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Cancer-Schmancer (book by "the Nanny") Cancer-Schmancer (book by "the Nanny")

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Unread 12-28-2003, 05:55 AM
Cancer-Schmancer (book by "the Nanny")

I tried for ages to get this book locally, but was unable to. Finally last week my sister-in-law brought it for me from U.S.

so- what do you all think of it?

I was hooked by the first chapter, the description of her reaction to the diagnosis was exactly what happened to me!!! Also the stuff the doctors told her about menopause, hormones etc.

I think I would have "enjoyed" if that's the right word, reading this closer to my surgery date. Also, I felt "cheated" that she had problems for ages before being diagnosed, yet still had only stage I and didn't need even radiation, where as my story seemed on the surface so similar, but I had stage III! I know that seems really mean of me, but I'm not wishing she had worse, only that I could have been so lucky!

I think I will try to get my husband to read it though, maybe it will be an eye opener for him.

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Unread 12-28-2003, 09:53 AM
Cancer-Schmancer (book by "the Nanny")

Hi Esther,

I also read the book as I was going thru my treatments. Although I had a different kind of Cancer than Fran, the sentiments and feelings were all the same. I laughed and cried right along with her.

At times the book became a little too wordy by focusing in on her wonderful glorious life style but I still loved it.

Keep reading, it is a good upbeat book.

Unread 12-28-2003, 11:48 AM
For the Most Part A Disappointment

Hi, Esther--

You should have posted that you were trying to locate Cancer Schmancer. I have had a copy of it laying around since it first came out and I would have been happy to mail to you.

I have to say that I was for the most point rather disappointed in the book overall. I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer a year before Fran and when I heard she had been diagnosed and was writing a book, I awaited its release with much anticipation, as there is no other book that I am aware of on endometrial cancer. After having read it, however, I found it rather melodramatic and lacking in a lot of detail an substance that I would have liked to have seen. I was also concerned that her decision to forego radiation might have a negative effect on women with gynecologic cancers in light of her celebrity status.

My fears have in fact begun to come true as I have recently heard some women who know nothing more about Fran's cancer than what they read in the book rely on her decision not to have radiation as a reason for also deciding to go against their gynecologic oncologists' or radiation oncologists' recommendations and not have radiation themselves. While the decision may have been appropriate given the particular facts and circumstances of Fran's case, I believe that for other women to rely on that as a basis for declining recommended cancer treatment is extremely risky business.

I do think it had its good points in that it stressed the fact that doctors are quick to call vaginal bleeding a hormone imbalance, premenopause or perimenopause in women who do not fit the endometrial cancer "profile," without doing appropriate testing to rule out endometrial cancer. This may make women more aware of the need to push their doctors for a D&C or endometrial biopsy for abnormal vaginal bleeding, or to ask for a referral to a gynecologic oncologist. I also found the information on Fran's background and family dynamics interesting.

But overall, compared to the scores of other cancer-related books I have read, I was pretty underwhelmed by "Cancer Schmancer."

Best regards.

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Unread 12-28-2003, 12:58 PM
Cancer-Schmancer (book by "the Nanny")

I too read Fran's book quite awhile ago. I was hopeful that she would become a champion for gyn cancers. I have since learned that her fee for speaking about the cancer experience is quite high. As well as other needs she likes to have pampered while doing a speaking engagement. Go figure.
oxoxo karenann
Unread 12-28-2003, 02:41 PM
Cancer-Schmancer (book by "the Nanny")

Hi Esther!! See good to 'see' you
I have the book but quite honestly, I didn't read all of it. I was a little disappointed that her situation didn't really relate to mine. Since she decided to not have any treatment, and I'm having both rad and chemo.....I found it kinda depressing.

And I know what you mean about the feelings of hers being Grade 1 and ours being Grade 3. I have tortured myself trying to figure out what I could have done to find it sooner. I have finally come to terms with the facts......nothing. I had no symptoms, signs, nothing whatsoever to even point to a problem. Just a freak PAP test happened to catch some of those little cells out where they usually aren't. Even my gyn was shocked. He said in all his years he had only had one patient out of thousands that had endometrial cancer.

I didn't have the nerve to ask what happened to her.

