|John Han-Chih Chang, MD|
|Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania|
| Last Modified: November 1, 2001
The path to knowledge can be a winding one. In the case of breast cancer patients, the trail to enlightenment has many obstacles for those that traverse it. Each person is an individual, and their experience is unique but not without its similarities. To learn from one's own experience is necessary, but to learn from another's experience is crucial to facing the unknown. "Breast Cancer Journey" has pooled together the journeys of 17 women with breast cancer in hopes of paving the way for others that must now being their trek.
There are no "medical experts" but true experts (the actual patients) that detail all aspects of their breast cancer experience. There is also no narrator, yet the discussion flows smoothly from the subject of reaction to the diagnosis to coping with the treatment and the related after-effects to receiving or losing the support of friends and family. Each of these 17 women explains how they and those around them dealt with each obstacle along the way. This production utilized snippets of these women explaining their different situations at each step along their journey.
The unique experiences of each woman are well captured in this documentary. The various stages of breast cancer from early stage disease to metastatic along with the numerous treatment options (from mastectomy to lumpectomy to chemotherapy and radiation therapy) are explored in each woman's story.
This documentary would also be a worthwhile review for physicians who take care of breast cancer patients. It truly would be helpful for most physicians to see how the other half (patients') lives. It provides a candid look at how doctors can be less than compassionate or empathetic.
Much can be gained for everyone involved by watching this documentary. It has brought together life experiences of these wonderful women, so that it may obliterate some of the uncertainties for those that come after them down the path.
"Breast Cancer Journey" is highly recommended by OncoLink.