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A Woman's Disease By Ilana Lowy (Biologist and historian of medicine, and Senior Research Fellow, French National Institute for Health and Medical Research)

Summary

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. Ilana Lowy follows the disease from antiquity to the 21st century, tracing both medical progress and social change.

A Woman's Disease Summary

A Woman's Disease: The history of cervical cancer by Ilana Lowy (Biologist and historian of medicine, and Senior Research Fellow, French National Institute for Health and Medical Research)

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.

A Woman's Disease Reviews

The book is an easy to read, historical account of the advances in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cervical cancer and the change in society's attitudes toward this disease. It is well referenced and the chapters are arranged in a logical sequence. I would recommend the book for those who have an interest in the history of women's health and gynaecological cancer. It would have appeal to both health professionals and avid readers without a healthcare background. By example, my mother started reading this book and would like it back when I have finished! * Taryn Robinson, Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Victoria *

About Ilana Lowy (Biologist and historian of medicine, and Senior Research Fellow, French National Institute for Health and Medical Research)

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

Table of Contents

Prologue ; 1. The early history of tumours of the womb ; 2. Surgical cures for a cancerous uterus ; 3. The hope of rays ; 4. The Pap smear ; 5. Save the women ; 6. Cervical cancer becomes a sexually transmitted disease ; 7. Still a women's scourge ; Epilogue: cervical cancer in the 21st century

Additional information

GOR004608405
9780199548811
0199548811
A Woman's Disease: The history of cervical cancer by Ilana Lowy (Biologist and historian of medicine, and Senior Research Fellow, French National Institute for Health and Medical Research)
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Oxford University Press
2011-02-08
240
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - A Woman's Disease