Category Archives: Making of the book

Detroit Gives Great Welcome to New Breast Cancer Surgery, Reconstruction Book; San Antonio Here We Come July 27

The public launch of “Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You” at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital drew a great, attentive crowd, including former Michigan Public Health Director Vernice Anthony. The book will be available again on July 2 on, after selling out. It currently is available at the Barnes and Noble book store, Grosse Pointe Woods.

Anstett plans similar programs with health systems this year, as one way of getting out the word to women about information may look hard to find.

Next up: June 27, Methodist Hospital, San Antonio, operating home of Dr. Minas Chyrsopoulo, one of the nation’s top breast reconstruction surgery.  Medical writer Patricia Anstett obtained permission last year from the hospital to watch a nipple-sparing double mastectomy procedure using a woman’s own abdominal tissue and blood vessels. The woman’s story and her surgery anchor the breast reconstruction with tissue chapter in the book. These inside-the-OR stories are among the unique aspects of this book, told with moving photographs by award-winning photographer Kathleen Galligan.

More Detroit events are planned in August, September and October, Anstett also has been asked to moderate two surgery panels at the FORCE conference in Orlando in October. vern

Public Book Launch Today at Henry Ford W. Bloomfield Hospital

Today is the public launch of “Breast Cancer Surgery & Reconstruction: What’s Right for You,” a unique new book, told in real stories, from women who have been there. ‪#‎nootherbooklikethis‬

METRO DETROIT — When Patricia Anstett’s good friend Donna Dauphinais lost both breasts in September 2011 to breast cancer, Anstett discovered a side of the disease she felt needed more attention: breast

Book Launch Successful; Thanks for Supporting Us

Today was the launch of “Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You,” which I wrote and was photographed by Detroit Free Press photographer Kathleen Galligan. Thanks to Olga Tecos and her great staff at the Aretee Spa, Grosse Pointe Woods, for donating her facility and staff to make this such a great event, and thanks to Dr. Lisa Newman, the staff of Dr. K.C. Chaiyasate, breast cancer survivors in the book, Barnes & Noble Grosse Pointe and lots of wonderful people, both family, friends and friends of friends, for making this such a wonderful event. More coming and thanks for your support of this important women’s health issue. Tell your friends, your favorite libraries and others about the book.

How The Book Began: With the Nipple


20131028_104232The story behind the writing of “Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You” begins with the nipple.

A dear friend and breast cancer survivor invited me to join her and her mom for a 10-hour road trip to suburban Baltimore for my friend’s nipple tattooing session with nationally known breast tattoo artist Vinnie Myers. He sees women from all over the country and calls a nipple tattoo “the cherry on the cupcake.”

I went, observed and came back with a bunch of questions I asked of doctors. Then I wrote a sample chapter, “The Nipple: The Ultimate Challenge.” This chapter got me a contract with a large publishing company, Rowman and Littlefield, in two amazing weeks. After that, my reporter’s curiosity and instincts led me to dozens of other questions. I hope the book provides resources to women facing surgery, with or without reconstruction; that it gives helpful insights to those who have been there already; and provides medical schools and hospitals with new open approaches talking to patients about these issues.20131028_125310

Patricia Anstett


Unique Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction Book Now Out

A new book, “Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You,” comes out today. There are few resources like this and none with real insights from women, told in their own words, along with photography by Kathleen Galligan cover.finalthat captures their healing spirit. The book is $35 from Rowman and Littlefield and available on and some Barnes and Noble and other select bookstores.

On June 29, author Patricia Anstett, a long-time medical writer, will launch the book with a community event on the topic, with a book-signing, from 5-7 at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. Other events are planned throughout the upcoming year.

#BreastReconstruction # breastcancer #plasticsurgery



10-Minute Radio Interview with Author

Here’s an interview with WJR-Detroit’s Marie Osborne that wonderfully conveys some of the questions and answers about our book.  It explains why I wrote the book; the issues it addresses; describes the range of women in the book; and recounts the breast cancer diagnosis of Detroit Free Press photographer Kathleen Galligan, three months after she began working on the book. She tells how she reluctantly moved from behind the camera in a first-person lumpectomy chapter for the book.

Marie Osborne

The Big Story with Marie Osborne
WJR’s award winning news department brings you “The Big Story.” Hosted by Marie Osborne, this hour long segment brings you the top news stories of the day, important news interviews and highlights from Paul W., Frank, and Mitch on WJR. Catch “The Big Story” periodically from 7-8 PM. Watch WJR’s Fac…


Book Launch At June 29 Community Event with Henry Ford Health System

A unique new book, “Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You,’’ by Detroit author Patricia Anstett, with photography by Kathleen Galligan, will be launched Wednesday, June 29 with a community event at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.

The event begins with a book signing, networking and refreshments from 5-6 p.m., with music by pianist Ryan Schildcrout, followed by a one-hour program from 6-7 p.m. on breast surgery and reconstruction. The program features Anstett, as moderator, three breast cancer survivors and Henry Ford breast cancer experts, Lisa Newman, M.D., and Dunya Atisha, M.D.

The book is based on nearly three years of interviews across the country with breast cancer survivors, experts and women with extensive family histories of breast and ovarian cancer. Anstett also visited breast surgery centers to understand what the surgeries entail and to observe model practices at top programs. Galligan, an Emmy-award winning, Detroit Free Press photographer, was diagnosed with breast cancer three months after beginning work on the project. She wrote her own first-person chapter in the book, to be published June 16 from Rowman & Littlefield. It is available on and at select bookstores.

RSVP to attend the Ford event: 248-325-3890, or

Other programs on breast cancer surgery and reconstruction are planned throughout 2016.


Jill Conley, Breast Cancer Activist, Dies at 38

Jill Brzezinski-Conley died of breast cancer Tuesday at age 38. Originally from metro Detroit and later Louisville, KY, Conley gained international attention for showing how to live with dignity, after a mastectomy and failed implant reconstruction. She is the founder of Jill’s Wish, which provides financial help to women with metastatic cancer. Her story captured international headlines when she posed in a pink ballgown under the Eiffel Tower in Paris.