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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 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 elements of malignancies: lengthy invalidity and protracted discomfort, but in addition actual degradation, disgrace and social isolation. Cervical melanoma displayed in parallel the risks of being a girl.

In the 20 th century, options firstly built to manage cervical melanoma - radiotherapy and radium remedy, 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 demonstrate of the function of chosen strands of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) within the genesis of this malignancy, it was once reworked right into a sexually transmitted affliction. This new realizing of cervical melanoma associated it extra firmly with way of life offerings, and therefore elevated the chance of stigmatisation of sufferers; nonetheless it opened the chance 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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For some, such a change took place only when the tumour greatly increased in volume, became painful, and developed multiple blood vessels that nourished it. For others, it took place earlier, before the appearance of unmistakable symptoms of an advanced tumour. 7 Gynaecologists were aware of the fact that sometimes a fully fledged cancerous growth seemed to appear from nowhere. In the majority of the cases they thought that early warning signs nevertheless made an efficient intervention possible.

Hysteria was related to ‘engorgement of the uterus’ and the tenderness of the uterine cervix, and doctors sometimes applied corrosive substances to the uterus to cure women’s ‘nervous conditions’. The use of strong caustics in the absence of the physical manifestations of disease was probably rare. Corrosive substances were, however, often applied as a therapy for visible lesions of the cervix, especially those suspected to be cancerous. In order to eliminate diseased tissues, physicians employed arsenical paste, hydrate of potassium, nitrate of silver, nitrate of mercury, nitrate of creosote, and potash.

Writing in 1836, a period of political and social unrest in France, he explained that, one often prevents a development which may lead to the dissolution of the social body through an efficient repression of its first movements. 9 Local remedies: corrosive substances, hot iron, and sharp instruments In the nineteenth century doctors proposed multiple treatments of cervical lesions and uterine tumours. Some treatments were relatively innocuous. Joseph Récamier favoured the therapy already used by Ambroise Paré and Herman Boerhaave: a direct application of fruit extracts such as rose petal syrup.

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