasive, estrogen-dependent--and the available treatment options. They offer much advice: keep your mammograms and biopsy slides; to reduce the likelihood of unsightly scarring, consider using a cosmetic surgeon for postoperative stitching. They vividly describe their experiences: e.g., the interminable wait, prone on a gurney, behind a line of other women scheduled for breast surgery. Gross and Ito provide thorough descriptions of all procedures, from needle aspiration biopsies to breast reconstruction options. Other pluses: interviews with specialists in anesthesiology, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, breast reconstruction, and cancer risk analysis--as well as tips on handling medical insurance. First-rate information and counsel, although some readers might prefer Kahane's less graphic, more reassuring approach.