The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Setting & Symbolism

Rebecca Skloot
This Study Guide consists of approximately 57 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
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Cervical Cancer

Henrietta Lacks felt there was a “knot” in her lower torso. She finally went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a virulent form of cervical cancer. It was an invasive form of the cancer which was partly the reason her cancer cells were so robust.

Radium

Henrietta was treated with radium for her cervical cancer. She kept her condition from her friends and family. When she finally showed a friend her torso, the friend was shocked at the black and charred condition of Henrietta’s skin. Many experts believed that the type of treatment she received was too radical.

Public Ward

Henrietta was treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. She was cared for in the colored section of the public ward. Henrietta didn’t have to pay anything for her treatments since she was a public ward patient. However, that status led doctors to...

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This section contains 820 words
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Buy The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Study Guide
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