This book is a pretty interesting study of the history of the treatment of cancer. It contains some unfortunate side trips and some of the detail of cellular biology was a little hard to follow. I thought the reading was only ok. It was overly dramatic in parts where the material itself was plenty dramatic enough. It didn't require embellishment. All in all pretty informative. (Knowledge of biology not required to fully
appreciate the book.)
I like the author's statement that this is a "biography" of cancer. It isn't just a history of the disease and our attempts to cure it, control it or live with it and hopefully not die from it, but it is approached as a living entity which I suppose it truly is. Saddest part for me was the attempt to cure breast cancer with hugely disfiguring surgery which ultimately was proven to be ineffective, but only after multitudes of women had undergone the surgery, only subsequently to relapse and die. Most hopeful and encouraging was the account of the fight against leukemia, which at one time, once diagnosed, was a death sentence, and which now, after much research and many frustrating treatment trials, frequently yields to a cure. The author's compassion and concern for his patients and all of the people through history affected by this disease really shines through. His account of the pre-historic woman whose fossilized remains indicated that she must have suffered from bone cancer and endured much pain really connected her as a human being to his readers.
This is a great book!! However, they chose a horrible narrator. He reads very slow, and draws out words. I love audio books, but this one is hard to listen to with him narrating.
I listened to this book while alternating with reading it. For a non-medical person I found the detail to be overwhelming. The names seemed to all get jumbled up after a while. I found it very difficult to follow. I believe this was written for those who already have some knowledge of the history of cancer research because otherwise it is just too much to swallow. I found my mind wandering frequently and it was an effort and a relief to get through it.
I heard the reviews and now after reading this book I have to say they were right. This is a very good read. Really enjoyed this book.
THE PATIENTS, THE DOCTORS, AND THE SCIENTIST ARE THE FRONT LINE WARRIORS BUT THE DEPTH OF OTHER LIKELY AND UNLIKELY FIGHTERS BEGINS WITH EGYPTIAN MUMMIES. BATTLES CONTINUE ON MANY FRONTS. EACH IS DEFINED WITH MATICULOUS AND UNDERSTANDABLE DETAIL. CANCER IS A PART OF OUR NATURE. WE WILL WIN SOME AND LOSE SOME.
This is a wonderfully written and engaging book, which covers vast ground in the field of cancer research and treatment. A must read for anyone interested in understanding the history and politics of the medical system and what the medical professionals and patients go through to make advances in the "cure." It is a difficult read, at times, and very emotional, and well worth the effort and time to appreciate the complexities of medicine both in the past and in current history. I found this book quite fascinating and helpful. Highly recommend.
From the beginning chapter, I was hooked. Mukherjee leads us through the history of cancer understanding and cancer treatment and does so in such a way that is mesmerizing. I'm a healthcare professional and many of the important physicians are familiar from my studies, but their journey in attempting to conquer cancer is largely untold until now. I hated for the book to end and have recommended it to all my colleagues who practice in oncology.
This is an extremely interesting book that I highly recommend. Parts of it are very technical, which is appropriate for the subject. If you are interested in medical history, I recommend you also listen to Splendid Solution and The Demon Under the Microscope.
Dr. Mukherjee has an outstanding grasp of the English language and writes in a way that is both scientifically deep but imminently approachable and personal. His stories of the founders of chemotherapy and the happenstance nature of discovery are electrifying. As a radiologist, this book has renewed my interest in the field of oncology and increased my knowledge of the action and significance of modern chemotherapy. Thank you Dr. M!