II. How is Breast Cancer Described?
III. How is Breast Cancer Explained?
IV.How is Breast Cancer Evaluated?
V. How is Breast Cancer a Social Phenomenon?
VI. What is the Relation among the Descriptive, Explanatory, Evaluative, and Social Dimensions of Breast Cancer?
VII. What Are the Ethical Implications of How Medicine Understands Breast Cancer?
VIII. Extended Musings
Glossary of Medical Terms
Glossary of Philosophical Terms
- Provides a philosophical approach to thinking about how to manage the uncertainty of breast cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment
- Covers breast cancer philosophically, and in a way not typically addressed in breast cancer patient literature
- Applies insights that emerge in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, social and political philosophy, and bioethics to the difficult experience of being a cancer patient
Anyone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer or knows someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer recognizes that cancer raises a host of questions concerning its nature and how we treat it. Such questions frame the difficult decisions that patients must make about their treatment and care.
Thinking Through Breast Cancer is a philosophical investigation of how breast cancer is described, explained, evaluated, and socialized in medicine. Written by a breast cancer survivor, the book interweaves personal experience with a systematic breakdown of key and highly pertinent philosophical concepts, and brings to light insights that emerge in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, social and political philosophy, and bioethics. Further, it is an investigation of the ethical implications of understanding breast cancer. Cutter seamlessly combines clinical information with philosophical analysis and makes recommendations as to how we can navigate the complex and, at times, uncertain terrain of breast cancer knowledge and care. In this way, the book is not simply a survey of what we know about breast cancer, but a personal search for guidance about navigating the complex, confusing, and frightening terrain of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survival.
Mary Ann G. Cutter is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Georgetown University through the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Program. She is the author of numerous publications on the philosophy of disease and bioethical topics, including AIDS, genetics, death and dying, and women's health care. In 1997, Professor Cutter received a CU system-wide Service Award for her work in developing genetic protection legislation for the State of Colorado.