‘Talking to my Tatas’: Breast cancer researcher, survivor shares cancer journey in new book

Dana Brantley-Sieders, Ph.D. was a biomedical breast cancer researcher for more than 20 years and faced her own battle with the disease, which inspired her to write the book ‘Talking to my Tatas’. 

Dr. Brantley-Sieders says despite her background she was surprised by how little control she felt over the situation. 

"Being in the laboratory and setting up my controls and my little models, everything was controlled. Everything was tightly regulated. I could throw infinite combinations of drugs to find out what works best, but when it comes to a person, when it came to me, there’s so many fewer shots to get it right. So, that was really jarring and really disconcerting."

Dr. Brantley-Sieders says she’s used to being in control and it was important to her to get a sense of empowerment back and that’s a big part of the reason why she wrote her book. 

READ: Best friends lean on each other through breast cancer battles

Dr. Brantley-Sieders opted to have a lumpectomy vs. a mastectomy and says she does not regret that choice despite being diagnosed with residual disease later in life. She says the odds of it coming back as metastatic disease in another part of the body are very similar if you have a lumpectomy and radiation when compared to a mastectomy. 

She wants people to know that there are no right or wrong choices. There are only choices that are right for the individual patients. 

She says it is important for newly diagnosed patients to breathe and take time to process the information and diagnosis. She also stresses the importance of taking care of mental health while undergoing treatment and getting an annual mammogram. 

LINK: Click here to learn more about ‘Talking to my Tatas’.