So Much To Be Done: The Writings Of Breast Cancer Activist Barbara Brenner by Barbara BrennerSo Much To Be Done: The Writings Of Breast Cancer Activist Barbara Brenner by Barbara Brenner

So Much To Be Done: The Writings Of Breast Cancer Activist Barbara Brenner

byBarbara BrennerEditorBarbara Sjoholm

Paperback | May 11, 2016

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“What kind of cancer is it?” was the first question Barbara Brenner asked her doctor after hearing that the lump in her breast was malignant. His answer: “You don't need to know that.” Wrong response. Brenner, who was already an activist, made knowing her business and spreading knowledge her mission. The power behind Breast Cancer Action® and its transformative Think Before You Pink campaign, Barbara Brenner brought an abundance of wit, courage, and clarity to the cause and forever changed the conversation. What had been construed as an individual crisis could now be seen for what it was: a pressing concern of public health and social justice, with environmental issues at the center of prevention efforts.

Collected in So Much to Be Done, and framed by personal accounts of Barbara and her influential work, Brenner’s columns and blog posts form a chronicle of breast cancer research and health care activism that is as inspiring as it is informative. As she takes on the corporate forces at work in breast cancer research and treatment and in the “pinkwashing” of fund-raising for the cause, Brenner, a self-described hell-raiser, contends with cancer herself, twice, and her words offer understanding and encouragement to all those whose lives are touched by the disease.

When Brenner was diagnosed with ALS in 2011, she broadened her critique of health care while also writing about her own experience. Infused with her characteristic moxie, humor, anger, and compassion, these reflections from her last two years provide an in-depth, precisely observed portrayal of what it is to live with a terminal disease and to die on one’s own terms.


A key figure in North American breast cancer history, Barbara Brenner was executive director of the nonprofit organization Breast Cancer Action, based in San Francisco. She died in 2013 at the age of sixty-one.Barbara Sjoholm is an author and translator. She was a cofounder of the feminist publisher Seal Press and an editor of many wor...
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Title:So Much To Be Done: The Writings Of Breast Cancer Activist Barbara BrennerFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:May 11, 2016Publisher:University Of Minnesota PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0816699445

ISBN - 13:9780816699445

Table of Contents

Contents

A Portrait of Barbara Brenner
Barbara Sjoholm
Introduction: Barbara Brenner, Breast Cancer Action, and the Birth of a Politicized Breast Cancer Movement
Rachel Morello-Frosch
Part I: Building a Movement, 1996–2010
Hope, Politics, and Living with Breast Cancer (August 1995)
Loss and Inspiration (April 1996)
Let Them Lick Stamps (August-September 1996)
Fiddling While Rome Burns: The Latest Mammogram Controversy (April–May 1997)
Reflections on a Handmaid’s Tale (October–November 1997)
Words Matter (February–March 1998)
My Sister’s Keeper (June–July 1998)
Educate, Agitate, Organize—Now! (August–September 1998)
One Pill Makes You Smaller... (October–November 1998)
Thinking Out Loud: Toward a New Research Strategy (December 1998–January 1999)
Rolling the Dice (April–May 1999)
Respecting the Past, Creating the Future (July–August 2000)
Making Choices (March–April 2001)
Living on the Edge (May–June 2001)
Breast Cancer Treatment: Promise vs. Reality (September–October 2001)
Exercise Your Mind (March–April 2002)
The Crazy Days of Autumn (January 2003)
Lessons from Long Island (November–December 2002)
Waging War, Making Connections (September–October 2003)
Solving the Breast Cancer Puzzle: Advancing the Research Revolution (March 2004)
Forests and Trees: Reflections on Pink Bracelets and Narrow Visions (March–April 2005)
Fifteen Years of Activism: Standing on Many Shoulders (June 2005)
Era of Hope, Hype or Hoax: Is It Time for Change in the DOD Breast Cancer Research Program? (August–September 2005)
Meaningful Results: Getting What We Need From Science (August–September 2006)
BCA’s Survey on Aromatase Inhibitors: Meeting the Needs of Patients (December 2006)
Moving beyond the Personal in Environmental Health (September–October 2007)
Putting Patients First: The Need for Better Standards at the FDA (May 2008)
The Organic Process of Activism: Think Before You Pink, Then and Now (September 2008)
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: The Present Looks like the Past (Fall 2009)
So Much to Celebrate, So Much to Be Done (Fall 2010)
Part II: Thoughts on Dying and Living, 2011–2013
Don’t Ask Me How I Am (March 4, 2011)
Patient? Who’s Patient? (March 15, 2011)
Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep—Especially in Health (March 23, 2011)
Isn’t It Time to Change the Message? (March 28, 2011)
Uncertainty, a Teaching for Rosh Hashana 5771 (March 31, 2011)
A New Name (April 5, 2011)
Passover (April 17–19, 2011)
There’s That Person with... (April 26, 2011)
The Obligation of Privilege (May 4, 2011)
Can and Can’t List (May 15, 2011)
That’s Why They Call Them “Trials” (May 19, 2011)
People’s Lives as the Endpoints of Medical Research–Now There’s a Nifty Idea (June 3, 2011)
Understanding Health Numbers: Not Easy, but Important (June 13, 2011)
Having a Voice, Communicating, and Somewhere In Between (June 17, 2011)
Walk for Your Health, but It Won’t Help Anyone Else’s, Much (July 1, 2011)
Thoughts on Dying and Living (July 20, 2011)
How Do You Spell Chutzpah: Komen (July 28, 2011)
Drug Development and Access: Time to Act Like Lives Depend on It (August 18, 2011)
Science by Press Release—Not Good News for Patients (August 26, 2011)
Health Activism—Not for the Faint of Heart (September 8, 2011)
Pink Ribbons and Lou Gehrig: Time to Bury Useless Symbols (September 18, 2011)
Mi’She’Berach: Thoughts on Illness and Blessing (October 10, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

"Readers will learn to prize the activist as well as the woman behind the message."—Library Journal"Brenner is simultaneously heartfelt and acerbic, which makes this collection both engrossing and darkly humorous."—American Library Association’s GLBTRT Blog"Why should you read this book? Because this is not another pity-party book written by someone with a life-threatening illness. Not once does she mourn for her losses—instead Brenner always shows the world that she is still capable, still living, still loving, and still fighting."—Lambda Literary"Invaluable insight into...the most remarkable figure in the history of the political breast cancer movement."—Nursing Clio"Brenner’s writing is imbued with careful and precise language. It makes each article and blog posts both easy to read and dense with important information."—Beyond Chron"So Much to Be Done is a must read for anyone interested in learning more about breast cancer activism. In fact, health activists of any sort have much to learn from Barbara Brenner."—Nancy’s Point