Cancer genetics in Cuba and Brazil

May 2016

Cancer genetics

The article Translating genomics: cancer genetics, public health and the making of the (de)molecularised body in Cuba and Brazil, by Sarah Gibbon, University College, London,  examines how cancer genetics has emerged as a focus for research and healthcare in these two countries.

Drawing on ethnographic research undertaken in community genetics clinics and cancer genetics services, the article examines how the knowledge and technologies associated with this novel area of healthcare are translated and put to work by researchers, health professionals, patients and their families in these two contexts.

Sarah Gibbon interviewed cancer genetic doctors in Cuba and patients in Brazil. These patients were mostly women with high incidence of cancer in their families undergoing risk assessment or awaiting the result of a genetic test.

The article first examines how this field of research has developed in these two regions and traces patient subjectivities co-produced in the context of cancer genetics.

Read the full issue of HCSMS’ latest issue: The Biomedicalization of Brazilian Bodies: Anthropological Perspectives (vol.23 no.1 Rio de Janeiro Jan./Mar. 2016).




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