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Early Detection: Women, Cancer, and Awareness Campaigns in the Twentieth-Century United States (Paperback)
  • Early Detection: Women, Cancer, and Awareness Campaigns in the Twentieth-Century United States (Paperback)

Early Detection: Women, Cancer, and Awareness Campaigns in the Twentieth-Century United States (Paperback)

Paperback 304 Pages / Published: 30/05/2006
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Dispelling the common notion that American women became activists in the fight against female cancer only after the 1970s, Kirsten E. Gardner traces women's cancer education campaigns back to the early twentieth century. Focusing on breast cancer, but using research on cervical, ovarian, and uterine cancers as well, Gardner's examination of films, publications, health fairs, and archival materials shows that women have promoted early cancer detection since the inception of the American Society for the Control of Cancer in 1913. While informing female audiences about cancer risks, these early activists also laid the groundwork for the political advocacy and patient empowerment movements of recent decades. By the 1930s there were 300,000 members of the Women's Field Army working together with women's clubs to hold explicit discussions about the risks, detection, and incidence of cancer. The feminist health movement of the 1970s, Gardner explains, heralded a departure for female involvement in women's health activism. As before, women encouraged early detection, but they simultaneously demanded increased attention to gender and medical research, patient experiences, and causal factors. Our understanding of today's vibrant feminist health movement is enriched by Gardner's work recognizing women's roles in grassroots educational programs throughout the twentieth century and their creation of supportive networks that endure today.

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807856826
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 367 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 18 mm
Edition: New edition

This solid, focused book merits reading.--Social History of Medicine

Gardner is thoughtful, fair, and convincing. This book is the place to start for an understanding of the origins of the modern women's health advocacy movement.--American Historical Review

Sensitive . . . [an] excellent and innovative study.--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

A well-written piece of high quality historical scholarship which addresses a multitude of readers.--Women's History Magazine

Weaves a rich tapestry documenting the remarkable efforts of women themselves, acting through twentieth-century social and professional networks, to disseminate scientific knowledge about the diagnosis . . . and treatment options for the major types of reproductive cancer afflicting women. . . . Makes a notable contribution to the history of women and health, health education, as well as the history of cancer and disease.--Journal of the History of Medicine

Gardner's book adds an important new dimension to our understanding of the history of cancer in the United States. . . . By challenging dominant paradigms, by asking and answering difficult questions, Gardner recovers perspectives and voices that help us better understand the past, the present, and the future of cancer care in the United States. Serious students of women's history and the history of medicine need to read this book.--Journal of American History

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