THE SILENT WOUND: A Startling Report on Breast Cancer and Sexuality by Peggy Boyd

THE SILENT WOUND: A Startling Report on Breast Cancer and Sexuality

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Psychological and emotional factors may be more important than physical factors in predisposing women to breast cancer: so contends Boyd, a California nurse with a doctorate in public health (UC, Berkeley), reporting on her own original, careful research. Starting from first-hand observations, Boyd interviewed women with breast cancer, their sisters, and a control group of women without the disease. Adolescence and menopause, she found, are ""mirror images"" of women's biological, psychological, and social development; they reflect one another in the changes women go through, and the tasks they must accomplish to establish their roles. Women who have not accomplished these maturation tasks, and who are uncomfortable with their sexuality, are more likely to get breast cancer. Boyd describes the characteristics specific to breast-cancer patients--good humor, patience, concern with others rather than self--and explains how these may be indicative of passive personalities, of needs and emotions deflected or repressed. Extensive self-tests are provided for readers--along with warm encouragement: no matter how distressing the past, ""We can change our habits, reconsider old attitudes and ways of regarding ourselves, reassess our experiences, and develop a new perspective on womanhood."" There is no oversimplification, no victim-blaming;rather, Boyd has a real message--with follow-up tips as a bonus.

Pub Date: Dec. 6th, 1984
Publisher: Addison-Wesley