Breast Cancer

Lilith Magazine explores this topic of singular feminist and Jewish interest with care and nuance. This curated collection of Lilith articles looks at breast cancer through the eyes of the survivor, the peace activist, the epidemiologist, the physician, the student, the teenager, and the friends and family of those diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Four (Same-Sex, Half-Jewish) Weddings and a Funeral
by Susan Goldberg
Winter 2009-2010
The author’s unconventional wedding plans get less conventional as she lets her mother, fighting breast cancer, take over the planning. 

Strangled by a Pink Ribbon, or: Breast Reconstruction Surgery 101
by Liz Lawler
Lilith Blog, 2010
You have a couple of basic options: implants, or self-harvested reconstruction. The word “harvest” has positive connotations, it conjures up notions of bountiful soil, spilling over and nourishing the farmer. Yum, who doesn’t like a nice harvest? And implants, well, celebrities get those, don’t they? 

TV’s “I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy” 
by Melanie Weiss
Winter 2006-2007
The Lifetime movie “Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy,” based on the autobiographical Geralyn Lucas book by the same name, may be on its way to remaking the genre of the “breast cancer movie.”

Genetics & Breast Cancer
by Shala Erlich
Winter 2004-2005
Erlich, a physician, introduces us to “pre-vivors,” young women wrestling with a family legacy they never expected. 

A Blessing for Your Breasts
by Rachel Kranson
Fall 2001
Like many women, Bonnie Zaben, a 42-year-old doctoral student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, examines her breasts each month. But unlike many, she has managed to transform this anxiety-provoking routine from an unpleasant necessity into a spiritual occasion.

Cancer Bitch: A Journal
by S.L. Wisenberg
Fall 2008
Wisenberg’s known for her fiction. Here, reality, with frank journal entries on hair loss, her mother, her mastectomy camisole, and the secret behind nervous laughter. 

Breasts—Check Them Out
by Susannah Jaffe
Fall 1999
Teenage girls are the unlikely target audience of the Hadassah Check It Out program. Every discussion is staffed by a volunteer speaker from Hadassah, a breast cancer survivor, and at least one registered nurse. The idea goes beyond breast cancer prevention: the survivors provide a powerful incentive for girls to take care of themselves.

Jewish Women and Breast Cancer —We’re in “a Purgatorial Period”
by Susan Weidman Schneider
Summer 1996
Everything worth knowing about the Commission for Women’s Equality’s “First Leadership Conference on Jewish Women’s Health Issues,” a stellar day-long gathering on “Understanding the Genetics of Breast Cancer: Implications for Treatment, Policy and Advocacy.” 

Blessing Shields
by Leslie Margulies
Fall 1993
Artist Leah Lynn Rosen of “Yetzirah Pottery” thought, after losing a dear friend to breast cancer, “about areas that need our blessings and protection.” The breast plates memorialize the struggle against AIDS, homophobia and breast cancer.

Mastectomy: Twelve Months After Surgery
by Jerilyn Goodman
Fall 1995
The author commemorates the first anniversary of her mastectomy with a mikveh immersion ceremony. (Ceremony included.)