Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Dr. Susan Love, author of lay readers' Bible about breast cancer, dies of leukemia at age 75

The author of the best-selling volume, Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book, that became in effect a Bible for breast cancer patients three decades ago, died Sunday at her home in Los Angeles of leukemia at age 75.

Dr. Susan Love
Love was a surgeon, researcher, and activist. She was the founder of an advocacy group, the National Breast Cancer Coalition, in 1991, and was the chief visionary officer of the Dr. Susan Love Foundation, a nonprofit that conducts and finances research into the disease.

The oncologist's book aimed at lay readers, now in its sixth edition, has sold nearly 500,000 copies. A seventh edition is scheduled to be published in a few months.

According to a story by Margarlit Fox in Monday editions of The New York Times, she had "ignited controversy with her less-than-enthusiastic appraisal of hormone replacement therapy, routinely recommended [in the 1990s] to treat menopausal symptoms. Her position was vindicated some years later, when the therapy was found to increase the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and strokes." 

She was gay and, the Times piece indicates, "chose to come out of the closet at a time when being openly gay carried grave professional and personal risks. She felt an obligation to do so, she said, so she could serve as a role model for others."

More information about the disease can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

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