Get A Woman’s Disease: The History of Cervical Cancer PDF

By Ilana Lowy

ISBN-10: 0199548811

ISBN-13: 9780199548811

Cervical melanoma is an emotive illness with a number of connotations. It has stood for the horror of melanoma, the curse of femininity, the wish of state of the art clinical applied sciences and the promise of screening for malignant tumours. for a very long time, this disorder was once pointed out with the main dreaded points of malignancies: lengthy invalidity and persistent ache, but in addition actual degradation, disgrace and social isolation. Cervical melanoma displayed in parallel the hazards of being a girl.

In the twentieth century, options first and foremost constructed to manage 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, therapy and prevention of alternative malignancies. within the past due twentieth century, cervical melanoma underwent one other vital swap. With the reveal of the position of chosen strands of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) within the genesis of this malignancy, it was once reworked right into a sexually transmitted sickness. This new figuring out of cervical melanoma associated it extra firmly with way of life offerings, and therefore elevated the chance of stigmatisation of sufferers; however it opened the prospect for effective prevention of this malignancy via vaccination.

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

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The development of anaesthesia and antisepsis, then of asepsis, encouraged surgeons to attempt more daring surgical operations. The success of some types of abdominal surgery, such as appendicitis, and of gynaecological operations, such as ablation of the ovaries, renewed the interest in surgical approaches to the cure of uterine tumours. At first surgeons’ efforts were focused on amputation of the cervix. In the 1870s the German gynaecologist Karl Schroeder (1838–1887) recommended a ‘high’ amputation of the cancerous cervix; that is, elimination of the cervix together with the lower part of the uterus.

19 a wom an’s dise ase The Roman doctor Oribasius (c. ad 325–403) advocated cauterization in cases of ‘malignant thymus’ of the womb. The author of a late Roman gynaecological study, Aetius of Amida (ad 502–575), was more conservative and advised against surgery for such ‘malignant thymus’ or ‘polypus’. Aetius summarized available information on ‘uterine chancres’, and divided them into ulcerative and non-ulcerative types. His writings were copied during the Middle Ages, and were considered the main source of information on diseases of female genital organs.

New developments did not come, however, from the progress of surgical techniques, but from an entirely new direction: the rise of radiotherapy for cancer. From the 1910s onwards the treatment of cervical cancer was dominated by rays rather than by the scalpel. 51 This page intentionally left blank 3 R the hope of r ays The early days of radiation therapy X-ray therapy of cancer originated in a chance observation. Wilhelm Roentgen (1845–1923) described X-rays in 1895. Scientists who studied the new rays had quickly noticed that they induced burns and blisters.

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


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