True or False: Breast cancer always shows up on a mammogram, early detection is your best protection, studies show a low-fat diet is linked to a lower incidence of breast cancer, mortality rates for breast cancer are going down. Answers: False, false, false, false. That's only a sample of what's to be found in Patient No More: The Politics of Breast Cancer by Sharon Batt (gynergy books)—an inspiring, liberating narrative by a rigorous thinker who happens to be a breast cancer survivor. Batt tells the story of her work in the breast cancer activist movement, which got rolling in the late 1980s just when she needed it. She takes the reader to her surgeon's office, where she asks straightforward but challenging questions and the surgeon says: "I need a witness. Doctors have rights too." She talks about the research labs of the 1920s where scientists isolated and named estrogen (from the Greek oistros and gen—"begin frenzy"). She devotes a chapter to "alternate" healing methods and places, and another to the role of hormones in breast cancer. She exposes the American Cancer Society's idea of a peer support program: recovering mastectomy patients get hospital visits from volunteer survivors, but volunteers are welcome only if they wear prostheses and otherwise "look normal," and don't talk about anything sad. Batt also gives the lowdown on Roger Poisson, that Montreal doctor who put Canada on the medical map by submitting false data to several key breast cancer research trials—possibly with good reason. Batt has done a staggering amount of research, and she has digested it, sorted it and made sense of it. Now she gives it to Canadian women, with some astute political and historical meditations on why the torrent of data only confuses and scares us. Have you ever wondered why the headlines announce new breast cancer breakthroughs every other week, yet more and more women are diagnosed, or why there is almost no research data on preventing breast cancer, or why despite millions of dollars' worth of research the crash-and-burn treatments are still as bad as the disease? Wonder no more. Read Patient No More.