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The Big SqueezeA Social and Political History of the Controversial Mammogram$
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Handel Reynolds

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450938

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450938.001.0001

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The Mammography Story

(p.1) Introduction
The Big Squeeze

Handel Reynolds

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to chronicle the often turbulent history of screening mammography since its introduction in the early 1970s. The book makes five key points. First, it shows how pivotal decisions during the initial roll-out of mammography made it all but inevitable that the test would never be far from controversy. Second, the book describes how, at several key points in its history, the establishment of a culture of mammography screening was greatly aided by concurrent social and political forces and movements. Third, the book illustrates how politics came to dominate the debate, eventually achieving primacy over science itself. Fourth, it describes the collateral economy that developed around screening.

Keywords:   mammograms, breast cancer, screening, collateral economy, mammography

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