Cancer Activism: Gender, Media, and Public Policy

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Overview

The first comparison of the breast cancer and the prostate cancer movements

Cancer Activism explores the interplay between advocacy, the media, and public perception through an analysis of breast cancer and prostate cancer activist groups over a nearly twenty-year period. Despite both diseases having nearly identical mortality and morbidity rates, Karen M. Kedrowski and Marilyn Stine Sarow present evidence from more than 4,200 news articles to show that the different groups have...

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Overview

The first comparison of the breast cancer and the prostate cancer movements

Cancer Activism explores the interplay between advocacy, the media, and public perception through an analysis of breast cancer and prostate cancer activist groups over a nearly twenty-year period. Despite both diseases having nearly identical mortality and morbidity rates, Karen M. Kedrowski and Marilyn Stine Sarow present evidence from more than 4,200 news articles to show that the different groups have had markedly different impacts. They trace the rise of each movement from its beginning and explore how discussions about the diseases appeared on media, public, and government agendas. In an important exception to the feminist tenet that women as a group hold less power than men, Kedrowski and Sarow demonstrate that the breast cancer movement is not only larger and better organized than the prostate cancer movement, it is also far more successful at shaping media coverage, public opinion, and government policy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252077777
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen M. Kedrowski is professor and chair of the department of political science at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and the author of Media Entrepreneurs and the Media Enterprise in the U.S. Congress. Marilyn Stine Sarow is an associate professor of mass communication at Winthrop University, and coauthor of Integrated Business Communication in a Global Marketplace.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A book with phrases like "Cancer Activism" and "P

    A book with phrases like "Cancer Activism" and "Public Policy" in the title might not catch a reader's eye, but this book truly is captivating and, believe it or not, hard to put down -- only to soon return for more.

    The premise of the book contrasts support for breast cancer and prostate cancer: research dollars, community activism, fundraising, media attention, and even postage-stamp sales. One might expect these two illnesses would fare similarly given their propensity to be hormone-sensitive cancers. Breast cancer and prostate cancer are essentially separated by a gender divide. (Yes, I know men can get breast cancer, but the incidence is low.) U.S. society, however, handles these two types of cancer quite differently. I had often wondered why this would be because on one hand, we have pink, pink, pink everywhere to support breast cancer. That's a disease (mostly) women get. Prostate cancer? That's reserved for men. But there's no color people know to wear to draw attention to prostate cancer, and "watch and wait" isn't an inspirational slogan.

    One issue I would have liked to have seen in the book is that although breast cancer is the most common cancer site in U.S. women, breast cancer is NOT the leading cause of cancer death among women. By far, women are much more likely to die of lung cancer than breast cancer. The difference between breast cancer (prostate cancer too) and lung cancer as a cause of mortality is staggering, yet lung cancer doesn't get much consumer attention compared to the vibe behind the breast-cancer-support movement.

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