I found that the Pulitzer Prize–winning book. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of. Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee, nvrehs.info, MD. (Simon and Schuster. In the end, cancer truly emerges, as a nineteenth-century surgeon once wrote in a book's frontispiece, as "the emperor of all maladies, the king of terrors. Winner of the Guardian First Book Award Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Non-fiction Shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize. Shortlisted for the.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Hindi|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Register to download]|
nvrehs.info Vol 12 April Cancer and Society. The emperor of all maladies. Siddhartha Mukherjee. Fourth. Estate, Pp , £ The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biog- and chemotherapy to Mukherjee's own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor. I found this book quite unique in that a history of cancer was covered along with a detailed description of personal experi- ence during the author's early days as.
The book traces the nihilism and mysticism that were understandably pervasive in the earliest days of cancer therapy and highlights conceptual advances made by early physicians and pathologists. Key scientific advances in fields far removed from medicine contributed to the development of cancer surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, all of which remain major treatment modalities today. Mukherjee chronicles the initial clinical application of these without aggrandizing the accomplishments or ignoring the failings of the larger-than-life figures such as Halsted, Farber, Frei, Freireich, and Kaplan.
Mukherjee provides a reminder of the seductive nature of current thinking in medical science, which can stifle the quest for improved treatments and understanding.
In the cases of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Mukherjee balances the failures with notable accomplishments that include the cure of most patients with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia and of a significant fraction of patients with adult leukemia, Hodgkin disease, and lymphoma.
Mukherjee also highlights the emergence of advocacy for cancer research driven by Mary Lasker and Sidney Farber, who thrust the issue of research funding for cancer into national prominence. This method of engaging an emotional and responsive public is illustrated by the inspiring account of the origins of the Jimmy Fund, a charity built around a young boy stricken with cancer who appeared on a national radio program to tell America he loved baseball.
Although this tale may resonate with an American audience, as a Canadian, I was slightly disappointed that the story of Terry Fox was not included. Fox suffered a leg amputation as a result of osteogenic sarcoma and embarked on a courageous run across Canada in to raise public awareness of funding for cancer research.
The emergence of pulmonary metastasis forced Fox to abandon his Marathon of Hope after more than 3, miles.
The book reviews the seminal studies that linked smoking and lung cancer, which spawned the important disciplines of cancer epidemiology and prevention.
Cancer cells can grow faster, adapt better.
They are more perfect versions of ourselves. The secret to battling cancer, then, is to find means to prevent these mutations from occurring in susceptible cells, or to find means to eliminate the mutated cells without compromising normal growth.
The conciseness of that statement belies the enormity of the task. Malignant growth and normal growth are so genetically intertwined that unbraiding the two might be one of the most significant scientific challenges faced by our species. Cancer is built into our genomes: the genes that unmoor normal cell division are not foreign to our bodies, but rather mutated, distorted versions of the very genes that perform vital cellular functions. And cancer is imprinted in our society: as we extend our life span as a species, we inevitably unleash malignant growth mutations in cancer genes accumulate with aging; cancer is thus intrinsically related to age.
If we seek immortality, then so, too, in a rather perverse sense, does the cancer cell. How, precisely, a future generation might learn to separate the entwined strands of normal growth from malignant growth remains a mystery.
But this much is certain: the story, however it plays out, will contain indelible kernels of the past. In the bare hospital room ventilated by sterilized air, Carla was fighting her own war on cancer.
When I arrived, she was sitting with peculiar calm on her bed, a schoolteacher jotting notes. The din of activity around Carla had become almost a blur: nurses shuttling fluids in and out, interns donning masks and gowns, antibiotics being hung on IV poles to be dripped into her veins.
I explained the situation as best I could. Her day ahead would be full of tests, a hurtle from one lab to another. I would draw a bone marrow sample.
More tests would be run by pathologists. But the preliminary tests suggested that Carla had acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
It is one of the most common forms of cancer in children, but rare in adults. And it is—I paused here for emphasis, lifting my eyes up—often curable. Carla nodded at that word, her eyes sharpening.
Inevitable questions hung in the room: How curable? What were the chances that she would survive?
How long would the treatment take? I laid out the odds. Once the diagnosis had been confirmed, chemotherapy would begin immediately and last more than one year. Her chances of being cured were about 30 percent, a little less than one in three. We spoke for an hour, perhaps longer. It was now nine thirty in the morning.
Must redeem within 90 days. See full terms and conditions and this month's choices. This reading group guide for The Emperor of All Maladies includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club.
The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion.
We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book. Introduction In The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee offers a sweeping and erudite history of cancer—from its earliest incarnations in ancient texts up to recent and long-awaited breakthroughs in treatment.
Questions and Topics for Discussion 1. In what sense, then, is cancer a disease of modern times? How does knowing its ancient history affect your notion of cancer? Mukherjee frames the book around the story of his patient, Carla Reed, a teacher who is diagnosed with leukemia. Compare this to how we view cancer today. Is there any difference in the way you discuss cancer as a political or news topic and how you discuss a cancer diagnosis among family and friends? How so? What could be done to restore some of the lapses in this relationship?
How can doctors and scientists draw the line between reckless, unproven treatment and necessary experimentation for drug development? How did Mary Lasker borrow from the worlds of business, advertising and even the military to build a nationwide effort to combat cancer? Numerous advances in cancer research would have been impossible without patients willing to submit themselves to grueling experimental trials—experiences from which they did not benefit, but future cancer patients might.
How would you counsel a friend or relative about submitting themselves to such experiments? How is the early history of chemotherapy linked to the histories of colonialism, the Industrial Revolution, and World War Two? Was the War on Cancer a failure? Why or why not? Forgot username? View Access Options. Advanced Search. View Full Size.
A Biography of Cancer. Tyler, B. Article Information. Anesthesiology 12 , Vol.
You will receive an email whenever this article is corrected, updated, or cited in the literature. You can manage this and all other alerts in My Account. You must be logged in to access this feature. What makes a nemesis? It was not long into this engaging chronicle that the analogy and perhaps the title felt inapt.
Science tells its own story to explain diseases. The book is organized into six sections, each of which describes some element of our relationship to cancer from beginning to end, sometimes stretching from the dawn of recorded history to the present.
However, some repetition seems unavoidable for a work this ambitious; the tapestry really cannot be fully appreciated without examining the individual threads, which cross each other from time to time. What is most remarkable about the book is the breadth and depth of these stories.
Mukherjee has a talent for helping the reader to enter those spheres.
We meet scientists in their labs and are immersed in thrills of victory and the crush of defeat. In the folklore of science, there is the often-told story of the moment of discovery: The apple drops from the tree. The man jumps up from a bathtub; the slippery equation balances itself. But there is another moment of discovery — its antithesis — that is rarely recorded: It is a moment that a scientist often encounters alone. A cell once killed by a drug begins to grow back.