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Playlist: Breast Cancer Awareness

Compiled By: PRX Editors

 Credit: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-76885141/stock-photo-awareness-ribbon-breast-cancer.html">Shutterstock</a>.
Image by: Shutterstock
Curated Playlist


Below are picks chosen by PRX editorial staff. You can find more pieces appropriate for breast cancer by using our search.

The Breast Cancer Monologues

From Dmae Lo Roberts | 57:56

A one-hour documentary special intricately woven from interviews, readings and original music about how breast cancer has affected the lives of women in America.

Bcmonolow_small Program Description: This is an NFCB Golden Reel award winner. One in eight women in this country will develop breast cancer within a life expectancy of 85 years. Only 5-10 percent of breast cancers are linked to genetic history, yet there is little research as to the cause and the treatment can be as deadly as the disease. Breast cancer is still misunderstood and often a taboo subject even among women because of the fear and lack of researched information surrounding it. Yet, most everyone in America knows someone who has struggled or is struggling with this disease. The Breast Cancer Monologues address the myths and misunderstandings while giving voice to the women who know first-hand the effects of breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Monologues was produced by Dmae Roberts and the Breast Cancer Radio Arts Project, a collaboration of MediaRites Productions, The Media Project, Project Quest's Arquette Cancer Program and KBOO 90.7 FM community radio. The Breast Cancer Monologues is dedicated to the memory of Chu-Yin Roberts. This one-hour radio documentary special was produced from outreach workshops conducted by MediaRites. Productions and interviews were produced by Miae Kim, Anca Micheti, Jessica Stiles and Kate Welch. With contributions by Barbara Bernstein, Laura Moulton, Andrew Stelzer, Megan Hall and Sara Kolbet. Original Music was composed and performed by Maria de los Angeles Esteves Master Engineer was Clark Salisbury CD and online Graphics by Ping Khaw-Sutherland. Readings were performed by Caren Graham, Elaine Low and Olga Sanchez. Interviews and writings by Jan Baross, Rita McDonagh, Hilda Bengston, Dawn Cottrell, Majorie Holland, Barbara Strasburger, Leslie Lischka, Teena Rodriguez, Tai Brown, Clara Welsch, Maria Pascu, Caroline Acuna-Guilartes, Monica Benson-Barros, Suzanne, Elizabeth, Joy, Michelle, Caroline, Monica, Jeannette, Nancy and Mira.

State of Overwhelm

From Eric Drachman | 04:43

Katharine Gibson was not expecting to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Through her struggle to beat the disease and complete her treatment, the shift in perspective gave her insight and gifts that she also didn't see coming.

Kg_haircut_small "State of Overwhelm" won 2nd place in KCRW's 24 Hour Radio Race which took place on Saturday August 17 and 18, 2013. Producers of all experience levels from all over the world were given 24 HOURS to write, record, and edit a non-fiction radio story. On Saturday at 10AM PT, contestants were emailed a THEME. The theme for this year was "the last thing you'd expect". We then had 24 hours to create a story that somehow related to this theme. Halfway through the 24 hours (at 10PM PT), contestants received another email with an optional BONUS ELEMENT, which we could choose to incorporate into our story for extra credit. The extra credit was a photo of a 20-sided die. The finished piece then had to be uploaded to Soundcloud by 10AM on Sunday August 18th. The audio piece here is the exact version that we submitted just minutes before the 24 hours were up.

Our piece, "State of Overwhelm" featured Albert's wife, who was just completing her treatment for breast cancer.  She was not expecting to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Through her struggle to beat the disease and complete her treatment, the shift in perspective gave her insight and gifts that she also didn't see coming.

The Caretaker

From Jamie Courville | Part of the Squirrels Stories series | 06:58

Learan lost his wife to breast cancer a year ago. Now he is a single parent to two boys. This portrait is about love, loss and moving on.


A linguist said “squirrels” is the hardest word in the English language to say. Squirrels Stories are audio portraits told in the first person about things that are hard to talk about.