I even find myself having hateful thoughts at times when looking at other women on the street. Thinking what a normal life they have and wonder if they even appreciate it? And I'm not normally a hateful person, really I'm not. Then I feel guilty for thinking those thoughts.

Maybe we are just normal?

Love and hugs to you,
nancy j.
Unread 12-28-2003, 04:30 PM
Cancer-Schmancer (book by "the Nanny")

I have never seen "The Nanny", but know who you mean.

But, and I will direct this to Karenann, I started to make a list of well-known women with OVCA. Gilda, Sandy Duncan, Jessica Tandy, Cassandra Harris. Gilda, of course, did a lot, and hurray for her. (Like Olivia Newton-John with breast cancer did, I believe). So, am sorry to hear about Fran Drescher's approach, if that is the way that she is, and I gather it was endometrial cancer. We need 'high profile' women with gyn diagnosis (or not!) to get the media attention that is needed. But, then I realise that we do have our own champions on this board.
Unread 12-28-2003, 05:21 PM
Fran Got 2002 GCF Public Service Award

Fran Drescher received the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation's 2002 Public Service Award in recognition of a public service announcement she did on gynecologic cancers. Here is a link to the GCF site that discusses the award in case anyone is interested:

She also wrote an article on endometrial cancer for the GCF Supplement that appeared in the New York Times in June of 2003. I know because I wrote to the GCF expressing my concern that both she, as well as the Chairman of the GCF in his article on endometrial cancer, failed to mention the need for a D&C or endobiopsy to diagnose or rule out endometrial cancer. I felt that this was a serious deficiency in the information presented on endometrial cancer. The GCF Supplement did, on the other hand, provide information on necessary testing for both ovarian and cervical cancers.

Unread 12-28-2003, 08:48 PM
Esther, MoKay and Everyone!!

Hello Esther:

Thank you for the info on this book. Where have I been?? I knew Fran had a bout with cancer but didn't know what kind nor of her book. I will try and get a hold of it and look forward to reading it.


Thank you for the website - sounds very informative and I will go to it for more information.

To Everyone:

I continue to thank you all for the information and ideas and opinions - that's what makes this site so wonderful and important. I learn something from everyone so I just wanted to say a big thank you to all!!

Unread 12-28-2003, 09:32 PM
Cancer-Schmancer (book by "the Nanny")

Hi Wild Rose

The ovarian problem discussion list will occasionally post a list of all celebs with ovarian cancer. And there are quite a few. However, none have gotten too much media attention. I would not wish this disease on anyone..... but surely we need someone to get the attention of Congress in a manner like Christopher Reeves did for spinal cord injury and Michael J Fox has done for Parkinsonism.

Hi MoeKay

It is great that Fran did a public service announcement, and wrote an article for the GCF supplement. But does that warrant a special award from the GCF? I can think of many more deserving people, as I am sure you can as well. I am just disappointed at her disdain of speaking publically without financial reward.
BTW That GCF supplement has only appeared in limited cities. Washington, New York and Pittsburgh. Phila NOCC looked into the cost of reprinting it for the Phila Inquirer and it was outta sight. I wonder why?

oxoxox karenann
Unread 12-29-2003, 05:41 AM
Cancer-Schmancer (book by "the Nanny")

Hi, Karen--

I'm not sure what the GCF's criteria are for the Public Service Award, nor do I know what, if anything else, Fran Drescher may have done for the GCF on endometrial cancer in particular or gynecologic cancers in general. I did see that Cindy Melancon was one of the PSA award winners the same year as Fran. Other recipients in the past have included Larry King and Barbara Walters, several doctors, and some names I don't recognize, so I'm not sure if they're survivors or not.

Regarding the GCF NY Times Supplement, they are representing that it appeared nationwide on their website:

If you're aware that the Supplement did not appear outside the limited area you stated above, I would suggest you consider contacting the GCF and provide them with whatever information you have. Perhaps there was some sort of oversight in the distribution process that can be remedied.

I'm not sure about the reason for the high cost of reproducing the Supplement either, but when you contact the GCF, I would suspect they would be able to answer that question for you also. I for one would like to see the information on endometrial cancer in the Supplement modified to eliminate what I consider to be critical information gaps before any redistribution occurs. So if you should find out that the Supplement will be redistributed, please let me know, and I'll contact them again on that issue.

Take care.


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