1932

Abstract

Previous work in the anthropology of cancer often examined causes, risks, and medical, familial, and embodied relationships created by the disease. Recent writing has expanded that focus, attending to cancer as a “total social fact” (Jain 2013) and dissecting the landscape of “carcinogenic relationships” (Livingston 2012). Cancer-driven relationships become subjectively real through individual suffering, stigma, and inequality. This article traces concepts developed from a primarily US-centered discourse to a global cancer discourse, including cancer-related issues continuing to raise concern such as stigma, narrative moments of critical reflection on the dominance of biomedicine, and processes by which individuals and communities manage inadequate access to biomedical technologies. Beyond the medical relations and politics of cancer, this article considers the ways in which ethnography addresses local moral worlds and differences that come to matter in attending to the disease, the person, and consequent social and material relations.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-anthro-102215-100217
2016-10-21
2024-06-13
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/anthro/45/1/annurev-anthro-102215-100217.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-anthro-102215-100217&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

Literature Cited

  1. Agamben G. 1998. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  2. Anglin MK. 1998. Dismantling the master's house: cancer activists, discourses of prevention, and environmental justice. Identities 5:183–217 [Google Scholar]
  3. Anglin M. 2005. Whose health? Whose justice? Examining quality of care and breast cancer activism through the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, and class. Health at the Intersections of Gender, Race, and Class A Schulz, L Mullings 313–41 New York: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer [Google Scholar]
  4. Armin J. 2015. Managing borders, bodies and cancer: documents and the creation of subjects. See Mathews et al. 2015 86–103
  5. Auyero J, Swistun D. 2009. Flammable: Environmental Suffering in an Argentine Shantytown Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  6. Balshem M. 1993. Cancer in the Community: Class and Medical Authority Washington, DC: Smithson. Inst. Press [Google Scholar]
  7. Banerjee D. 2012. The social constructions of cancer, Literature, Arts and Medicine (blog). L Bruell Nov. 2 http://medhum.med.nyu.edu/blog/?p=3263 [Google Scholar]
  8. Banerjee D. 2015. Living in prognosis: cancer and pain in contemporary India Book prospect. http://media.wix.com/ugd/9c6e12_37650aa1d78c44c2af0be9d6a7edb4ca.pdf [Google Scholar]
  9. Bell K. 2014. The breast-cancer-ization of cancer survivorship: implications for experiences of the disease. Soc. Sci. Med. 110:56–63 [Google Scholar]
  10. Bell K, Ristovski-Slijepcevic S. 2011. Metastatic cancer and mothering: being a mother in the face of a contracted future. Med. Anthropol. 30:6629–49 [Google Scholar]
  11. Bell K, Ristovski-Slijepcevic S. 2015. Communicating “evidence”: lifestyle, cancer and the promise of a disease-free future. Med. Anthropol. Q. 29:2216–36 [Google Scholar]
  12. Bennett E. 1999. Soft truth: ethics and cancer in northeast Thailand. Anthropol. Med. 6:3395–404 [Google Scholar]
  13. Biehl J, Good BJ, Kleinman A. 2007. Subjectivity: Ethnographic Investigations Berkeley: Univ. Calif. Press [Google Scholar]
  14. Bright K. 2015. Love in the time of cancer: kinship, memory, migration and other logics of care in Kerala, India. See Mathews et al. 2015 135–55
  15. Bullon A, DelVecchio Good M, Carpenter-Song E. 2011. The paper life of minority and low-income patient care. Shattering Culture: American Medicine Responds to Cultural Diversity M DelVecchio Good, SS Willen, SD Hannah, K Vickery, LT Park 200–16 New York: Russell Sage Foundation [Google Scholar]
  16. Burke N. 2015. Filipina, survivor or both?: Negotiating biosociality and ethnicity in the context of scarcity. See Mathews et al. 2015 104–18
  17. Burke NJ, Joseph G, Pasick RJ, Barker JC. 2009. Theorizing social context: rethinking behavioral theory. Health Educ. Behav. 36:Suppl.55S–70 [Google Scholar]
