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photo One in Eight
Janice's Journey
By Cynthia A. McKeown

Janice Fine was only thirty-three when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she felt she received good medical care, the only information she was given on coping was a video on how to tie scarves. A friend, Cynthia McKeown, suggested making a film on Janice's experiences; they thought they might call it Breast Cancer 101: An Insider's Guide.

This video documentary takes an irreverent and highly personal look at one woman's fight against breast cancer, which affects one in eight women at some time in their lives. It follows Janice's journey over a period of nine years, through diagnosis, treatment, and the constant search for answers. At seventeen, Janice watched her mother's painful battle and ultimate death from uterine cancer; it became her worst nightmare — yet, faced with the reality of her own illness, she responded with courage, determination, and even humor, rallying her support systems and facing the seemingly endless rounds of treatment without self-pity. Trying to understand what has happened to her, she also revisited her childhood neighborhood, where she spoke with activists who have documented indications of a breast cancer epidemic in the area.

"Part of what's a drag about cancer," Janice says, "is that it hijacks your whole life." But, as she also notes, "It's really important to say that there is life after cancer." Recalling her mother's premature death, she had anguished about whether to have children, fearing that she might not be around to see them into adulthood. Today she is cancer free and has two young children.

57 minutes
© 2003
Purchase $199 DVD
Order No. QA-392
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-979-7
close captioned

"One in Eight: Janice's Journey is an extraordinary film depicting one young woman's experience with breast cancer. It is especially helpful as it explores both the personal and the larger societal issues surrounding this epidemic disease. Anyone who cares about someone living with breast cancer will find this a moving and provocative film." Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

"This thoughtful film offers many key insights. Because it follows the experiences of a social activist through a number of years, the politics of breast cancer — and the potential role of environmental exposures — are not divorced from the personal realities and challenges that Janice confronts." Judy Norsigian, Executive Director, Our Bodies Ourselves

"Charts a valiant woman's struggles with breast cancer and with the stubborn, often wrong-headed American health industry. A spry, surprisingly dramatic, true-life American thriller, and with an ecological agenda: Why is it that one in twenty American women used to get breast cancer in a lifetime, and now it's one in eight?" Gerald Peary, Boston Phoenix film critic

"With hilarity and intelligence, Janice takes us on the journey of her fight with breast cancer. As she navigates the medical establishment and finds support and challenges in this battle, we learn from her discoveries and appreciate her authenticity and humor. Entertaining, real, funny, illuminating, important, touching and smart." Women in the Director's Chair International Film and Video Festival, 2004

"An intimate glimpse of one involved woman's eventual triumph over the disease, this is a reassuring choice for cancer victims and other interested viewers." Booklist

"Honest, moving and ultimately hopeful, this film is likely to be well-received by patients, support groups and healthcare providers alike. Recommended." Educational Media Reviews

Awards & Conference Screenings
Women in the Director's Chair Festival
Gold Award, National Health Information Awards
Best Documentary, New England Film and Video Festival
Platinum Remi Award, WORLDFEST Houston
Brattleboro Women's Film and Video Festival
Female Eye Film Festival
Long Island International Film Expo
Planet in Focus:
International Environmental Film Festival
Northern Lights Documentary Film Festival
Pine Film Festival

Related Films
At My Mother's Breast: The filmmaker's mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all had breast cancer; she grew up knowing that she might be next. An extraordinary portrait of a family of brave, strong women finding unity in facing a terrifying and tragic genetic legacy.

Look For Me Here: The final days in the life of a woman with metastatic cancer, who has chosen to forego further treatment, and to face death with friends and hospice care at home.

Beyond the Loss of the Breast: Explores the meaning and impact of metastatic breast cancer through the personal narratives and poetry of the filmmaker and two other women.

How Can We Love You?: Focuses on the feelings and experiences of women living with metastatic breast cancer through the stories of two women who traveled across North America performing in a play on the subject.

Tell Them You're Fine: Three fairly young people with cancer confront the day-to-day realities of coping with the impact of the disease, with therapy, and with the attitudes of family, friends and co-workers.

Our Own Best Advocates: Encourages breast self-examination for women with disabilities, using whatever arm and hand mobility they have, or working with family, partners, or personal care assistants.


Awards & Screenings

Related Films

Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website