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BREASTS: A Natural and Unnatural History
Bibliophile price: £5.00
Bared, flaunted, measured, inflated, sexted, YouTubed, suckled, pierced, sucked, tattooed, tasselled and fetishized, it is remarkable how little we actually know about the basic biology of the breast. Rachel Carson's Silent Spring recounted how industrial chemicals were altering biological systems. Breasts are barometers for the changing health of an individual - if we are becoming more infertile, producing increasingly contaminated breast milk, reaching puberty earlier and menopause later, can we fulfil our potential as a species? Are our breasts now the leading soft edge of our devolution? This special book is an environmental history of a body part, part biology, part anthropology, part medical journalism. An evolutionary masterpiece, the breast is changing, getting bigger, arriving earlier and attracting new fangled chemicals. Increasingly the odds are stacked against us in the struggle with breast cancer, but what makes breasts so mercurial and so vulnerable? Intrepid science journalist Florence Williams uncovers the latest, investigating why cup size is so important in Texas, the causes of early puberty, what it means to have environmental toxins in her own breast milk, how US Marines numbering over 71 males helped solve the puzzle of breast cancer and contaminated water in their village, periods, the pill and HRT, the aging breast and the future of breasts. Informative and remarkably entertaining. 338pp, paperback. Illus.

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