Robin is a contributing writer for Living Beyond Breast Cancer and works extensively on content for our Young Women’s Initiative.
She specializes in writing on medicine, health, and social issues for nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, publications, and foundations.
Robin has won national journalism and public service awards. Her nonfiction book on acquaintance rape and date rape was named to several “Best Books” lists. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of Health Care Journalists, and Authors Guild.
Cold therapy limited hair loss, speeded regrowth: Alexis Rose-Hamburg
For Alexis Rose-Hamburg, the news she had to undergo chemo hit her harder than her initial diagnosis. She did not want to lose her hair, and when she learned about scalp-cooling, she thought she found a possible solution to maintaining a sense of control. Though Alexis lost about 30% of her hair, she stuck with the treatment and discovered a surprising perk.
From her experience to real-life help for others: Rosemary Carrera
After seeing first-hand the disparities in care and resources for Hispanic and Latino women with breast cancer in the Miami-Dade area, Rosemary Carrera founded a local organization to provide free direct support services, in Spanish and English, with no financial status requirement.
Decision-making for treatment and thriving: Gillian Lichota
After three years of enduring infertility therapies and a second-trimester miscarriage, Gillian Lichota sat in her OB-GYN’s office and heard the news she had been hoping for – she was nine weeks pregnant. On the same day, an ultrasound of a mass in one breast showed she also had breast cancer. A biopsy later confirmed that finding.
Healing body and emotions: Shangrong Lee
"I wouldn't say I'm an extrovert now, but I'm more outgoing than I was before. Finding my voice is really sharing my experience with breast cancer and not being afraid to talk about it or feel shame for it."
Acupuncture to relieve treatment side effects: Sarah Wald
“The notion that acupuncture is complementary to traditional care is really important,” says Sarah. “Sometimes when I tell people I’m going to see an acupuncturist for breast cancer side effects, they think I’m not doing traditional therapies. I’m doing everything.”
Managing breast cancer as a single parent: Amber Tisi
In September 2018, Amber Tisi was raising three young children, working full-time, and contending with legal and personal conflicts related to separation and divorce. Then she found a lump in her breast and was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer.
Living with lymphedema: Katie Budris
"Everything had an endpoint. It’s been difficult to grasp the fact that this does not have an endpoint." Katie Budris speaks to LBBC about the challenges of living with lymphedema after breast cancer treatment.
Using medical marijuana for pain relief: Abigail M. Johnston
Abigail M. Johnston spoke to LBBC about how using medical marijuana helped her manage side effects from metastatic breast cancer and its treatment without the difficulties she felt with more powerful pain medicines.
Moving forward after a metastatic diagnosis at 23: Julia Wise
Shortly after Julia Wise’s graduation in 2017, her gynecologist found a small lump in her right breast. A year later, at the age of 23, she was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer.
Finding treatment and support as a young Asian American: Jeannie Aejin Choi Karwowski
Jeannie Aejin Choi Karwowski was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30, and faced the unique challenges of dealing with the cultural expectations of her Korean parents and the bias of the U.S. healthcare system.
Deciding to Go Flat: Yael Levin
Yael Levin planned on getting reconstruction after surgery to treat her breast cancer, but after delays due to complications, she learned about other women choosing no reconstruction after breast surgery, choosing to go flat.
Emotional impact when breast cancer returns: Helga Torres
Helga Torres talks with LBBC contributing writer Robin Warshaw about the emotions she experienced after her metastatic diagnosis and how they differed from what she had felt when diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.
Complementary Therapies Ease Side Effects: Marie Farrell
Marie Farrell was looking for ways to ease the side effects of treatment when her cancer center connected her with some complementary therapies. She spoke to LBBC about what she found and how complementary therapies helped her manage effects during and after treatment.
Finding Calm: Using Meditation to Manage Cancer-Related Difficulties
Meditation is a mind-body approach to creating well-being that has been used for thousands of years that has evolved into a complementary support therapy, in combination with medical and surgical treatment, for people with many conditions, including breast cancer.