  18. Burke NJ, Villero O, Guerra C. 2012. Passing through: meanings of survivorship and support among Filipinas with breast cancer. Qual. Health Res. 22:2189–98 [Google Scholar]
  19. Chavez LR. 2012. Undocumented immigrants and their use of medical services in Orange County, California. Soc. Sci. Med. 74:887–93 [Google Scholar]
  20. Chavez LR, Hubbell FA, McMullin JM, Martinez RG, Mishra SI. 1995. Structure and meaning in models of breast and cervical cancer risk factors: a comparison of perceptions among Latinas, Anglo women and physicians. Med. Anthropol. Q. 9:40–74 [Google Scholar]
  21. Chavez LR, McMullin JM, Mishra SI, Hubbell FA. 2001. Beliefs matter: cultural beliefs and the use of cervical cancer screening tests. Am. Anthropol. 103:1–16 [Google Scholar]
  22. Clarke AE, Mamo L, Fosket JR, Fishman JR, Shim JK. 2010. Biomedicalization: Technoscience, Health, and Illness in the U.S. Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  23. Coreil J, Wilke J, Pintado I. 2004. Cultural models of illness and recovery in breast cancer support groups. Qual. Health Res. 14:905–23 [Google Scholar]
  24. Craddock Lee S. 2009. Science, surveillance, and the politics of redress in health disparities research. Race Ethn. 3:151–74 [Google Scholar]
  25. Craddock Lee S. 2010. Uncertain futures: individual risk and social context in decision-making in cancer screening. Health Risk Soc. 12:2101–17 [Google Scholar]
  26. Craddock Lee S, Marks EG, Sanders JM, Wiebe DJ. 2015. Educating patient-perceived role in “decision-making” among African Americans receiving lung cancer care through a county safety-net system. J. Cancer Surviv. 17:435–47 [Google Scholar]
  27. Csordas TJ. 1989. The sore that does not heal: cause and concept in the Navajo experience of cancer. J. Anthropol. Res. 45:4457–85 [Google Scholar]
  28. Davis D. 2009. The Secret History of the War on Cancer New York: Basic Books [Google Scholar]
  29. DelVecchio Good M. 2001. The biotechnical embrace. Cult. Med. Psychiatry 25:395–410 [Google Scholar]
  30. DelVecchio Good M. 2007 (1996). The medical imaginary and the biotechnical embrace: subjective experiences of clinical scientists and patients. See Biehl et al. 2007 362–80
  31. DelVecchio Good M, Good BJ, Schaffer C, Lind SE. 1990. American oncology and the discourse on hope. Cult. Med. Psychiatry 14:59–79 [Google Scholar]
  32. DiGiacomo SM. 1987. Biomedicine as a cultural system: an anthropologist in the kingdom of the sick. Encounters with Biomedicine. Case Studies in Medical Anthropology H Baer 315–47 Philadelphia: Gordon and Breach [Google Scholar]
  33. DiGiacomo SM. 1999. Can there be a “cultural epidemiology”?. Med. Anthropol. Q. 13:4436–57 [Google Scholar]
  34. Dyer KE. 2015. “Surviving is not the same as living”: cancer and Sobrevivencia in Puerto Rico. Soc. Sci. Med. 132:20–29 [Google Scholar]
  35. Ehrenreich B. 2001. Welcome to Cancerland: a mammogram leads to a cult of pink kitsch. Harpers Mag.Nov.:43–53 [Google Scholar]
  36. Elwyn TS, Fetters MD, Sasaki H. 2002. Responsibility and cancer disclosure in Japan. Soc. Sci. Med. 54:281–93 [Google Scholar]
  37. Erwin DO. 1987. The militarization of cancer treatment in American society. Encounters with Biomedicine: Case Studies in Medical Anthropology H Baer 201–28 New York: Gordon and Breach [Google Scholar]
  38. Erwin DO, Spatz TS, Stotts RC, Hollenberg JA, Deloney LA. 1996. Increasing mammography and BSE in African American women using the Witness Project model. J. Cancer Educ. 11:4210–15 [Google Scholar]
  39. Erwin DO, Spatz TS, Turturro CL. 1992. Development of an African-American role model intervention to increase breast self-examination and mammography. J. Cancer Educ. 7:4311–19 [Google Scholar]
  40. Fassin D. 2009. Another politics of life is possible. Theor. Cult. Soc. 26:44–60 [Google Scholar]
  41. Fortun K. 2001. Advocacy After Bhopal: Environmentalism, Disaster, New Global Orders Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press [Google Scholar]
  42. Foucault M. 1978. The History of Sexuality. 1 New York: Pantheon Books [Google Scholar]
  43. Foucault M. 2003. Society Must Be Defended. Lectures at the Collège de France 1975–1976 New York: Picador [Google Scholar]
  44. Frank AW. 1991. At the Will of the Body Boston: Houghton Mifflin [Google Scholar]
  45. Frank AW. 2010. Letting Stories Breathe: A Socio-Narratology Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press [Google Scholar]
