More about "Breast Cancer: Society Shapes An Epidemic"

"Breast Cancer: Society Shapes an Epidemic" Edited by Anne S. Kasper and Susan J. Ferguson With a Foreword by Dr. Susan Love

St. Martin's/Palgrave, October 2000, $27.95 This edited volume is a bold, new look at why breast cancer has become an unrivaled women's health issue. This is not a book about the latest treatments for the disease or the research to find a cure. Instead, this book addresses how society has helped to create and shape the epidemic of breast cancer.

Chapters in the book look at the history of breast cancer and how the disease has been framed to benefit the practice of medicine, not women.

Other chapters consider the economics of breast cancer -- the profits made from a breast cancer marketplace where women are sought-after consumers, not patients.

Accounts of real women's breast cancer experiences show that society's influences often prevent women from being able to act in their own best interests.

The disease as a political issue is seen in the contributions on how breast cancer policy is made, the research controversies, and the long ignored environmental link.

In a final chapter, the editors demonstrate that we can eliminate breast cancer from our future. They map a path that includes making prevention a goal and how to end breast cancer profit making.

They also call for increasing the influence of grassroots advocacy, changing the social messages women receive, and redesigning the science and delivery of health care for women.

Judy Norsigian, co-author of Our Bodies, Ourselves, gives advance praise for the book saying, Kasper and Ferguson bring under one cover the most comprehensive overview of the subject.

Ann's NOTE: I met Ann S. Kasper at the 2nd World Conference on Breast Cancer, held in Ottowa in 1999. She is also one of the founders of the National Women's Health Network.

Review by David Spiegel, MD, Stanford

New England J of Med, April 2001

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