A Woman's Disease: The history of cervical cancer [NOOK Book]

Overview

Cervical cancer is an emotive disease with multiple connotations. It has stood for the horror of cancer, the curse of femininity, the hope of cutting-edge medical technologies and the promise of screening for malignant tumours. For a long time, this disease was identified with the most dreaded aspects of malignancies: prolonged invalidity and chronic pain, but also physical degradation, shame and social isolation. Cervical cancer displayed in ...
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A Woman's Disease: The history of cervical cancer

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Overview

Cervical cancer is an emotive disease with multiple connotations. It has stood for the horror of cancer, the curse of femininity, the hope of cutting-edge medical technologies and the promise of screening for malignant tumours. For a long time, this disease was identified with the most dreaded aspects of malignancies: prolonged invalidity and chronic pain, but also physical degradation, shame and social isolation. Cervical cancer displayed in parallel the dangers of being a woman.

In the 20th century, innovations initially developed to control cervical cancer - radiotherapy and radium therapy, exfoliate cytology (Pap smear), homogenisation of the 'staging' of tumours, mass campaigns for an early detection of precancerous lesions of the cervix - set standards for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of other malignancies. In the late 20th century, cervical cancer underwent another important change. With the display of the role of selected strands of HPV (Human Papilloma
Virus) in the genesis of this malignancy, it was transformed into a sexually transmitted disease. This new understanding of cervical cancer linked it more firmly with lifestyle choices, and thus increased the danger of stigmatisation of patients; on the other hand it opened the possibility for
efficient prevention of this malignancy through vaccination.

Ilana Lowy follows the disease from antiquity to the 21st century, focussing on the period since the mid-19th century, during which cervical cancer was dissociated from other gynaecological disorders and became a distinct entity. Following the ways in which new developments in science, medicine, and society have affected beliefs about medical progress and an individual's responsibility, gender roles, reproduction, and sex, Lowy demonstrates our understanding of what cervical cancer is, and how
it can be prevented and cured.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780191634147
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • Publication date: 2/8/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Ilana Lowy is a biologist and historian of medicine, and Senior Research Fellow at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Prologue: Three Patients 1

1 The Early History of Tumours of the Womb 17

2 Surgical Cures for a Cancerous Uterus 35

3 The Hope of Rays 53

4 The Pap Smear 79

5 Save the Women 107

6 Cervical Cancer Becomes a Sexually Transmitted Disease 129

7 Still a Woman's Scourge 155

Epilogue: Ceryical Cancer in the Twenty-First Century 177

Glossary 183

Notes 189

Further Reading 205

Index 215

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