ANTH CED: An Anthropological study of the early detection of cancer

I am undertaking ethnographic research within a broad field that concerns the development of detection technologies through to their clinical use and social effects in the UK. Through detailed observations, sensitive conversations and careful participation, I trace the practices and experiences of ‘biomedical innovation’ in cancer detection that are articulated by scientists, engineers, clinicians, patients, biomedical research subjects and their support networks.

The study plans to use an anthropological method of analysis, which is broadly defined as an inductive and comparative exercise through which research participants’ experiences and worldviews are understood in their own terms. The systematic collection of these experiences will be put into a wider context, extracting meaning, relevance, and societal impact.

Observing the real-life impact of early cancer detection studies will be invaluable to better understand the social acceptability of early detection technologies; and any relational, psychological, and even socioeconomic changes in research participants’ lives.

About the researcher

Meet the anthropologist behind the project [read more…]

Summary of study

Here I explain the purpose of the study and the methodological approach [read more…]

Invitation to participate (scientists)

Are you a scientist working on early detection of cancer in Cambridge, UK? [read more…]

Update 17th June 2020:

Component 1 of the study is completed! What is coming next?

I am exploring the practices and views of scientists, health professionals, and research volunteers involved in the field of cancer early detection. To do that, I focus on ‘technologies’: the methods developed to diagnose cancer in people’s bodies before symptoms appear. Examples of technologies are scans, blood tests and biopsies (tumour samples). With the focusContinue reading “Component 1 of the study is completed! What is coming next?”

an empty meeting room with whiteboard, chair and tables

The principal investigator

Dr Ignacia Arteaga is a research associate in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge.

Get in touch

Department of Social Anthropology. Free School Lane, Cambridge, UK CB2 3RF

mia42[at]cam.ac.uk