  46. Garrison K. 2007. The personal is rhetorical: war, protest and peace in breast cancer narratives. Disabil. Stud. Q. 27:114–18 [Google Scholar]
  47. Gibbon S. 2007. Breast Cancer Genes and the Gendering of Knowledge: Science and Citizenship in the Cultural Context of the ‘New’ Genetics London: Palgrave Macmillan [Google Scholar]
  48. Gibbon S, Joseph G, Mozersky J, zur Nieden J, Palfner S. 2014. Breast Cancer Gene Research and Medical Practices: Transnational Perspectives in the Time of BRCA London: Routledge [Google Scholar]
  49. Gibbon S, Novas C. 2008. Biosocialities, Genetics and the Social Sciences: Making Biologies and Identities London: Routledge [Google Scholar]
  50. Good BJ. 1994. Medicine, Rationality, and Experience: An Anthropological Perspective New York: Cambridge Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  51. Gordon DR. 1990a. Culture, cancer, and communication in Italy. Anthropol. Med. 7:137–56 [Google Scholar]
  52. Gordon DR. 1990b. Embodying illness, embodying cancer. Cult. Med. Psychiatry 14:275–97 [Google Scholar]
  53. Gordon DR, Paci E. 1997. Disclosure practices and cultural narratives: understanding concealment and silence around cancer in Tuscany, Italy. Soc. Sci. Med. 44:101433–52 [Google Scholar]
  54. Gregg JL. 2003. Virtually Virgins: Sexual Strategies and Cervical Cancer in Recife, Brazil Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  55. Hacking I. 1999. Making up people. The Science Studies Reader M Biagioli 161–71 New York: Routledge [Google Scholar]
  56. Harris FM. 2015. Dying to be heard: cancer, imagined experience and the moral geographies of care in the UK. See Mathews et al. 2015 229–40
  57. Heurtin-Roberts S. 2008. Self and other in cancer health disparities: negotiating power and boundaries in U.S. society. See McMullin & Weiner 2008b 187–206
  58. Høybe MT, Tjørnhøj-Thomsen T. 2014. Encounters in cancer treatment: intersubjective configurations of a need for rehabilitation. Med. Anthropol. Q. 28:3305–22 [Google Scholar]
  59. Hunt LM. 1998. Moral reasoning and the meaning of cancer: causal explanations of oncologists and patients in southern Mexico. Med. Anthropol. Q. 12:3298–318 [Google Scholar]
  60. Hunt LM. 2000. Strategic suffering: illness narratives as social empowerment among Mexican cancer patients. See Mattingly & Garro 2000 88–109
  61. Jain SL. 2007. Cancer butch. Cult. Anthropol. 22:501–38 [Google Scholar]
  62. Jain SL. 2010. The mortality effect: counting the dead in the cancer trial. Public Cult. 22:89–117 [Google Scholar]
  63. Jain SL. 2013. Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us Berkeley: Univ. Calif. Press [Google Scholar]
  64. Jain SL, Stacey J. 2015. On writing about illness: a dialogue with S. Lochlann Jain and Jackie Stacey on cancer, STS, and cultural studies. Catalyst: Fem. Theory Technosci. 1:11–29 [Google Scholar]
  65. Joseph G. 2014. Genetics to the people: BRCA as public health and the dissemination of cancer risk knowledge. See Gibbon et al. 2014 57–72
  66. Karakasidou A. 2008. The elusive subversion of order: cancer in modern Crete, Greece. See McMullin & Weiner 2008b 83–103
  67. Karakasidou A. 2015. Foreword: The emperor of all terrors: forging an alternative biography of cancer. See Mathews et al. 2015 ix–xii
  68. Klawiter M. 2008. The Biopolitics of Breast Cancer: Changing Cultures of Disease and Activism Minneapolis: Univ. Minn. Press [Google Scholar]
  69. Kleinman A. 1989. The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, and the Human Condition New York: Basic Books [Google Scholar]
  70. Kohrman M. 2008. Smoking among doctors: governmentality, embodiment, and the diversion of blame in contemporary China. Med. Anthropol. 27:9–42 [Google Scholar]
  71. Kohrman M. 2010. Cigarette citadels: the map project Stanford Univ., Stanford, Calif. https://web.stanford.edu/group/tobaccoprv/cgi-bin/wordpress/ [Google Scholar]
  72. Kohrman M. 2015. Cloaks and veils: countervisualizing cigarette factories in and outside of China. Anthropol. Q. 88:907–40 [Google Scholar]
  73. Kohrman M, Benson P. 2011. Tobacco. Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 40:329–44 [Google Scholar]
  74. Krieger N. 1994. Epidemiology and the web of causation: Has anyone seen the spider?. Soc. Sci. Med. 39:887–903 [Google Scholar]
