By Ilana Lowy
Cervical melanoma is an emotive illness with a number of connotations. It has stood for the horror of melanoma, the curse of femininity, the desire of state-of-the-art scientific applied sciences and the promise of screening for malignant tumours. for a very long time, this disorder used to be pointed out with the main dreaded points of malignancies: lengthy invalidity and persistent ache, but additionally actual degradation, disgrace and social isolation. Cervical melanoma displayed in parallel the risks of being a girl.
In the 20 th century, techniques at first constructed to regulate cervical melanoma - radiotherapy and radium remedy, exfoliate cytology (Pap smear), homogenisation of the 'staging' of tumours, mass campaigns for an early detection of precancerous lesions of the cervix - set criteria for analysis, remedy and prevention of alternative malignancies. within the overdue twentieth century, cervical melanoma underwent one other vital switch. With the exhibit of the position of chosen strands of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) within the genesis of this malignancy, it used to be remodeled right into a sexually transmitted sickness. This new realizing of cervical melanoma associated it extra firmly with way of life offerings, and hence elevated the risk of stigmatisation of sufferers; however it opened the prospect for effective prevention of this malignancy via vaccination.
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Additional info for A Woman’s Disease: The History of Cervical Cancer
They performed biopsies of cervical lesions to ﬁnd out whether they were malignant, and diagnostic curettages to detect suspected cancerous changes. By consequence, the diagnosis ‘cancer of the womb’ was increasingly replaced with the more precise terms ‘cancer of the uterine cervix’ or ‘cancer of the uterine body’. The systematic distinction between cancers of the uterine body and those, much more frequent, of the uterine cervix had important practical consequences. Before the generalization of hysterectomy, cancer of the uterine body was seen as a disease which had a worse prognosis than cancer of the cervix.
Dixon Jones, these articles afﬁrmed, was an ambitious and unscrupulous social climber, and a scalpel eager surgeon. The Eagle claimed that she told many of her patients who had only slight gynaecological complaints that they suffered from malignant tumours that needed to be excised promptly. Another, smaller Brooklyn newspaper, The Citizen, defended Mary Dixon Jones’s surgical activity, and presented her as compassionate doctor, concerned exclusively with her patients’ well-being. After her acquittal, Mary Dixon Jones sued The Brooklyn Daily Eagle for libel.
On the other hand, the ‘desexing of women’ by surgeons was occasionally viewed as a shady, suspicious practice. It was criticized by some practitioners, but also by women who saw it as a manifestation of cruel and unfeeling attitude of gynaecologists towards women’s bodies. The doubtful reputation of gynaecological surgeries, coupled with a high mortality from these surgeries, occasionally produced an explosive mix. In 1889, Mary Dixon Jones was accused of second-degree manslaughter after the death of two of her patients, Ida Hunt and Sarah Bates.
A Woman’s Disease: The History of Cervical Cancer by Ilana Lowy