By Ilana Lowy
Cervical melanoma is an emotive affliction with a number of connotations. It has stood for the horror of melanoma, the curse of femininity, the wish of state-of-the-art scientific applied sciences and the promise of screening for malignant tumours. for a very long time, this ailment used to be pointed out with the main dreaded points of malignancies: lengthy invalidity and persistent soreness, but additionally actual degradation, disgrace and social isolation. Cervical melanoma displayed in parallel the hazards of being a lady.
In the 20 th century, thoughts at the beginning built 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 different malignancies. within the overdue twentieth century, cervical melanoma underwent one other very important switch. With the show of the position of chosen strands of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) within the genesis of this malignancy, it was once reworked right into a sexually transmitted illness. This new knowing of cervical melanoma associated it extra firmly with way of life offerings, and therefore elevated the chance of stigmatisation of sufferers; nevertheless it opened the chance for effective prevention of this malignancy via vaccination.
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Additional info for A Woman’s Disease: The History of Cervical Cancer
Some women, Marantz Sanchez argued, sought Dixon Jones’s clinics precisely because she advocated radical surgical measures. They did not have to be told by Mary Dixon Jones that an ablation of the ovaries or of the uterus was possible. They already knew it, and some were anxious to have such a surgery. 12 49 a wom an’s dise ase Surgical ablations of the uterus performed by the British surgeons Louisa Garrett Anderson (1873–1943) and Kate Platt (1876–1940) were less controversial. Louisa Garrett Anderson was the daughter of one of the ﬁrst British female doctors, Elisabeth Garrett Anderson (1836–1917).
Those who examined cancerous tissues noticed that malignant tumours are composed of cells that look different from those of the tissue in which the tumour had developed. Cancerous cells were less regular and less well organized, and sometimes had an atypical nucleus. In the 1840s, physicians such as the Swiss doctor Herman Lebert claimed that they could recognize 43 a wom an’s dise ase typical microscopic images of cancer cells. At ﬁrst, the majority of their colleagues remained sceptical. For example, the French surgeon Alfred Velpeau (1795–1867) afﬁrmed in his well-known book on cancer of the breast of 1854 that clinical observations made by an experienced practitioner were much more reliable that microscopic studies.
Doctors proposed local treatments to reduce offensive odours of vaginal 31 a wom an’s dise ase secretions, such as douching with astringent or deodorizing lotions and tampons and pessaries imbibed with such lotions. They employed alum, ergot, chlorine compounds (chlorates of lime, zinc, iron, and potash), thymol, carbolic acid, and tincture of iodine. Alas, the efﬁcacy of these treatments was often not very high. In the most dramatic cases, a gradual destruction of internal organs led to formation of a ﬁstula; that is, a permanent connection between the vagina and the urethra and/or rectum.
A Woman’s Disease: The History of Cervical Cancer by Ilana Lowy