Think of cancer as person. A hostile complex and very persistent individual. According to oncologist Sid Mukherjee, this is the best approach to understand the history of cancer. Recently, Mukerjee wrote cancer’s biography.
From the first chemotherapy developed from textile dyes to the possibilities emerging from our understanding of cancer cells, Mukherjee leaves no stone unturned while explaining cancer’s life cycle and history. He touches upon some sticky misconceptions –cancer is by no means a lifestyle disease, as many people think, nor is there one cure for every kind of cancer- and he also includes the patient’s perspective in his story. The idea that cancer cells are copies of who we are is, Mukherjee emphasises, not a metaphor. “We can rid ourselves of cancer,” he concludes, “only as much as we can rid ourselves of the processes in our physiology that depend on growth; – aging, regeneration,healing, reproduction.”
Editor’s note (04/02/2017):
The Emperor of All Maladies received the 2011 Pulitzer prize for general nonfiction. Read here a short statement from the Pulitzer committee about the book.
Image via Happyworldforall.blogspot.nl
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer is available in the UA Library