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Cancer is one of a handful of human ailments that continue to elude us. The modern age is plagued with news of rising cancer rates, all kinds of possible man-made causes and a constant stream of potential miracle cures. In the course of his investigations into cancer, however, Siddhartha Mukherjee discovered that it is an ancient illness, which endured for centuries as a private matter, swaddled in secrecy and shame. Peering beyond the screen he saw that every generation had imagined cancer uniquely, and made its own desperately inventive attempt to find a cure. It is only over recent generations that cancer has morphed into one of the most public and politically scrutinised diseases of our era.
Mukherjee delves into the larger history of cancer. How old is it? When did the battle against it begin? How have we - as a society - dealt with its challenge? How have we imagined the disease and what forces have we marshalled against it? Essentially: where are we in the war against cancer? What, if anything, have we won so far, and what have we lost?
Cancer is a survivor: it changes, it adapts, it evolves, it grows. It is so close to us in biology that, in destroying it, we often destroy ourselves. The quest for the 'cure' for cancer has gradually transformed into a lodestone quest, the yardstick of our scientific and medical progress. This book is the story of that quest.
About the Author
Siddhartha Mukherjee is a Fellow in the Division of Cancer Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School. He obtained his D.Phil at Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and his medical degree at Harvard. He has also been a Fellow at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
His writing has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, the New Republic and the New York Times Book Review. Recently his work has been featured in the Best American Science Writing anthology.
|Imprint||Fourth Estate Ltd|
|Publication Year||2011 February|
|Number of Pages||400 Pages|
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This book is precisely what it states, it lugs you through an epic journey towards the discovery of cancer,it's varieties and its cure. It traces through the cancer landscape,its highs and lows,the battle,the petitions and the litigations in the era of War on Cancer in the nineteenth century. A parallel plot trudges the authors emotions and affiliation with some of his patients and his morbid experience as a medical intern at Massachusetts General.
Riveting read with handpicked and polished language,captivating and at the same time thought provoking, it's been my afternoon ritual with coffee lately.
Mr. Mukherjee yanks you by the elbow and takes you through a roller coaster of a ride through the troughs and peaks of failures and successes in man's quest for the holy grail of medicine, the elusive cure for Cancer. Spanning almost 4000 years from the first references during the times of the Pharaohs to 2008, the epic journey covers the attempts to eradicate Cancer by the surgeons, the chemists, the radiologists and lastly the geneticists.
Every blind alley has led to small openings, which have helped to unravel the mystery of this malignant disease and the recent successes with genetic research and early detection has helped increase the survival rates. But the battle is far from over, if one is to go by Mr. Mukherjee's passionate account.
An excellent example of how to take medical science to the layman, I hope that this book will also inspire a large number of India's youngsters to pursue careers in research related to cancer.
The kind of book I wanted to read for a long time but hadn't laid my hands on. Dr. Sid's writing is sheer magic as he hand holds you through a journey that takes you to all nooks and crannies of the landscape of efforts by scientists, doctors, clinicians, researchers in trying to decode and find a cure for the scourge that is cancer. And yet all along, the book never fails to tell you why Dr. Sid choose to call it the Emperor of all Maladies - the one malaise that refuses to be tethered down by mankind's relentless efforts, the one disease that constantly reinvents itself to break free of the shackles that is imposed on it....Brilliant riveting piece that is sprinkled with doses from history and present of true life accidents, miracle drug discoveries, stories of benefactors, etc. A must read for anybody who wishes to enlighten themselves while also marveling at the power of both the hunted and the efforts of the hunter.
When I first heard about Siddhartha Mukherjeeâs Emperor of Maladies, I avoided the book as it is all about cancer. I have a personal reason for this. I saw at close quarters my own father suffer and succumb to this dreaded disease in 1975.
I subsequently heard that this book also won Guardian first book prize. I had second thoughts. There must be something in this book. A book that may be just for medical students cannot win Pulitzer.
I read the book and I have only superlatives in praise of the book.
What is cancer? What causes it? Virus? Hereditary? Infection? Genetic disorder? Some poisonous chemicals? Or just an unresolved mystery?
Finally is cancer curable? Preventable?
Read on. You will get all the answers.
There's not much I can say that hasn't been said already. The amount of research that has gone into this work of great scholarship is immense. Every story, every fact, every anecdote is meticulously footnoted and referenced.
Dr. Mukherjee approaches the dreaded disease from multiple angles at multiple levels and somehow manages to come up with a beautifully written, wonderfully coherent, at times magical, literary blockbuster. I liked the historical overview he provides, putting everything in context. Paced just right, it reads like a gripping novel--only terribly true.
My only minor quibble is that the last few pages seem hastily written and rather shoddily edited. And he sometimes uses too many adjectives. But that's a minor issue, easily swept aside. This book will inform you, enlighten you, engage you, entertain you, make you laugh and cry, and make you a better person. No, I'm not joking.
As much as a hypochondriac my friends tell me that I am, reading this book did scare me but at the same time it was highly info...Read More
It is a book which brings you the history, the present and the future of CANCER.
The book moves around the earliest disco...
What a book! Excellence! You would fall in love with cancer while reading this book. And the quality of research and facts will...Read More
I picked the book after reading the profile of the author. He did not disappoint. A story told with the objectivity of a surgeo...Read More
What's amazing about this book is it makes - a highly complicated subject like cancer - simple and understandable to a reader l...Read More