Between the two World Wars an illness that mainly affects adults over fifty years old became so prominent that it superseded both tuberculosis and syphilis in importance.
As Patrice Pinell shows, the effect of cancer in France before World War Two reached far beyond the question of its mortality rates. Pinell's socio-historical approach to the early developments in the fight against cancer describes how scientific, therapeutic, philanthropic, ethical, social, economics and political interest combined to transform medicine.
Patrice Pinell is Directeur de Recherche at the Institut National de la Recherche Médical (INSERM). He is an historian and sociologist of medicine, and has worked on topics such as the medicalization of school failures (Un siécle d'éches scolaires), the anti cancer war (Naissance d'un Fléau), the AIDS movement in France (Un épidémie politique), and the history of Muscular Dystrophy.