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Look Inside Unnatural History

Unnatural History
Breast Cancer and American Society

£22.99

Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine

  • Date Published: September 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107651463

£ 22.99
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About the Authors
  • Unnatural History explores the change over the last two centuries from isolated, private fears to an immense individual and collective risk of breast cancer. The book begins with the experiences of a Quaker woman diagnosed with breast cancer in 1812 and ends with our problematic era in which almost every woman is waiting for 'the axe to fall'. In between, the book traces changes in the beliefs and values of women and their doctors, medical knowledge and technology, clinical and public health practices, and the biological impact of the disease. Unnatural History suggests that we have oversold both the fear of breast cancer and the effectiveness of screening and treatment, leading to miscalculation at the individual and societal levels.

    • Case studies will appeal to bioethics types and people interested in medical narratives
    • Chapter on Rachel Carson and cancer will be interesting to environmental studies types
    • Useful to breast cancer patients, friends, and family members
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107651463
    • length: 380 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Cancer in the breast, 1813
    3. Pessimism and promise
    4. Taking responsibility for cancer
    5. Living at risk
    6. 'Do not delay': the war against time
    7. 'Prophets of doom': skeptics of the cancer establishment at mid-century
    8. Balancing hope, trust, and truth: Rachel Carson
    9. The rise of surveillance
    10. Crisis in prevention
    11. Breast cancer risk: 'waiting for the axe to fall'.

  • Author

    Robert A. Aronowitz, University of Pennsylvania
    Robert A. Aronowitz studied linguistics before receiving his M.D. from Yale University. After finishing residency in Internal Medicine, he studied the history of medicine as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr Aronowitz is currently Associate Professor in the History and Sociology of Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania. He continues to practise medicine, holding a joint appointment with the medical school's department of Family Practice and Community Medicine. Dr Aronowitz was the founding director of Penn's Health and Societies program. He also co-directs the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program, a post-doctoral program focused on population health. In 2005–6, he was a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Dr Aronowitz's central research interests are in the history of twentieth-century disease, epidemiology, and population health. He is the author of Making Sense of Illness: Science, Society, and Disease (Cambridge, 1998). Dr Aronowitz is currently working on a historical project on the social framing of health risks, for which he received an Investigator Award in Health Policy from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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