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The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer Paperback – Aug 9 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (Aug. 9 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439170916
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439170915
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2010: "In 2010, about six hundred thousand Americans, and more than 7 million humans around the world, will die of cancer." With this sobering statistic, physician and researcher Siddhartha Mukherjee begins his comprehensive and eloquent "biography" of one of the most virulent diseases of our time. An exhaustive account of cancer's origins, The Emperor of All Maladies illustrates how modern treatments--multi-pronged chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, as well as preventative care--came into existence thanks to a century's worth of research, trials, and small, essential breakthroughs around the globe. While The Emperor of All Maladies is rich with the science and history behind the fight against cancer, it is also a meditation on illness, medical ethics, and the complex, intertwining lives of doctors and patients. Mukherjee's profound compassion--for cancer patients, their families, as well as the oncologists who, all too often, can offer little hope--makes this book a very human history of an elusive and complicated disease. --Lynette Mong --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“This volume should earn Mukherjee a rightful place alongside Carl Sagan, Stephen Jay Gould, and Stephen Hawking in the pantheon of our epoch's great explicators.”—Boston Globe

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B. Hoyes on May 10 2011
Format: Hardcover
I came to this book expecting to learn something about a disease that has struck my family and affected my life. It revolutionised my understanding of the disease and brought to life the medical saga that has become a modern marvel. The author writes with style and grace. It is a humane book about real human beings who struggle with a wiley, difficult and vicious foe. It artfully illustrates the tragedy, pathos, ruthlessnes, humanity and realism of those who battle with cancer. Ultimately, we are permitted to glimpse the deep mystery and majesty of the disease and our own complex biological form. Fantastic read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rodge TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 27 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is gripping, informative, compassionate and comprehensive. But its not out of reach for lay readers. We see the evolution of our understanding of cancer and how modern science and medicine have allowed us to more fully understand this monster, provide some additional cures and help us to realize just how difficult the road to further cures will be. Cancer touches us all in some way or another, so I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone.
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Format: Kindle Edition
People in the past tended to die of other diseases (and in poorer countries, still do), but as our longevity increases so does the incidence of cancer. As we extend our lives, Mukherjee writes, ‘we inevitably unleash malignant growth’. But what is cancer, how can we understand and treat it?

In this book, which I first read a couple of years ago, Siddhartha Mukherjee writes of the first documented appearances of cancer thousands of years ago, of the Persian Queen Atossa (550-475 BCE) who has surgery for a bleeding lump in her breast (as recorded by Herodotus in ‘The Histories’), of primitive radiation and chemotherapy treatments in the nineteenth century, of the new treatments available to patients now.

In addition to discussing treatments (and some of us will remember those who had endured the Halsted radical mastectomy for breast cancer) Dr Mukherjee examines the aetiology and pathology of cancer, and some of those who’ve been involved in the quest for understanding and answers. Our co-existence with cancer over the past five thousand years or so has not been passive: physicians, surgeons and scientists have all sought to understand and hoped to conquer the disease. Dr Mukherjee recounts discoveries and setbacks, deaths and victories. Understanding the journey brings the reader in contact with both the best and worst of humanity: dedicated and obsessive; ingenious and resilient; hubristic and inflexible; arrogant and detached.

‘Cancer, we have discovered, is stitched into our genome.’

Although the topic of cancer is uncomfortable and difficult, Dr Mukherjee has presented a very readable history of the disease and of progress in combatting it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Tiley on Nov. 17 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a superbly crafted history of cancer. It takes us from its earliest discovery and classification up to the present methods of treating it. The author has first hand knowledge of his topic and provides us with a bedside view of his and other patients. A very empathetic view of the suffering people endure as part of a successful or otherwise recovery and a detailed critique of how this disease has been as is being attacked.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By veterinarian on Jan. 18 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How each generation of doctors refuses to give up old techniques in the treatment of cancer. A very interesting book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Pauline on April 18 2011
Format: Hardcover
'The Emperor of all Maladies a Biography of Cancer' by Siddhartha Mukherjee is a well put together book. It is organized and well thought out. It starts at the beginning of recorded history of cancer and ends with our present day knowledge of cancer. The book covers how humans have treated cancer from the beginning to the present.

The book terrified me in some parts; reading how they treated breast cancer, performing mastectomies without anesthetic and how crippled the women would be after the procedure if they survived.

'The Emperor of all Maladies' is a frightening reminder of how little we do know about cancer. One thing I have learned over the years is that knowledge and how we apply our knowledge is always changing. What we believe is true today will most likely be false tomorrow and this applies to the medical field and from reading this book you will see how it applies to cancer.

Cancer is part of our society and as our population ages it well become an even greater part of who we are...with the majority of us living a long life...the majority of us well encounter some form of cancer. What is the best way to beat cancer? More money, it really is that simple...with the money available to the many intelligent individuals out there willing to do research, I truly believe we could have better survival rates and less toxic, less side effect ridden medications. Will we ever beat cancer? I doubt it, but we sure could treat it in a more patient friendly way.

I have always had a love for the field of genetics and this book feeds that passion. The book is informative and interesting and involving...it contains enough science to teach the reader about what is the cause of cancer and how can we treat it. I always love a book that teaches me new things and this one succeeds on many levels.
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