Chemoprevention Essay

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We live in a world where being medicated has become a societal norm. Modern health care practices have set the stage for the proliferation of direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs by pharmaceutical manufacturers. Some of these practices include the emergence of managed care organizations (MCOs), the legalization of DTCA of prescription drugs, the emergence of the Internet as an alternative promotional channel, the increased desire by patients to become more involved in their own health care decisions, the disillusionment with traditional medicine, and the rise of ‘alternative’ medicine, to name a few. There is an ongoing debate as to the ultimate harm or benefit of this relatively recent practice of pharmaceutical manufacturers to direct their promotional efforts away from the physician and towards the consumer.
With the ongoing expansion of technology, being “at risk” has become a common diagnosis that requires its own cycle of prescriptions and treatments. It’s almost like biomedicalization has become a disease like state in itself. Fosket uses this perspective to analyze the emergence of pharmaceuticals as credible strategies for breast cancer prevention and the analogous emergence of a group of women designated “high risk” for breast cancer and targeted for pharmaceutical interventions. These interventions include Chemoprevention, which is “the practice of ingesting pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals to prevent disease” (Fosket 331). This practice of Chemoprevention was also seen in many articles we read this semester, some of which is Dumit’s “Pharmaceutical Witnessing and Direct-to-Consumer Advertising”, where he mentions how people may experience things that may not be pathological, like heart burn, b...

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...ars to be the most promising agent in primary prevention of breast cancer. It changed the way prevention is perceived by biomedicalizing it. Prevention is seen as equivalent to risk reduction. Also, it is the only United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) approved drug for reducing breast cancer risk in high-risk women. Promising as it may seem, the scope of primary prevention has been restricted to women at high risk of developing breast cancer because of inherent limitations of these strategies. Knowledge is power, “The lack of knowledge in the realm of breast cancer prevention makes for greater investment in chemoprevention”. Owing to failure of etiologic studies in breast cancer research to identify primary prevention strategies suitable for the general population, reducing mortality through early detection of breast cancer still remains the mainstay.
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