Twenty-first century cancer is framed by the biomedical revolution. The cancer patient today enters a world dominated by the success and failures of biomedical science from gene to statistic. By any measure, bibliometric, financial, media profile or simply the lingua franca of everyday discourse about cancer, biomedicine occupies the majority of the cultural discourse around cancer.
Yet the reality is that patients are people who are diagnosed, treated, survive and die with cancer in a world bounded by their personal and social experiences. Others they have known with the disease shape their values and concepts. The social determinants of cancer are of far greater importance in terms of prevention, treatment and care than is acknowledged in policy terms.
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