By Ellen Leopold
A Twentieth-Century tale of Breast melanoma, ladies, and Their DoctorsIn the 1st cultural historical past of breast melanoma, Ellen Leopold asks how sexual politics have formed the connection among sufferer and doctor, and the way a illness lately shrouded in secrecy has develop into so public.
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Extra resources for A DARKER RIBBON: A TWENTIETH-CENTURY STORY OF BREAST CANCER, WOMAN, AND THEIR DOCTORS
The intention here is not to cast blame but to identify the underlying cultural ideas at work, in order to understand why they have had such different consequences for men and for women. I should also add that I do not want to minimize the benefits of the treatments that medicine in the first 75 years of the century made available. Undoubtedly, they kept a great many women alive. My criticism of radical surgery in this book is directed more toward those factors (not, strictly speaking, either medical or scientific) that served to prolong clinical dependence on a misguided model of disease.
Everyone is caught up in them. Inevitably, they are attention-grabbing and make headlines. The opportunities they offer for both Page 9 tragedy and heroism make media coverage of them irresistable. Not surprisingly, the paper trail they leave behind has made them popular with medical historians. . " 5 I would add breast cancer to the list of historical wallflowers. As a disease that sets off powerful if poorly understood reactions to female sexuality, its history has much to tell us about American society's long-term accommodations to the physical and emotional needs of women.
And, yes, they have effectively broadcast their dissatisfaction with the scarcity and quality of research into women's diseases. But the burden still falls largely on their shoulders. Every one of the 180,000 American women diagnosed each year is still individually responsible for getting herself screened, biopsied, treated, and monitored. And those lucky enough to escape a positive diagnosis (this time) are, equally, burdened with the responsibility to maintain their disease-free state (through so-called lifestyle modifications like diet and exercise).
A DARKER RIBBON: A TWENTIETH-CENTURY STORY OF BREAST CANCER, WOMAN, AND THEIR DOCTORS by Ellen Leopold