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Helping “Sistahs” Learn to Live With Fibroids
by Pam Chwedyk Minority Nurse Writer
African-American women are three to nine times more likely to suffer from uterine fibroid tumors than Caucasian women. While fibroids are usually not a life-threatening condition, they can seriously impair the quality of women’s lives by causing severe pelvic pain, excessive bleeding that can lead to anemia, and increased risk of emergency hysterectomies. Although a number of self-help books for fibroid patients are available in the marketplace, virtually none of them have attempted to specifically address the concerns of black women--the audience who needs this advice the most.
With her powerful new book It’s A Sistah Thing: A Guide to Understanding and Dealing with Fibroids for African American Women (Dafina Books, 2002), journalist Monique R. Brown has taken an important step forward in filling this information gap. Brown, an award-winning senior editor for Black Enterprise Magazine, draws upon her own experience as a fibroid patient, plus contributions from medical experts and other black women with fibroids, to provide readers with the facts they need to assess their symptoms, choose the best treatment options, communicate effectively with their physicians and create a customized action plan for managing their disease.
The 336-page paperback book is written in a chatty, entertaining style--e.g., “Girlfriend, I can tell you all the facts in the world about how fibroids generally affect us sisters, but everybody’s experience is different”--yet is packed with solid information. An abundance of diagrams, checklists, interactive exercises, etc., guide readers though everything from evaluating traditional medical treatments to relieving fibroid symptoms through natural remedies, alternative therapies, diet, exercise and self-healing strategies.
Above all, the book is designed to inspire and empower black women by creating a supportive sense of community to unite them in their struggle against this unequal opportunity disease. As Brown writes: “Fibroids, whether we like it or not, have come to be ‘a sistah thing,’ so it’s up to each of us to do something about it. Sis, you’re not alone.”
It’s A Sistah Thing is available in bookstores for $15, or from Amazon.com for $10.50.