  75. Krieger N. 2002. Is breast cancer a disease of affluence, poverty, or both? The case of African American women. Am. J. Public Health 92:611–13 [Google Scholar]
  76. Livingston J. 2012. Improvising Medicine: An African Oncology Ward in an Emerging Cancer Epidemic Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  77. Lora-Wainwright A. 2009. Of farming chemicals and cancer deaths: the politics of health in contemporary rural China. Soc. Anthropol. 17:56–73 [Google Scholar]
  78. Lora-Wainwright A. 2013. Fighting for Breath: Living Morally and Dying of Cancer in a Chinese Village Honolulu: Univ. Hawaii Press [Google Scholar]
  79. Lora-Wainwright A. 2015. The ambiguity of blame and the multiple careers of cancer etiologies in rural China. See Mathews et al. 2015 37–52
  80. Lorde A. 1980. The Cancer Journals San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books [Google Scholar]
  81. Luque JS, Roy S, Tarasenko YN, Ross L, Johnson J, Gwede CK. 2015. Feasibility study of engaging barbershops for prostate cancer education in rural African-American communities. J. Cancer Educ. 30:623–28 [Google Scholar]
  82. Luxardo N. 2015. “As God Is My Witness…”: what is said, what is silenced in informal cancer caregivers' narratives. See Mathews et al. 2015 193–211
  83. Macdonald A. 2014. Situating breast cancer risk: gender, temporality and social change. See Gibbon et al. 2014 83–94
  84. Macdonald A. 2015. Revealing hope in urban India: vision and survivorship among breast cancer charity volunteers. See Mathews et al. 2015 117–32
  85. Manderson L. 1999. Introduction: New perspectives in anthropology on cancer control, disease and palliative care. Anthropol. Med. 6:3317–21 [Google Scholar]
  86. Manderson L. 2015. Afterword: Cancer enigmas and agendas. See Mathews et al. 2015 241–54
  87. Manderson L, Markovic M, Quinn M. 2005. “Like roulette”: Australian women's explanations of gynecological cancers. Soc. Sci. Med. 61:2323–32 [Google Scholar]
  88. Markovic M, Manderson L, Wray N, Quinn M. 2004. “He is telling us something”: women's experiences of cancer disclosure in Australia. Anthropol. Med. 11:3325–39 [Google Scholar]
  89. Martin S, Ulrich C, Munsell M, Taylor S, Lange G, Bleyer A. 2007. Delays in cancer diagnosis in underinsured young adults and older adolescents. Oncologist 12:7816–24 [Google Scholar]
  90. Martinez RG. 2005. “What's wrong with me?”: cervical cancer in Venezuela—living in the borderlands of health, disease, and illness. Soc. Sci. Med. 61:4797–808 [Google Scholar]
  91. Mathews H. 2000. Negotiating cultural consensus in a breast cancer self-help group. Med. Anthropol. Q. 14:3394–413 [Google Scholar]
  92. Mathews H. 2008. Cancer support groups and health advocacy: One size doesn't fit all. See McMullin & Weiner 2008b 43–62
  93. Mathews HF, Burke NJ. 2015. Introduction: Mapping the landscape of transnational cancer ethnography. See Mathews et al. 2015 1–34
  94. Mathews HF, Burke NJ, Kampriani E. 2015. Anthropologies of Cancer in Transnational Worlds London: Routledge [Google Scholar]
  95. Mattingly C. 1998. Healing Dramas and Clinical Plots: The Narrative Structure of Experience Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  96. Mattingly C, Garro L. 2000. Narrative and the Cultural Construction of Illness and Healing Berkeley: Univ. Calif. Press [Google Scholar]
  97. Mauss M. 1966 (1923). The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies London: Cohen and West [Google Scholar]
  98. McMullin J. 2008. Experiencing diagnosis: views from Latina cervical cancer patients. See McMullin & Weiner 2008b 63–82
  99. McMullin J. 2016. Comics and cancer: graphic narratives and biolegitimate lives. Med. Anthropol. Q. 30149–67 [Google Scholar]
  100. McMullin JM, Chavez LR, DeAlba I, Hubbell FA. 2005. Influence and beliefs about cervical cancer etiology on pap smear use among Latina immigrants. Ethn. Health 1:3–18 [Google Scholar]
  101. McMullin J, Weiner D. 2008a. An anthropology of cancer. See McMullin & Weiner 2008b 3–25
  102. McMullin J, Weiner D. 2008b. Confronting Cancer: Metaphors, Advocacy and Anthropology Santa Fe: Sch. Adv. Rese. [Google Scholar]
  103. Michaels D. 1988. Waiting for the body count: corporate decision making and bladder cancer in the US dye industry. Med. Anthropol. Q. 2:3215–32 [Google Scholar]
