The Politics of Breast Cancer

cover art
208 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9780878408511 (0878408517)

March 2001
LC: 00-047672



The Politics of Breast Cancer
Maureen Hogan Casamayou
Between 1990 and 1993, breast cancer activism became a significant political movement. The issue began to receive extensive media attention, and federal funding for breast cancer research jumped dramatically. Describing the origins of this surge in interest, Maureen Hogan Casamayou attributes it to the emergence of politically potent activism among breast cancer survivors and their supporters. Exploring the creation and development of the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC), she shows how many of its key leaders were mobilized by their own traumatic experiences with the disease and its treatments.

Casamayou details the NBCC's meteoric rise and impressive lobbying efforts, explaining how—in contrast to grassroots movements founded by dedicated individuals—the coalition grew from the simultaneous efforts of a network of women who invested their time, energy, money, and professional skills in the fight for increased funding for breast cancer research. This multiple leadership—or collective entrepreneurialism, says Casamayou—was crucial to the NBCC's success framing the issue in the minds of the public and policymakers alike.
Maureen Hogan Casamayou is author of Bureaucracy in Crisis: Three Mile Island, the Shuttle Challenger, and Risk Assessment.
"Provides an engaging and informative description of the history of funding for cancer research, the political activities surrounding that history, and the role of women legislators in bringing the issue of research parity to the policy agenda. . . . The book provides a very useful telling of a very interesting story of grassroots and congressional advocacy."—American Politics

"Weaves an engaging story with solid theory . . . Rarely can I say that a political science text made me weep and made me rejoice; this one did both."—Christine L. Day, University of New Orleans

"Maureen Casamayou's perceptive examination of breast cancer politics offers important lessons, both for would-be activists and for anyone wanting to understand how activism arises and drives public policy."—Christopher H. Foreman, The Brookings Institution

"Carefully and painstakingly chronicles the development of an unusual political movement that is both effective and creative in its use of political strategies."—Philip Mundo, Drew University