The Black Woman's Breast Cancer Survival Guide
Understanding and Healing in the Face of a Nationwide Crisis
by Cheryl D. Holloway
July 2017, 203pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5608-2
$55, £43, 48€, A76
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5609-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The National Cancer Institute reports that black women in the United States are 42 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.

Breast cancer is reaching epidemic levels, especially among black women. This survival guide provides tools that women—black women in particular—can use to identify and combat this all-too-common threat.

This “what you need to know” guide is unique in its common sense, “laywoman’s” approach and particular relevance to women of color. Its premise is simple: ignorance and lack of education about breast cancer signs and symptoms are still all too prevalent among black women. Many women are not informed about resources available for early detection screening and are not referred for mammography screening. They may also receive significantly delayed treatment—especially black women. For those reasons and more, black women with or at risk for breast cancer need an advocate who speaks for them and tells them the truth. They have that advocate in Cheryl Holloway, PhD—and in this book.

A breast cancer survivor and cancer researcher, Dr. Holloway draws on her personal experience and research to offer something far different than the usual medical/oncological works. Her book provides support, current information, and practical advice for confronting and beating the disease. The book is divided into four parts. “Dealing with the Basics” explains how breast cancer hits black women harder and discusses the types of breast cancer they may develop, with an emphasis on the most dangerous. The second section offers practical information, such as how screenings work and the meaning of various breast cancer tests. Part three describes treatments, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, combined therapy, and other options. The final section describes how to stay vigilant after the cancer is gone and also discusses other forms of cancer for which black women are at risk, such as lung cancer, colon cancer, and cervical cancer.


  • Speaks from the perspective of a black woman who has had breast cancer and is also an academic who researched breast cancer
  • Provides current information and practical advice for beating breast cancer
  • Explains tests and treatment options
  • Includes information on research studies and outcomes for black women with breast cancer
  • Explores why black women are more likely than women of any other race or ethnicity to develop aggressive and fast-growing breast tumors during their childbearing years
Cheryl D. Holloway, PhD, has experienced breast cancer twice and is, thus, well aware of the issues black women face when confronting the disease. She is program director for the Bachelor of Science in Public Health program at South University in Novi, MI, where she teaches courses on health promotion and wellness, issues in public health, and women's and minority health issues. She was formerly assistant undergraduate professor in Healthcare Management in Savannah, GA, and adjunct graduate and undergraduate instructor at Central Michigan University. Holloway wrote her doctoral dissertation on "Attitudes and Behaviors toward Early Breast Cancer Detection among African American women in a Faith-Based Community," receiving her doctorate in public health from Walden University in 2010. She also holds a Master of Science degree in health administration from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Eastern Michigan University. Holloway has been a volunteer for the American Cancer Society for more than 20 years, assisting women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.


"An excellent, well-written work for all black women and all health-care professionals who wish to understand better the challenges facing this community."—Library Journal, Starred Review, September 1, 2017

"Dr. Holloway has written a thorough and powerful primer for black women who are going through the maze of cancer diagnosis and treatment. There is no one straight route in the journey of breast cancer. Dr. Holloway acts as a terrific guide."—Andrea King Collier, Health Journalist and Author, Still With Me… A Daughter’s Journey of Love and Loss and The Black Woman’s Guide to Black Men’s Health

“Dr. Holloway has written a powerful step-by-step guide that will educate and empower black women of all ages to make informed choices and decisions through their journey with breast cancer.” —Robert E. Hoye. PhD, Contributing Faculty, College of Health Sciences, Walden University; Emeritus Professor, Graduate School, University of Louisville; Visiting Professor, School of Public Health, San Diego State University

"Cheryl Holloway has written a first-person survivor story about breast cancer. In describing her experience as a middle-aged, well-educated, intelligent, black woman she has unwittingly put her finger on the most interesting and exciting aspect of cancer care today. Increasingly cancer is seen as a unique disease in each patient. Human genetics, that of the tumor and the genome of the patient, provide for each individual an intimate, personal, and more often customized management plan. Dr. Holloway emphasizes this concept with recognition that black lives face special and particular challenges in the management of their breast cancer. From front to back the book is chock-full of practical suggestions and strategies based on her own experience. Her strong faith comes through as a secret weapon to which she turns when things are both under control and at wit's end. Anyone caring for an African American woman with breast cancer, whether it be family, friend, spouse or even the healthcare provider, will find something of seminal value in this book."—Donald W. Weaver, MD, Penberthy Professor and Chairman, Michael and Marian Ilitch Department of Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine

"Dr. Holloway has written a wonderful and easy to follow guide for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Although she specifically addresses black women, her guide would be helpful to all women. She covers aspects of dealing with breast cancer as well as understanding tests and treatments. She uses her own experience to relate to the reader."—Ethel Kloos, PhD, Owner, Applied Researcher Consultants

"I have had the sincere pleasure of knowing Dr. Holloway as an undergraduate student, healthcare and academic colleague and friend for many years. Dr. Holloway has compiled an insightful, well-researched, and practical survival guide for all women of color who have and are experiencing the enormous challenges of breast cancer. Drawing on personal experience, Dr. Holloway has created a sensitive, informative, and realistic guide to help women navigate through the trials and tribulations of breast cancer. This guide will help African American and indeed all women more successfully face the crisis of breast cancer."—Daniel C. Lafferty, Associate Professor, Graduate Studies/Health Sciences, Central Michigan University
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