The objective of Squirrels Stories is to use the first hand story to help us all walk in other people’s shoes, and to understand and appreciate the whole world we live in.  These stories are beneficial to those who listen as well as those who tell. More at www.SquirrelsStories.com

Dina's Diary: Journey of a Cancer Survivor

From Capital Public Radio | 59:03

This intimate, award-winning audio diary documents a young mother's year-long battle with breast cancer.

Dina_small Two weeks before Thanksgiving Day 2005, Dina Howard was diagnosed with breast cancer. Over the ensuing months, the 39-year-old mother of two faced agonizing decisions about surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. At the time of her diagnosis, Dina, a former actress and arts administrator, was starting work as a freelance arts reporter for public radio station KXJZ in Sacramento. Despite having no radio experience, she had reporter-like instincts and lots of enthusiasm. But after she got the devastating news, her new vocation would have to wait. Or would it? While still dealing with the shock of the diagnosis, Dina had an idea: maybe she should keep the equipment she borrowed from the station and document her own battle with cancer. It would give her a task to focus on, she reasoned. And maybe the finished product would be helpful to others someday. And so, for one year between Thanksgivings, Dina kept an audio diary. But she didn't just record end-of-the-day reflections about her ordeal. She recorded her raw reactions during the most crucial moments of treatment: while she was in the pre-op waiting room before mastectomy surgery, in the infusion lounge during chemotherapy, and during radiation treatments with a giant machine hovering overhead. "Dina's Diary" is a powerful and emotional distillation of those experiences. It includes other important voices as well: Dina's family and friends, her doctors and nurses, even the owner of a wig shop she visited. Since its original airing on KXJZ in December, 2006, "Dina's Diary" has won awards from AP, PRNDI and PRPD. More importantly it has touched the lives of a great many listeners who have gone through, are going through, or will soon be starting cancer treatment. Here are a few of their comments: "I listened to Dina's Diary in the car last week and had to pull over in the rain to hear the whole thing. And I was crying, because it was so fresh in my memory. 2006 was my cancer year... Thank you Dina for taking this thing out of its private, polite world and giving it a voice. The emotions are overwhelming and we don't have a good way to handle them although family and friends are the most wonderful blessing of all." "My wife has finished 4 of 8 chemos by Christmas. We also read the comic-style book 'Cancer-Vixen' -Both your diary and that book have given us the roadmap that the doctors don't seem to have laid out well. She has a team of doctors, each a specialist in their part of the treatment, and so trying to get a roadmap is like pulling teeth. Only the cancer-victors who've been through can speak to our need, Thank you, thank you, thank you." "Listening to Dina's Diary tonight was the most powerful story I have ever heard on talk radio. It stopped me in my tracks. I am a 31 year old mother of two small children. As I cooked dinner and listened to Dina's story, tears streamed down my face. What would I do if I were diagnosed with breast cancer? My husband sat down and listened as well. Dina's words were honest and real. You could feel her fear. You could feel her will to survive. Thank you Dina for revealing the reality of such a frightening situation. I admire her determination to stay strong and to never give up. How beautiful to come out of this with humility and a renewed love for life."

My Body My Temple

From Dmae Lo Roberts | 04:04

Women writers reading their own works about how breast cancer affects their body image

Bcdrawingnancyneherweb_small My Body My Temple first aired as part of the hour-long The Breast Cancer Monologues. This section is from writing workshops in which women with breast cancer wrote and read their poetry about how the disease affects their sense of themselves and their body image. The opening is a poem read in Spanish. This four-minute piece has not aired nationally and is a debut piece as a standalone module.

Cancer here and there - living with breast cancer in the U.S. and Uganda

From joanne silberner | 08:15

American reporter Joanne Silberner compares her experience with breast cancer to what happened to a Ugandan woman.

Img_0067_small There are some things about breast cancer that are universal. There's the initial fear.  There's the sense that your body has betrayed you in a very personal way. But some parts of the breast cancer experience very much depend on where you live. Reporter Joanne Silberner of Seattle, Washington, compares her experience to that of a woman in Uganda, where there are few treatment options and the disease is highly stigmatized.