Study Explores Quality of Life After Breast Cancer Diagnosis for Young Black Women
A review of 20 years of studies looking at quality of life after breast cancer diagnosis showed that young black women have greater physical and psychosocial challenges than do other women.
Helping Children Understand a Breast Cancer Diagnosis: Emily Sippola
“I really wanted us to talk about it with them as soon as we had enough information to have a plan. I felt like they needed to know,” Emily Sippola on talking to her children about her breast cancer diagnosis.
Talking About Breast Cancer May Reduce Fear of Recurrence in Young Women and Their Partners
Young women and their partners may have less fear of breast cancer returning when they take part in supportive discussions about their cancer-related concerns.
Repeat surgery common after lumpectomy, especially for young women
Nearly 1 in 4 women who have lumpectomy, also called breast conservation surgery, has additional surgery within 90 days, a recent study in JAMA Surgery shows. Women younger than age 50 have the highest rates of reoperation, or added surgery.
ACOG supports vaginal estrogen use for difficult symptoms in hormone-sensitive breast cancer
In a recent committee opinion, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) approved the use of low-dose vaginal estrogen products to relieve vaginal dryness, painful sex and related symptoms in women treated for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
Some women report worse side effects after ovarian suppression
In this sub-study of the SOFT clinical trial, premenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer who took tamoxifen and ovarian suppression had more menopausal symptoms over 2 years than women who took tamoxifen alone.
Tamoxifen Use Affected by Fertility Concerns, Side Effects
The potential side effects and fertility impact of tamoxifen lead some young women to stop, or never start, the treatment despite its ability to help prevent cancer from coming back, a study shows.
Mistaken signs really Paget disease: Christina Ihfe
Christina Ihfe’s rash wouldn’t go away, despite a variety of creams and treatments. She speaks to LBBC about being diagnosed with Paget disease of the breast, a rare form of breast cancer often mistaken for common skin problems.
Ability to Pay Attention May Affect Exercise
Young women who are better able to focus their attention on a task were found to exercise more regularly several years after breast cancer treatment than young women reporting attention difficulties, a study shows.
Navigating for Herself and Others: Sarah Iwanski
“If I [had not questioned] my healthcare providers and advocate[d] for myself, then I probably would not be alive now.” Sarah Iwanski on the importance of pushing for your care and sharing knowledge.
Removing Ovaries Helps With BRCA1-Related Breast Cancer
Women diagnosed with BRCA1-related breast cancer, significantly reduced their risk of death by having their ovaries removed, a recent study found. When the ovaries are removed within two years of diagnosis, that risk drops even lower.
Side Effects Greater for Some Given Tamoxifen With Ovarian Suppression
A study found that certain premenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer given tamoxifen plus ovarian function suppression experienced more difficulty with menopausal symptoms and other side effects.
Making the Adjustment: From Giving Care to Accepting Care
For those who are caring for someone else when diagnosed with breast cancer, the transition to being in care may be hard. Yet it’s vital to recognize personal needs, ask for help and find ways to adapt.
Is an Aromatase Inhibitor with Ovarian Suppression Better for Premenopausal Women?
Treating hormone receptor-positive breast cancer with an aromatase inhibitor, or AI, usually used only in postmenopausal women, significantly reduced breast cancer return in premenopausal women when used with ovarian suppression, according to the preliminary reports of two combined studies.
Reasons young women stop taking tamoxifen vary over time
Looking at a little understood yet common phenomenon—women discontinuing tamoxifen therapy early—French researchers found several factors caused women to interrupt treatment. These factors varied, depending upon when the women stopped therapy.
Infants exposed to chemotherapy during pregnancy develop normally
A recent study of the long-term outcomes, or effects, for children exposed to chemotherapy during pregnancy has shown that most have normal heart, brain and cognitive functions despite exposure to treatment.