The Cancer Detectives

The Trailblazers Who Landed the First Blow Against Cancer

Poster for The Cancer Detectives

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The story of how the life-saving cervical cancer test became an ordinary part of women’s lives is as unusual and remarkable as the coalition of people who ultimately made it possible: a Greek immigrant, Dr. George Papanicolau; his intrepid wife, Mary; Japanese-born artist Hashime Murayama; Dr. Helen Dickens, an African American OBGYN in Philadelphia; and an entirely new class of female scientists known as cyto-screeners. But the test was just the beginning. Once the test proved effective, the campaign to make pap smears available to millions of women required nothing short of a total national mobilization. The Cancer Detectives tells the untold story of the first-ever war on cancer and the people who fought tirelessly to save women from what was once the number one cancer killer of women.

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English / 53 min / 2024

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