University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > History of Medicine Seminars > Imagin(in)g the breast: mammography and breast cancer in the context of South-North American exchanges

Imagin(in)g the breast: mammography and breast cancer in the context of South-North American exchanges

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In the early 1950s breast cancer was a leading cause of cancer death for women in the majority of Western societies. Early diagnosis through breast self examination (BSE) was the only strategy that cancer organisations and specialists alike promoted in order to improve survival rates. At this time, Uruguayan radiology introduced innovative techniques in breast radiation that opened the path for the definitive incorporation of mammography as an effective diagnostic tool into the clinic. Improved mammographic images radically changed the perception of breast cancer early diagnosis as mammography became able to detect pre-clinical tumours. This paper proposes to explore the process of dissemination (South-North) of this landmark technique in the history of female cancer within the frame of medical exchanges in the Americas. It will provide insight into how core developments in the technology of breast radiology and the development of new categories of cancer diagnosis were the result of locally produced knowledge that circulated and was accumulated in different places.

This talk is part of the History of Medicine Seminars series.

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