Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Contribution:

Surveillance and spatialisation: cancer registration in contemporary India (part of the political stakes of cancer network)  
Nick Surawy Stepney (King's College London)

Short abstract:

Cancer epidemiology is rarely neutral in its practice. This paper examines the development, techniques and methods of the network of cancer registries in India, probing its political stakes, asking how it spatialises the disease, and what its mode of data generation obscures and reveals.

Long abstract:

Cancer registration is a scientific endeavour that aims to systematically generate knowledge on the incidence and prevalence of the disease in given populations, establish regional disease burdens, and subsequently undergird health policies that aim to address imbalances in access to care and interventions such as screening. Yet STS scholarship has demonstrated that such epidemiological endeavours are seldom simply the neutral collection and collation of data they are often assumed, be it the inherited logics they employ, or in the construction of disease objects or populations they purport only to study. Data is political. Cancer framed as an ‘epidemic’ secures funding, the rise of fall of individual cancer types allows claims to be made about relative levels of ‘development’ and the successes or failures of political projects. In this paper I analyse the cancer registry system in India, asking how, since its inception in the early 1980s, this network has developed, how the forms of research it undertakes have shifted, what its mode of data generation can reveal and obscure, and how this data is utilised in the spatialisation of cancer risk across the country. Narratives of ‘transition’ describe changes in diet, family structure, lifestyle, demographic makeup, and disease patterns (typically linking the rise particularly of colorectal cancers with a move towards ‘affluent’ lifestyles), yet are belied by the means of data collection and the populations that they cover. In this paper therefore, I examine the stakes of this data collection and the imaginaries and techniques it employs.

Combined Format Open Panel P133
Transforming the study of cancer
  Session 1 Tuesday 16 July, 2024, -