  104. Mulemi BA. 2010. Coping with Cancer and Adversity: Hospital Ethnography in Kenya Leiden: Afr. Stud. Cent. [Google Scholar]
  105. Mulemi BA. 2015. Cancer crisis and treatment ambiguity in Kenya. See Mathews et al. 2015 156–76
  106. Murphy M. 2008. Chemical regimes of living. Environ. Hist. 13:4695–703 [Google Scholar]
  107. Panter-Brick C. 2014. Health, risk, and resilience: interdisciplinary concepts and applications. Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 43:431–48 [Google Scholar]
  108. Patterson J. 1987. The Dread Disease: Cancer and Modern American Culture Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  109. Petryna A. 2013. Life Exposed: Biological Citizens After Chernobyl Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  110. Povinelli E. 2010. Economies of Abandonment Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  111. Saillant F. 1990. Discourse, knowledge, and experience of cancer: a life story. Cult. Med. Psychiatry 14:181–104 [Google Scholar]
  112. Salzberger S. 1976. Cancer: assumption and reality concerning delay, ignorance and fear. Social Anthropology and Medicine J Loudon 150–89 London: Academic [Google Scholar]
  113. Sand Anderson R, Tørring ML, Vedsted P. 2014. Global health care seeking discourses facing local clinical realities: exploring the case of cancer. Med. Anthropol. Q. 29:2237–55 [Google Scholar]
  114. Sargent C, Benson P. 2017. Cancer and precarity: rights and vulnerabilities of West African immigrants in France. Negotiating Structural Vulnerability in Cancer Control: Contemporary Challenges for Applied Anthropology J Armin, N Burke, L Eichelberger Santa Fe, NM: Sch. Adv. Res. [Google Scholar]
  115. Singer M. 2011. Down cancer alley: the lived experience of health and environmental suffering in Louisiana's chemical corridor. Med. Anthropol. Q. 25:2141–63 [Google Scholar]
  116. Singh P, Cartwright L, Visperas C. 2014. African Kaposi's sarcoma in the light of global AIDS: antiblackness and viral visibility. J. Bioeth. Inq. 11:467–78 [Google Scholar]
  117. Smith-Morris C. 2010. The chronicity of life, the acuteness of diagnosis. Chronic Conditions, Fluid States: Chronicity and the Anthropology of Illness L Manderson, C Smith-Morris 21–37 New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  118. Sontag S. 1977. Illness as Metaphor New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux [Google Scholar]
  119. Stacey J. 1997. Teratologies: A Cultural Study of Cancer New York: Routledge [Google Scholar]
  120. Stewart BW, Wild CP. 2014. World Cancer Report 2014 Lyon, Fr.: Int. Agency Res. Cancer [Google Scholar]
  121. Stoller P. 2005. Stranger in the Village of the Sick: A Memoir of Cancer, Sorcery, and Healing Boston: Beacon Press [Google Scholar]
  122. Stoller P. 2013. Cancer rights and the remission society. Harvard Divinity Bull. 41: http://bulletin.hds.harvard.edu/articles/winterspring2013/cancer-rites-and-remission-society [Google Scholar]
  123. Trawick M. 1991. An Ayurvedic theory of cancer. Med. Anthropol. 13:121–36 [Google Scholar]
  124. Wailoo K. 2011. How Cancer Crossed the Color Line Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  125. Weiner D. 1993. Health beliefs about cancer among the Luiseno Indians of California. Alaska Med. 35:4285–96 [Google Scholar]
  126. Weiner D. 1999a. American Indian discourse and the prevention of illness. Preventing and Controlling Cancer in North America: A Cross-cultural Perspective Diane Weiner 55–68 Westport, CT: Praeger [Google Scholar]
  127. Weiner D. 1999b. Preventing and Controlling Cancer in North America: A Cross Cultural Perspective Westport, CT: Praeger [Google Scholar]
  128. WHO (World Health Organ.) 2015. GLOBOCAN 2012: estimated cancer incidence, mortality and prevalence worldwide in 2012 Fact sheet, WHO, Geneva. http://globocan.iarc.fr/Pages/fact_sheets_cancer.aspx [Google Scholar]
  129. Wray N, Markovic M, Manderson L. 2007. Discourses of normality and difference: responses to diagnosis and treatment of gynaecological cancer of Australian women. Soc. Sci. Med. 64:2260–71 [Google Scholar]
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-anthro-102215-100217
Loading
  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error