Monday, January 17, 2011

Cancer the Emperor of all Maladies.

I have finished a book that will be well worth you while. It is called "The Emperor of all Maladies, A Biography of Cancer" by Siddhartha Mukherjee. The author is a newly minted oncologist who finished his fellowship at Harvard in 05. It is not just another boring medical or science book, but integrates the history of medicine, cancer treatment, politics, research on this disease with actual patients stories. It kept me wanting to keep reading until I finished the book. When I was in school and during residency and practice oncology seemed like witchcraft to me. A little of this chemotherapeutic agent with that one and maybe a couple more and it was administered to patients. They usually got terrible sick with terrible side effects. I knew the basic idea was to attack rapidly dividing cells, but how in the world did they come up with such combinations such as MOPP, and other alphabet soups of drugs. It didn't make any sense to me. Now I feel that I understand it a little more. What is really exciting is he brings out the basic research being done now into the genomes of common cancers. There was only one mistake that I could find, but that doesn't impact the meaning and scope of this book. That mistake was in a historical note. See if you can find. I heartily recommend this book to one and all.
Peace Skeptical DoDo

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