Surviving Breast Cancer: A New Book by NPR News Executive Editor

Feb 25, 2014
Originally published on February 26, 2014 12:30 pm

As executive editor for NPR News, Madhulika Sikka's work revolves around bringing stories from all over the world to NPR listeners every day.

Today, roles are reversed as Madhulika tells a different kind of story: her own.

In her powerful new memoir, A Breast Cancer Alphabet, Madhulika shares her inventive reaction to her personal battle with breast cancer, for which she crafts an honest and inspiring roadmap to the many unexpected challenges of treatment.

"I like to think I represent the run-of-the-mill patient, so I just didn't have a 'breast cancer memoir' in me," says Madhulika. "But I did have things to say."

As one of the most influential women in news-media, who's quietly racked up four Emmy's, two DuPont awards and as many Peabodys, and with access to the most cutting edge research data (she even consulted NPR Science desk correspondents about treatment options), Madhulika absorbed her breast cancer diagnosis in stride. But what she didn't foresee are the many unexpected, and individually minute, challenges to navigating treatment. In A Breast Cancer Alphabet, Madhulika implores an accessible fusion of science and storytelling, and reflects the frank-talking community that helped to preserve her sense of humor, and sanity, throughout the course of this devastating disease.

For anyone whose life has been touched by breast cancer, Madhulika offers some real talk that is as hopeful as it is informative. She invites submit your own ABC's of Breast Cancer on her tumblr.

Listen to Madhulika Sikka on Morning Edition.

You can now purchase A Breast Cancer Alphabet from the NPR Shop here.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit