Preventing Breast Cancer: The Politics of an Epidemic

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Author: Cathy Read
Date: July 22, 1995
From: British Medical Journal(Vol. 311, Issue 6999)
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Document Type: Book review
Length: 551 words

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Talk of an epidemic of breast cancer may seem alarmist, but in the United Kingdom alone the current death rate equals the loss of a fully occupied jumbo jet every week. Cathy Read's book, with its Stateside perspective and highly combative style, maintains that breast cancer is avoidable, but that the focus has shifted from prevention to early detection and treatment. Read is very suspicious of the medical profession and its vested interests and poses some uncomfortable questions about this multibillion dollar industry.

Why, she wonders, has there been no notable increase in survival rates despite the widespread screening of premenopausal women and the switch from the $7000 mastectomy to the $30 000 lumpectomy with adjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which is now standard policy. She describes the vociferous and influential National Breast Cancer Coalition and other powerful...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A17200041