"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,
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.
New England J of Med,
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