Download A Woman’s Disease: The History of Cervical Cancer by Ilana Lowy PDF

By Ilana Lowy

Cervical melanoma is an emotive disorder with a number of connotations. It has stood for the horror of melanoma, the curse of femininity, the desire of state of the art scientific applied sciences and the promise of screening for malignant tumours. for a very long time, this sickness was once pointed out with the main dreaded elements of malignancies: lengthy invalidity and persistent soreness, but additionally actual degradation, disgrace and social isolation. Cervical melanoma displayed in parallel the risks of being a lady.

In the twentieth century, suggestions in the beginning constructed to regulate cervical melanoma - radiotherapy and radium treatment, exfoliate cytology (Pap smear), homogenisation of the 'staging' of tumours, mass campaigns for an early detection of precancerous lesions of the cervix - set criteria for analysis, remedy and prevention of alternative malignancies. within the past due twentieth century, cervical melanoma underwent one other vital swap. With the show of the function of chosen strands of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) within the genesis of this malignancy, it was once remodeled right into a sexually transmitted ailment. This new knowing of cervical melanoma associated it extra firmly with way of life offerings, and therefore elevated the chance of stigmatisation of sufferers; nevertheless it opened the chance for effective prevention of this malignancy via vaccination.

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Extra resources for A Woman’s Disease: The History of Cervical Cancer

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Biologists who studied effects of radiation on tissues had shown that it destroyed rapidly multiplying cells and, for this reason, killed cancer cells selectively. The treatment was not entirely specific. X-rays harmed normal tissues too, especially those rich in rapidly dividing cells: such as bone marrow, the lining of the intestine, and hair roots. Such destruction of normal tissues produced the distressing side effects of X-ray therapy: anaemia, digestive disorders such as diarrhoea and nausea, and hair loss.

Those who survived the operation led a normal life and one woman who underwent a partial amputation of the cervix even became pregnant. Other surgeons, appalled by the disastrous outcome of Jacques Lisfranc’s operations, contested his optimistic claims. One of Lisfranc’s ex-students, Jean Hippolyte Pauly (1806–1854), wrote in 1835 that the majority of women operated at the Hôtel Dieu hospital died from the surgery itself. Those who survived, failed to be cured. Their cancer returned promptly and they died a few months later from their disease.

Baldwin explained in 1884, has been to diseases of the womb what the printing press is to civilization, what the compass is to the mariner, what steam is to navigation, what the telescope is to astronomy. . Gynaecology today would not deserve the name of a separate and critical science, but for the light which [the] speculum . . 2 The use of the speculum by gynaecologists, sometimes combined with data obtained from the dissection of cadavers, 23 a wom an’s dise ase opened the way to studies of pathological changes in female reproductive organs.

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