• A self portrait of Jasmine taken in May, when her hair grew back.

    Best Laid Plans

    When Breast Cancer Hits Young

    Jasmine Johnson had a plan to prevent breast cancer. Then the disease hit. Allison Samuels reports.

    Jasmine Johnson has always been clear about what, health-wise, the future would likely hold.

    Her family history of breast cancer, she realized even as a small child, ran deeper than most. Her grandmother died of the disease before she was born; then, when Johnson was 5, she watched her 36-year-old mother die at home from the same illness. Some years later her paternal grandmother would also battle the disease and survive.

  • Dr. Teresa Cuadra, left, and Dr. Joan Waitkevicz examine a mammogram at the Beth Israel Medical Center, in New York, March 5, 1998. (Stuart Ramson/AP)


    Why I Don't Miss My Breasts

    After years of fearing the worst, culminating in a diagnosis of breast cancer, Michelle Cottle says, ‘Good riddance, girls.’

    Last month, an exceedingly talented surgeon at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., fulfilled a wish I had been harboring quietly for several years: she removed both my breasts.

    Admittedly, I had been hoping to do away with “the girls” well before I wound up with breast cancer. Alas, a bad mammogram in late February revealed that I had irretrievably blown that deadline. Ultimate diagnosis: DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), left breast.

  • John Parra


    Calling Out Victoria’s Secret

    How two women’s online plea is pushing the lingerie giant to the ‘survivor bra’ market. By Nina Strochlic.

    On Thursday morning two women approached the imposing Victoria’s Secret corporate office in windy midtown Manhattan, armed with six pink- and white-striped signature bags. But instead of frilly unmentionables under the tissue paper, there were pages and pages of printed-out signatures and comments. Some 120,000 signatures in all, asking the lingerie giant to launch a “survivor bra,” for a female demographic neglected by many retailers: breast-cancer survivors.

    The two women were 27-year-old Allana Maiden and her mother, Debbie Barrett. Maiden, who lives in Richmond, Va., was inspired to start a petition on Change.org after noticing her mom’s struggle to find a bra that fits her 21 years after undergoing a mastectomy because of breast cancer. In the beginning of January, she posted the petition asking Victoria’s Secret to launch a line of prosthesis-fitting bras for breast-cancer survivors. A week later, as signatures neared 1,000, she told her mom what she had done, and within three weeks, the petition boasted 100,000 signatures.