The voice of breast cancer in medicine and bioethics

  • Mary C. Rawlinson
  • Shannon Lundeen

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Discourses of Breast Cancer: Who Speaks for Breast Cancer?

  3. Narratives of Breast Cancer: Living with Disease

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 70-70
    2. Anita Ho
      Pages 71-88
    3. Leatha Kendrick
      Pages 95-101
    4. Gail Weiss
      Pages 103-116
  4. Breast Cancer as a Model in Clinical Research

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 118-118
    2. John S. Kovach
      Pages 119-131
    3. Loretta M. Kopelman
      Pages 133-161
  5. Breast Cancer in the Classroom

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 184-184
    2. Helen Rodnite Lemay
      Pages 185-194
    3. Sofya Maslyanskaya
      Pages 203-207
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 208-212

About this book


Few diseases have made more difference to our understanding of illness, the relation of the patient to the physician and other health care professionals, and the social context of disease than breast cancer. Breast cancer activism has provided a model of public policy advocacy for women, as well as for sufferers from other diseases, and even in causes unrelated to health. In many ways it has become emblematic of issues in women’s health.

This volume offers a discursive analysis of breast cancer. From multiple perspectives—historical, philosophical, psychological, socio-political—these essays explore the competing narratives that have made breast cancer a contested site. It addresses debates about the autonomy of the patient in relation to the authority of the physician, as well as the importance of patient narratives in understanding disease. It analyzes the relation between the community and medical practice, particularly with regard to the effect of breast cancer activists and feminists on the medical understanding and treatment of breast cancer. And, it questions the intersection of medical science with political institutions and agencies of public policy in determining priorities of research and strategies of treatment.


Biomedical Ethics Breast Cancer Ethics Feminism/ Gender Studies Gender Philosophy Women's Health World Health Organization authenticity autonomy bioethics health

Editors and affiliations

  • Mary C. Rawlinson
    • 1
  • Shannon Lundeen
    • 2
  1. 1.Stony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA
  2. 2.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Bibliographic information