Janet Reibstein's mother and two aunts grew up in New Jersey amid a close-knit, extended Jewish family set apart only by a genetic propensity for breast cancer. Over fifty years, the disease claims Janet's two aunts, then her mother, then a cousin. Finally Janet must face the far-reaching decision of whether to undergo a preemptive mastectomy herself. A history of the disease in America as well as a story of sisters, mothers and daughters, and the men who love them, Staying Alive is ultimately a tale of extraordinary strength and of the power of love in survival.

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