The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer is a book written by Siddhartha Mukherjee, an Indian-born American physician and oncologist. Published. The Emperor of All Maladies book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Alternate Cover Edition ISBN (ISBN “The Emperor of All Maladies” is a history of eureka moments and decades of despair. Mukherjee describes vividly the horrors of the radical.
- Book Review: The emperor of all maladies: a biography of cancer
- The Mind of a Disease
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- The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee – review
- The Emperor of All Maladies
All patients begin as storytellers, the oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee observes near the start of this powerful and ambitious first book.
Book Review: The emperor of all maladies: a biography of cancer
Many doctors become storytellers too, and Mukherjee has undertaken one of the most extraordinary stories in medicine: a history of cancer, which will kill aboutAmericans by the end of this year, and more than seven million people around the planet. Mukherjee started on the road to this book when he began advanced training in cancer medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston in the summer of The oldest surviving description of cancer is written on a papyrus from about B.
The modern understanding of the disease originated with the recognition, in the first half of the 19th century, that all plants and animals are made of cells, and that all cells arise from other cells.
The German researcher Rudolph Virchow put that in Latin: omnis cellula e cellula.
The Mind of a Disease
Cancer is a disease that begins when a single cell, among all the trillions in a human body, begins to grow out of control. Lymphomas, leukemias, malignant melanomas, sarcomas all begin with that microscopic accident, a mutation in one cell: omnis cellula e cellula e cellula.
Cell growth is the secret of living, the source of our ability to build, adapt, repair ourselves; and cancer cells are rebels among our own cells that outrace the rest. InFarber worked in a tiny, dank laboratory in Boston, dissecting specimens and performing autopsies. He was fascinated by a sharklike species of cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which can move so fast that it kills an apparently healthy child within only a few days.
In the summer ofa 2-year-old boy, the child of a Boston shipyard worker, fell sick. In the last days of the year, Farber injected his patient with an experimental drug, aminopterin, and within two weeks he was walking, talking and eating again.
The next year, Farber helped start a research fund drive around a boy who suffered from a lymphoma in his intestines, a disease that killed 90 percent of its victims. The boy was cherubic and blond, an enormous fan of the Boston Braves, and his name was Einar Gustafson.
For the sake of publicity, Farber rechristened him Jimmy. Soon, he was working on an even grander scale, with the help of an extraordinary socialite and medical philanthropist, Mary Lasker.
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee – review
In scientific terms, however, the war was disastrously premature. The moon race had been based on rocket science. Researchers still did not understand what makes cells turn malignant. Now that they were so much in the spotlight, and in the money, they fell into bickering, demoralized, warring factions. Meanwhile, more Americans were dying of cancer than ever, mainly because of smoking. Back inthe average adult American smoked 3, cigarettes a year, or about 10 a day.
Almost half of all Americans smoked.
The Emperor of All Maladies
That epidemic is still playing itself out. Meanwhile, those who studied the causes of cancer in the laboratories and those who treated it in the clinics were not always talking to each other.
In the lab, because it is so heterogeneous in its genetics and its migrations in the body. In the hospital, because its course is horrible and so often slow, drawn out.
Mukherjee stitches stories of his own patients into this history, not always smoothly. The heroes of the last few decades of this epic history are Robert Weinberg, Harold Varmus, Bert Vogelstein and the other extraordinary laboratory scientists who have finally worked out the genetics of cancer, and traced the molecular sequence of jammed accelerators and missing brakes that release those first rebel cells.
As a clinician, Mukherjee is only guardedly optimistic. Book Review The Mind of a Disease. Eventually he started this book so as not to drown.