In 1924 the London Committee of the Medical Women's Federation was instrumental in establishing a clinic for the purpose of investigating the radium treatment of cervical cancer. The scheme was later to evolve into a hospital, the Marie Curie, where adherence to the methods developed in Stockholm served to establish radiotherapy as an alternative to surgery in cancer of the cervix. This article examines the women's contribution in the light of feminist and professional struggles over the relative merits of surgery and radiotherapy. It argues that radiotherapy was an issue of special interest to women surgeons, not only because of the long history of feminist opposition to gynecological surgery, but also because it could widen women's access to the medical profession in the face of male exclusion from training posts and honorary appointments at voluntary hospitals.


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pp. 139-163
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