Women Warriors is an insightful medical-humanities book amazingly developed within the rigid corridors of the medical sciences for the informative purposes of not only academia, but the mass reading audience. It is a conservative book in range and scope. In medical science, due to the text’s interdisciplinarity in contrast to the traditional purely scientific, Women Warriors is considered controversial in the discipline of medicine in academia. In the academic halls of the humanities, the scope of this kind of combined accomplishment is viewed as nothing short of a miracle.
The text is a compassionate and dedicated work written for the benefit of both men and women. The title Women Warriors and the subsequent battle terminology for chapter headings was developed by the authors who discovered by consensus that the women who fight cancer call themselves warriors, thus the main title and overall military theme. The vast and well-researched information within this text was carefully garnered at the medical schools of Yale University and the University of California, Los Angeles under the support and guidance of a world renown physician and others also listed in the Acknowledgments. Upon a dedicated read of Women Warriors, one discovers an immeasurable resource of knowledge that will enlighten and change your outlook forever on this ancient dreaded disease:
The Introduction in Chapter I supplies intricate and definitive information on the research methodology developed and utilized that will provide for the reader a solid basis for how the authors researched and analyzed the vast sources of information contained within the text;
Chapter II gives one a fascinating tour of history from ancient Greece to the capital of the most powerful nation in the world. In it you will discover not only the historical mysteries of women’s cancer, but also the human values issues surrounding women (some of which are still in practice in the contemporary world), the strange and dark side of the disease, and an overarching still developing view into the sexual history of both men and women bringing clearer explanation as to why and who we are today;
In Chapter III one will find a friendly and articulate disclosure of the “arsenal of research weaponry” written by a medical scientist with the ability to make highly technical information comprehensive to the layperson. Additionally, one is provided with a clearer ability to compare the value of studies and active approaches utilized both historically and up-to-the-minute in the war against cancer;
Chapter IV provides the reader with a unique and often distubing clarity into the politics in the war against cancer, where powerful organizations, government leaders, and scientists all vie for positioning, influence, and monetary support under the ghastly environment of fear for a deadly disease. Its contents will open your eyes;
Chapter V takes one on a unique worldwide comparative study of the creative force of cancer and the imponderable visions, both historically and in our contemporary existence, of those who were and are instrumental in producing both the positive and negative ideologies affecting our ability to cope and reach for the most powerful creative force in the management of the disease and finding a lasting cure;
The pages of Chapter VI make provision for insightful, sensitive, and distinctly powerful interviews with the warriors themselves; women who have fought and are actively still waging a very personal and real war against cancer. Engaging yourself in the revealing conversations with these women will bring the experience of a full spectrum of human emotions which will surprise you with great joy, friendship, love, and even laughter. You will also discover the empowering bravery of the women who are the truly “unknown soldiers”;
And finally, in Chapter VII, you will be given a privileged glimpse into the thought processes of an up-and-coming young physician. In experiencing this personal disclosure will evolve an intimate realization of the great heart, courage, and tenacity indicative of what it was like to struggle for and insist upon the right to produce this book.
Through the comprehension of medicine as art it has become increasingly noteworthy that there is a need for a refined education in the disciplines which have traditionally explored human-values questions, namely the humanities: philosophy, history, literature, language, and theology. Contemporarily, these disciplines have lost the influence of their pristine authority through fragmentation and specialization, however, it is these basic disciplines which retain the possibility for providing the cognitive and affective tools requisite to an intelligent formulation of the methodologies of health professional schools, and thereby, the responsible practice of the professions taught within those schools by the produced health care givers.
It is the intent of this medical-humanities study to additionally step outside the educational academy and avail the mainstream reader of an opportunity for a fascinating documented journey of a dread disease. Cancer has confounded the world for centuries in finding a complete and final cure. This book exhibits a fresh study devised in such a conflated way as to probe and combine many sources, instigating questions and discussions that compels us to consider the possibility that it is human nature standing in the way of that cure. Reading this study also enables us to see cancer in a new light, and to discover the incredibly brave perspectives of the women calling themselves “warriors” who courageously fought and are still fighting the battle against this ancient disease.
The historian’s role, therefore, is to relish such human complexity, to hold several dimensions of a problem or period together long enough to offer the most productive and realistic framework for cooperation among the humanistic disciplines and those of medicine for a medical-humanities study. The consistent challenge within this text was to address imaginatively, pose, and respond to the stimulus of interaction between the humanistic and medical disciplines affecting the sensitivity of those involved in the various determinants of illness and health; the influence of individual character on the values and practices of medicine in historical periods; the impact of individual philosophical commitments regarding the nature of the person and the manner in which health is defined; analysis of the ambiguities and tensions between the humanistic and medical fields in juxtaposition with the culture of specific historical moments by utilizing the information contained within the many forms of documented research of the disciplines selected for analysis. The antithesis of such research and analysis being the purpose of strengthening the intellectual link to medicine through the Humanities encouragement for originality of thought and knowledge in both fields—perhaps even motivating the creation of a new paradigm, shifting at last to the cure for cancer.
Therefore, Women Warriors intent is to provide a well documented highly motivational text containing the vital enrichment of a large compilation of knowledge placed side-by-side (conflated) into one book. In accomplishing this unusual resource, its purpose is to encourage each reader to compare, query, discover, and analyze; thus stimulating the thoughts necessary to develop one’s own individual answers.
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