Inspiring Books for Breast Cancer Patients & Survivors


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Breast cancer is a journey. The steps you take from diagnosis to treatment to recovery are all critical to your support and care. One of the most important things you can do if you are a patient or survivor is to educate yourself. 

Overview: Our Top Picks

Books for Cancer Patients

Books for Cancer Survivors

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We’ve scoured the web for the top breast cancer books you can add to your reading list. Some books document individual journeys and other books discuss what you can do for your mind and body after a diagnosis. Check out these titles ASAP. 

Best Books for Breast Cancer Patients

You may have a lot of questions and concerns when you’re a cancer patient. Here are a few books that can help you in the days following your initial diagnosis, tips for self-care, and other issues that may arise throughout your journey. 

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1. The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan 

Kelly Corrigan lived in her comfortable corner of the world until cancer came along to shake things up.

The Middle Place chronicles how her life evolved after she and her father both received cancer diagnoses at the same time. It’s a touching story about relationships and fighting on through cancer the best you possibly can.

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2. Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) During Diagnosis, Treatment, and Beyond by Marc Silver 

A breast cancer diagnosis certainly has a ripple effect on a patient’s life. Breast Cancer Husband is a guiding light for husbands trying their best to help the women they love through cancer.

It also explains how husbands need to care for themselves — it’s a good reminder that all supporters need support, too. 

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3. Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy by Geralyn Lucas 

In Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy, Geralyn Lucas reveals her experience with breast cancer in a beauty-obsessed culture.

This up-close-and-personal book takes a hard look at what self-acceptance truly looks like. Lucas doesn’t hold back from uncertainty and fear in this inspiring tell-all book. 

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4. Big C, little ta-ta: Kicking Cancer’s Butt in 7 Humorous Stories by Janet Sheppard Kelleher 

Cancer and humor may not seem like they go together at all, but laughter can be its own form of medicine.

In Big C, little ta-ta, Janet Kelleher opens up about how she found humor in the most unusual places throughout her cancer recovery. Her short stories will bring a smile to your face if you’ve struggled to find moments of happiness and humor during your own cancer journey. 

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5. Everybody’s Got Something by Robin Roberts and Veronica Chambers 

Robin Roberts opens up about her battle with breast cancer and a rare blood disorder. Her memoir, Everybody's Got Something, chronicles surviving breast cancer and "turning her mess into her message” so that other people may find hope and inspiration in her story.

She gets real about her struggles as well as how her family, friends, and colleagues rallied behind her throughout her journey. 

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6. A Breast Cancer Alphabet by Madhulika Sikka 

Madhulika Sikka simplifies all the information people receive with a breast cancer diagnosis.

She created her handbook, A Breast Cancer Alphabet, to explain the terminology and emotions so often associated with the disease. It’s a practical guidebook, perfect if you’re newly diagnosed and feeling overwhelmed. 

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7. Pretty Sick by Caitlin Kiernan 

Freelance Beauty Editor Catilin Kiernan, a breast cancer survivor, offers beauty tips and tricks for cancer patients in Pretty Sick.

Her perspective is that beauty treatments can have a positive impact on your well-being. She discusses wig shopping to simplified skin treatments for a new take on what it means to feel beautiful through it all. 

Tip: Read our guide on the best inspirational books for more recommendations.

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Best Books for Breast Cancer Survivors

Breast cancer survivors may need inspiration and hope. There are so many emotions and challenges through the fight and survival of this disease. Sometimes people forget that there is still more to the story even after you are cancer-free. Here are a few books to add to your reading list. 

8. Uplift by Barbara Delinsky 

This book chronicles the stories of 300 women who beat breast cancer. Each of their stories expresses the challenges, triumphs, and everything in between. Uplift can offer hope to people who need to know that they can overcome their diagnosis and live a full life.

The sheer number of women who contributed to this book offers the kind of hope you can’t get anywhere else. These people have been right where you are, and that can go a long way on even the hardest days. 

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9. Be a Survivor: Your Guide to Breast Cancer Treatment by Vladimir Lange 

Be a Survivor helps patients and their families familiarize themselves with all phases of diagnosis and treatment. It offers true insight to help people who may struggle with hope throughout recovery.

It can boost your determination and inspire a fight, no matter how hard the days after diagnosis may be. Many people have relied on this book to get them through their darkest hours. 

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10. Stronger than Before by Alison Porter 

Alison Porter’s book, dubbed the “self-care bible,” is a great read if you’re newly diagnosed or a survivor.

Stronger Than Before offers a personal approach to help people understand and come to terms with this disease. 

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11. Living Well Beyond Breast Cancer by Ellen Weiss and Marisa Weiss 

Life after cancer can sometimes be just as complicated as the journey itself. Living Well Beyond Breast Cancer helps survivors with the concerns they may have after they come through the other side.

Difficult questions like, “What do I do if the cancer comes back?” or “Will anybody be attracted to me again?” are all excellent questions — and this book covers them all. 

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12. The Breast Cancer Survival Manual by John Link, M.D. 

When you’re first diagnosed, you might wonder where the breast cancer survival manual is. Here it is!

The Breast Cancer Survival Manual contains valuable information and hopeful outlooks for women who are at various stages of their breast cancer journey. This must-read is a great way to maintain hope from diagnosis onward. 

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13. Dear Friend by Gina Mulligan 

Dear Friend is a series of beautiful and heartfelt letters written by women to other women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

It’s a book that can bring together the newly diagnosed and survivors in a way that depicts a sisterhood and a sense of community. It reminds breast cancer survivors that their stories can have an impact on others who are going through the same things. 

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14. You Are the Best Medicine by Julie Aigner Clark 

One of the hardest parts of cancer is worrying about what will happen to your children. You Are the Best Medicine is a sweet tribute to what it means to be a mother throughout this difficult process.

It’s a children’s story that helps little ones learn to cope with their mother’s diagnosis. You check out our picks for the best books on cancer for children if you're looking for more recommendations. 

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15. Cancer Vixen: A True Story by Marisa Acocella Marchetto 

Cancer Vixen is a humorous and relatable book that chronicles how one vivacious woman coped with her diagnosis and kept her style throughout her fight. The twist on a story of survival may be just what you need to help inspire and uplift you. 

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Resources that Help You through Breast Cancer

Whether you’re reading a book about cancer, watching a cancer documentary or a movie, all of these resources can go a long way toward offering hope and inspiration. You never know how someone else’s story will impact your own recovery. 

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