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Embodied Knowledge and the Transformation of Women’s Health Politics
In DES Daughters, Susan Bell recounts the experiences of this generation of DES-victims. In moving, heartfelt narratives, she presents the voices of those women who developed cancer, those who were cancer-free but have concerns about becoming pregnant, and those who suffered other medical and/or reproductive difficulties.
” Susan Bell‘s book tells a story about women who attained legendary status in the annals of medicine. They were exposed prenatally to what was promoted as a benign and exciting new wonder drug prescribed to millions of American women to prevent miscarriage from the 1940s to the 1970s. This new reproductive technology—the synthetic estrogen DES— proved to be ineffective in preventing miscarriage, and in the long run it has had profound and damaging consequences for children, especially daughters of the women for whom it was prescribed (Dieckmann et al. 1953; Giusti, Iwamoto, and Hatch 1995). In 1971, medical scientists observed an association between prenatal exposure to DES and a rare form of vaginal cancer (clear cell adenocarcinoma) in women under age twenty; using available medical categories, they identified this synthetic estrogen as the first “transplacental carcinogen” (Herbst, Ulfelder, and Poskanzer 1971). “DES Daughters”, as these women are now called, are also at risk for poor reproductive outcomes, including ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, premature birth, and stillbirth (Giusti, Iwamoto, and Hatch 1995). Almost forty years later, DES-related cancer remains rare, but reproductive tract problems—including menstrual irregularities, poor reproductive outcomes, and structural or cellular anomalies—are common among DES Daughters. ” Sources: Bowdoin Books
“Silent Thalidomide” the Secret Killer: Ten of thousands of British woment in pregnancy drug scare
The Independent on Sunday UK, front page, January 22, 2012
DES and the White House
Join the team at DES Info in reminding the White House and President Obama that the DES Tragedy needs to be addressed and we are still awaiting an apology!
As long as governments don’t take responsibility and publicly acknowledge this tragedy not much will be done to provide proper care and fund research for the DES community…
It’s important to keep the pressure on and fight this battle on all levels.
DES Daughter Susan Helmrich is one of the best swimmers in the world in her age group
Susan Helmrich is one of the best swimmers in the world in her age group. She’s also a three-time cancer survivor and a victim of one of the greatest drug tragedies in history. With luck, determination, great medical care, the support of family and friends and the benefits of the sport of swimming, Susan has fought to escape the deadly legacy of a supposed wonder drug turned nightmare.
DES Action Australia: support and advocacy for those exposed to DES ; related hormones and endocrine disruptors
A few weeks ago DES Action Australia NSW in Sydney had a notice published in the RSVP section of the Sydney Morning Herald, inviting people affected by DES (diethylstibestrol) to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the DES cancer finding. For this occasion Carole Devine, DES Action Australia NSW founder, is inviting the group members and associates, their friends and families to meet up for a DES picnic community event.
DES ACTION AUSTRALIA BIG PICNIC
Where: Lilies on the Park (cafe), Bicentennial Park,
adjacent to Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush
When: Saturday November 26th – 11.30 am
Directions: Follow signs to Sydney Olympic Park.
On Australia Ave take first turn on right into Bicentennial Ave.
(Lattice clock tower at park entry).
Event attendees will then move on to a nearby picnic area.
If you’ve been affected by the DES drug and are anywhere near Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday 26th November, join your local DES community and bring along a picnic or buy food at Lilies Cafe. Just come along and look out for DES Action Australia identifying marker – yellow balloons!
Tea, coffee, juice will be provided and there will be an opportunity to hire bicycles at the park for AU$ 15 per hour.
For more information about the 40th Anniversary of the DES cancer finding watch this video featuring US researcher Dr Arthur Herbst.
To get an idea of interest and to help with catering, DES Action Australia NSW is asking participants to RSVP as soon as possible by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 02 98754820. For more information about the great work they are doing, please visit DES Action Australia NSW blog.
HAPPY DES PICNIC EVERYONE!
Diethylstilbestrol DES has consequences for those who took it, their children and maybe their grandchildren