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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: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63 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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
Written with the precision of a scientist but with a large dose of humanity, The Emperor of All Maladies is a must read for anyone even remotely interested in learning about cancer and its role in modern society.

In a sentence, it's the history of cancer and all the attempts to cure/fight/eradicate it, with most emphasis on 20th century breakthroughs. It is therefore also the history of medicine involving not only the medical community but also key protagonists from all walks of life; scientists, politicians, socialites, financiers ' and of course patients. It is also revealing of how western societies tackled major healthcare and public policy issues over the course of the past century ' and how they matured and were humbled in the process. It's futile to add more comments or attempt to analyze the book since I consider it a masterpiece that captivates the reader from beginning to end!

Just read it, you''ll understand!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have written 75 poems to work through my husband's final journey with cancer and considered cancer a character, as Siddhartha Mukherjee does in his heart-wrenching/heartwarming biography of cancer. He fleshes out all the heroic men and women who went against the grain to consider cancer in new and fruitful ways. The book is beautifully written with courage and compassion and very apt metaphors to bring home the struggles, triumphs and tribulations of working in the cancer field.
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By jmack on March 25 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very insightful and interesting. Once you start reading it is hard to put the book down. My family, like many others, has been touched by cancer and because of these encounters it has shaped who I am today. The Emperor of All Maladies was riveting and I would recommend it to anyone who has, or is battling cancer and even the care givers and family members effected! It is a bit challenging to read in places; however, it is definitely worth the time and effort to read!!
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