A Cultural Study of Cancer
Routledge, 9780415149600, 290pp.
Publication Date: August 19, 1997
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Still one of the most dreaded diseases to haunt our imaginations, cancer is more than an illness - it is a cultural phenomenon. People who have cancer are bombarded with competing explanations of their conditions: it is genetically inherited; it is environmentally produced; it is the result of their personality. This volume investigates how this disease is perceived, experienced and theorized in contemporary society. It explores changing beliefs about the causes of, and the cures for, cancer in both biomedicine and its increasingly popular alternative counterparts. Analyzing conventional and alternative medical accounts, self-help manuals and patient's personal stories, the author takes a critical look at the place of heroes, metaphors, the self and the body in these competing bids to produce the authoritative definition of the meaning of cancer today.