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Professor emerita publishes book on breast cancer

October 3, 2012

Patricia Prijatel, E.T. Meredith Distinguished Professor of Journalism Emerita

Patricia Prijatel, E.T. Meredith Distinguished Professor of Journalism Emerita, hopes her new book will provide inspiration and motivation to the thousands of women affected by breast cancer every year. Surviving Triple Negative Breast Cancer: Hope, Treatment, and Recovery, is about Prijatel’s own battle again triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). The book, published by Oxford University Press, hits shelves this month.

Prijatel was diagnosed with estrogen-negative breast cancer in 2006; she did not even know breast cancer that was not fueled by hormones existed. She found very little literature on the subject, and most of it was “frightening.” During her battle, she started a blog, Positives About Negative, to provide information on the disease and a hopeful perspective.

“One of the most common search phrases people use to get to my blog is ‘Can you survive triple-negative breast cancer?’” Prijatel says. “My goal in the book is to tell patients, that, yes, the disease can be beaten. My hope is to do for women with TNBC what I did in the Drake classroom for 25 years: inform, educate, calm, and encourage.”

Prijatel uses her own story and the experiences of 11 other women to personalize the book. She also utilizes hundreds of studies to provide some understanding of the disease and offers help on how lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise can help reduce the risk of recurrence.

Prijatel spent 25 years at Drake before her retirement in 2007. She was director and associate dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) from 2005–2007. Prijatel is credited with helping to make the magazines major at Drake one of top programs in the country and developing the Meredith Center for Magazine Studies at the SJMC. She remains involved with the master of communication leadership program.