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The Breast Cancer Wars: Hope, Fear, and the Pursuit of a Cure in Twentieth-Century Americaby Barron H. Lerner
Synopses & Reviews
In this riveting narrative, Barron H. Lerner offers a superb medical and cultural history of our century-long battle with breast cancer. Revisiting the past, Lerner argues, can illuminate and clarify the dilemmas confronted by women with--and at risk for--the disease. Writing with insight and compassion, Lerner tells a compelling story of influential surgeons, anxious patients and committed activists. There are colorful portraits of the leading figures, ranging from the acerbic Dr. William Halsted, who pioneered the disfiguring radical mastectomy at the turn of the century to Rose Kushner, a brash journalist who relentlessly educated American women about breast cancer.
Lerner offers a fascinating account of the breast cancer wars: the insistent efforts of physicians to vanquish the "enemy"; the fights waged by feminists to combat a paternalistic legacy that silenced patients; and the struggles of statisticians and researchers to generate definitive data in the face of the great risks and uncertainties raised by the disease. And for this new paperback edition, Lerner has included a postscript in which he discusses the most recent breast cancer controversy: do mammograms truly lower mortality rates or do they lead to unnecessary mastectomies?
In Lerner's hands, the fight against breast cancer opens a window on American medical practice over the last century: the pursuit of dramatic cures with sophisticated technologies, the ethical and legal challenges raised by informed consent, and the limited ability of scientific knowledge to provide quick solutions for serious illnesses. The Breast Cancer Wars tells a story that is of vital importance to modern breast cancer patients, their families and the clinicians who strive to treat and prevent this dreaded disease.
Book News Annotation:
Aimed at breast cancer patients, their families, and clinicians, this text presents a history of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in twentieth century America. Much of the book focuses on the combination of early detection and radical surgery. The volume concludes with a discussion of the recent controversy over the efficacy of mammograms for lowering mortality rates. A practicing physician, Lerner teaches at Columbia University. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
TOSHIRO KAWASE was born in 1948 in Kyoto. He has an undergraduate degree from Nippon University in Tokyo and did postgraduate work in theatrical production in Paris. He currently teaches the art of flower arrangement at several education centers, and his numerous creations frequently appear in
magazines. Among his books in Japanese are Fushikaden, Hana to Utsuwa, Hana wa No ni Aruyoni, Hana Kaiki, and Kawase Toshihiro Watashi no Hana.
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Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Breast Care