Download PDF by James S. Olson: Bathsheba's Breast: Women, Cancer, and History

By James S. Olson

"Breast melanoma could possibly be history's oldest malaise, referred to as good to the ancients because it is to us. the ladies who've persevered it proportion a different sisterhood. Queen Atossa and Dr. Jerri Nielsen -- separated via period and geography, by way of tradition, faith, politics, economics, and international view -- may well not often were extra diversified. Born 2,500 years aside, they stand as contrary bookends at the shelf of human background. One used to be the main strong girl within the historic international, the daughter of an emperor, the mum of a god; the opposite is a twenty-first-century health care professional with a streak of experience coursing via her veins. From the imperial throne in old Babylon, Atossa couldn't have imagined the fashionable global, and in basic terms within the driest pages of classical literature might Antarctica-based Jerri Nielsen also have started to fathom the close to East 5 centuries sooner than the beginning of Christ. For all their modifications, even if, they shared a typical worry that transcends time and space." -- from Bathsheba's BreastIn 1967, an Italian health care professional traveling Amsterdam's Rijks museum stopped in entrance of Rembrandt's Bathsheba at Her tub, on mortgage from the Louvre, and spotted an asymmetry to Bathsheba's left breast; it appeared distended, swollen close to the armpit, discolored, and marked with a particular pitting. With some research, the medical professional realized that Rembrandt's version, his mistress Hendrickje Stoffels, later died after a protracted disorder, and he conjectured in a celebrated article for an Italian scientific magazine that the reason for her loss of life was once in all probability breast cancer.A horror identified to each tradition in all ages, breast melanoma has been chargeable for the deaths of 25 million ladies all through heritage. An Egyptian medical professional writing 3,500 years in the past concluded that there has been no remedy for the affliction. Later surgeons urged excising the tumor or, in severe situations, the whole breast. This used to be the therapy endorsed through the courtroom medical professional to sixth-century Byzantine empress Theodora, the spouse of Justinian, even though she selected to die in ache instead of lose her breast. simply some time past few many years has remedy complex past disfiguring surgery.In Bathsheba's Breast, historian James S. Olson -- who misplaced his left hand and forearm to melanoma whereas scripting this booklet -- presents an soaking up and sometimes scary narrative background of breast melanoma instructed during the heroic tales of girls who've faced the sickness, from Theodora to Anne of Austria, Louis XIV's mom, who faced "nun's sickness" by way of perfecting the artwork of death good, to Dr. Jerri Nielson, who was once dramatically evacuated from the South Pole in 1999 after appearing a biopsy on her personal breast and self-administering chemotherapy. Olson explores each aspect of the affliction: medicine's evolving knowing of its pathology and cures; its cultural value; the political and monetary common sense that has dictated the phrases of a conflict on a "woman's disease"; and the increase of sufferer activism. Olson concludes that, even though it has no longer but been conquered, breast melanoma isn't any longer the tale of person girls suffering on my own opposed to a mysterious and lethal foe.

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Extra resources for Bathsheba's Breast: Women, Cancer, and History

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A silence the most profound ensued, which lasted for some minutes . . ” Burney sat up in bed, took off the handkerchief and protested, wondering why the whole breast had to come off when the pain seemed isolated to one spot. DuBois pushed her back down. “Hopeless . . ” The cutting began, with Larrey wielding the knife.

They manipulated the tumor with their fingers, trying to determine its hardness as well as the regularity of its surface. Hard, irregular growths were less likely than soft, regular lesions to be benign cysts. They felt for large lymph 50 Bathsheba’s Breast nodes in the underarm as well as in the neck and clavicle areas. They tried to determine if the tumor was movable, or if it had attached itself to the skin or chest wall. The spread of hard tumors into regional lymph nodes made for a death sentence.

He razored in there as well and pulled out nodes and tumor. Nabby grimaced and groaned, flinching and twisting in the chair, with blood staining her dress and Warren’s shirt and pants. Her hair matted in sweat. Abigail, William, and Caroline turned away from the gruesome struggle. To stop the bleeding, Warren pulled a red-hot spatula from the oven and applied it several times to the wound, cauterizing the worst bleeding points. With each touch, steamy wisps of smoke hissed into the air and filled the room with the distinct smell of burning flesh.

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