Cancerous Stigma

South Indian women diagnosed with cancer fear more than death—they worry about their reputation.
Shame, amplified for cancers involving the reproductive system, can stop them from getting tested and treated, discovered medical anthropologist and Wilson Center Public Policy Fellow Cecilia Van Hollen. She explored South Indian women’s ideas about breast and cervical cancer for her upcoming book, The Curse of the Kali Yuga: Searching for Meaning and Care for Cancer in India.
“One of the striking facts about cancer in India is that it is extremely stigmatized,” Van Hollen said. “It is taboo in many cases to even utter the word ‘cancer.’”
New Security Beat

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