The Breast Cancer Wars: Hope, Fear, and the Pursuit of a Cure in Twentieth-Century America

Paperback | March 15, 2003

byBarron H. Lerner

not yet rated|write a review
In this riveting narrative, Barron H. Lerner offers a superb medical and cultural history of our century-long battle with breast cancer. Revisiting the past, Lerner argues, can illuminate and clarify the dilemmas confronted by women with--and at risk for--the disease. Writing with insight andcompassion, Lerner tells a compelling story of influential surgeons, anxious patients and committed activists. There are colorful portraits of the leading figures, ranging from the acerbic Dr. William Halsted, who pioneered the disfiguring radical mastectomy at the turn of the century to RoseKushner, a brash journalist who relentlessly educated American women about breast cancer. Lerner offers a fascinating account of the breast cancer wars: the insistent efforts of physicians to vanquish the "enemy"; the fights waged by feminists to combat a paternalistic legacy that silenced patients; and the struggles of statisticians and researchers to generate definitive data inthe face of the great risks and uncertainties raised by the disease. And for this new paperback edition, Lerner has included a postscript in which he discusses the most recent breast cancer controversy: do mammograms truly lower mortality rates or do they lead to unnecessary mastectomies? In Lerner's hands, the fight against breast cancer opens a window on American medical practice over the last century: the pursuit of dramatic cures with sophisticated technologies, the ethical and legal challenges raised by informed consent, and the limited ability of scientific knowledge toprovide quick solutions for serious illnesses. The Breast Cancer Wars tells a story that is of vital importance to modern breast cancer patients, their families and the clinicians who strive to treat and prevent this dreaded disease.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$12.38 online
$21.95 list price (save 43%)
Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

In this riveting narrative, Barron H. Lerner offers a superb medical and cultural history of our century-long battle with breast cancer. Revisiting the past, Lerner argues, can illuminate and clarify the dilemmas confronted by women with--and at risk for--the disease. Writing with insight andcompassion, Lerner tells a compelling story ...

Barron H. Lerner, M.D. is Angelica Berrie Gold Foundation Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he teaches internal medicine, medical history, and bioethics. He is the author of Contagion and Confinement: Controlling Tuberculosis Along the Skid Road as we...

other books by Barron H. Lerner

The Good Doctor: A Father, A Son, And The Evolution Of Medical Ethics
The Good Doctor: A Father, A Son, And The Evolution Of ...

Paperback|May 26 2015

$19.98 online$20.00list price
One for the Road: Drunk Driving since 1900
One for the Road: Drunk Driving since 1900

Kobo ebook|Oct 3 2011

$26.29 online$34.06list price(save 22%)
see all books by Barron H. Lerner
Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 5.31 × 7.99 × 0.79 inPublished:March 15, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195161068

ISBN - 13:9780195161069

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The Breast Cancer Wars: Hope, Fear, and the Pursuit of a Cure in Twentieth-Century America

Reviews

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

"(Lerner) describes the inner world of professional prestige and group conformity... he also gives a very clear account of the clinical and theoretical aspects of breast cancer... he resists the temptation to look back in self-righteous scorn on an earlier time when the concept of thepatient's autonomy would not have occurred to even the most enlightened of physicians."--Sherwin Nuland, New York Review of Books