Hope and Suffering: Children, Cancer, and the Paradox of Experimental Medicine

Overview

Gretchen Krueger's poignant narrative explores how doctors, families, and the public interpreted the experience of childhood cancer from the 1930s through the 1970s. Pairing the transformation of childhood cancer from killer to curable disease with the personal experiences of young patients and their families, Krueger illuminates the twin realities of hope and suffering.

In this social history, each decade follows a family whose experience touches on key themes: possible causes,...

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Overview

Gretchen Krueger's poignant narrative explores how doctors, families, and the public interpreted the experience of childhood cancer from the 1930s through the 1970s. Pairing the transformation of childhood cancer from killer to curable disease with the personal experiences of young patients and their families, Krueger illuminates the twin realities of hope and suffering.

In this social history, each decade follows a family whose experience touches on key themes: possible causes, means and timing of detection, the search for curative treatment, the merit of alternative treatments, the decisions to pursue or halt therapy, the side effects of treatment, death and dying—and cure. Recounting the complex and sometimes contentious interactions among the families of children with cancer, medical researchers, physicians, advocacy organizations, the media, and policy makers, Krueger reveals that personal odyssey and clinical challenge are the simultaneous realities of childhood cancer.

This engaging study will be of interest to historians, medical practitioners and researchers, and people whose lives have been altered by cancer.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

New England Journal of Medicine

Hope and Suffering is an apt title for this dense, encyclopedic, and riveting book. It includes narratives from patients and their family members that detail the hope, suffering, and despair of the first two decades of cancer therapy, followed by the optimism and successes of the present...Author Gretchen Krueger recounts these stories in considerable detail and references them exquisitely.

Lancet - Barron Lerner

Krueger has written an important book.

Medical History - Emm Barnes

It would be of value in any medical humanities course.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801888311
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Gretchen Krueger is a senior historian at Wells Fargo & Company.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 "Glioma Babies:" Families, and Cancer in Children in the 1930s 12

2 "Cancer, The Child Killer": Jimmy and the Redefinition of a Dread Disease 32

3 Death Be Not Proud: Children, Families, and Cancer in Postwar America 53

4 "Against All Odds": Chemotherapy and the Medical Management of Acute Leukemia in the 1950s 82

5 "Who's Afraid of Death on the Leukemia Ward?": Remission, Relapse, and Child Death in the 1960s and 1970s 112

6 "The Truly Cured Child": Prolonged Survival and the Late Effects of Cancer 138

Conclusion 163

Notes 171

Index 211

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