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The Death of Cancer

Narrated by: Stephen McLaughlin
Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (203 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ater 50 years on the front lines of medicine, a pioneering oncologist reveals why the war on cancer is winnable - and how we can get there.

Cancer touches everybody's life in one way or another. But most of us know very little about how the disease works, why we treat it the way we do, and the personalities whose dedication got us where we are today. For 50 years, Dr. Vincent T. DeVita, Jr., has been one of those key players: He has held just about every major position in the field, and he developed the first successful chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma, a breakthrough the American Society of Clinical Oncologists has called the top research advance in half a century of chemotherapy.

As one of oncology's leading figures, DeVita knows what cancer looks like from the lab bench and the bedside. The Death of Cancer is his illuminating and deeply personal look at the science and the history of one of the world's most formidable diseases. In DeVita's hands, even the most complex medical concepts are comprehensible.

Cowritten with DeVita's daughter, the science writer Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn, The Death of Cancer is also a personal tale about the false starts and major breakthroughs, the strong-willed oncologists who clashed with conservative administrators (and one another), and the courageous patients whose willingness to test cutting-edge research helped those oncologists find potential treatments. An emotionally compelling and informative listen, The Death of Cancer is also a call to arms. DeVita believes that we're well on our way to curing cancer, but there are things we need to change in order to get there. Mortality rates are declining, but America's cancer patients are still being shortchanged - by timid doctors, by misguided national agendas, by compromised bureaucracies, and by a lack of access to information about the strengths and weaknesses of the nation's cancer centers.

©2015 Vincent T. DeVita, Jr., MD, and Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

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Mandatory for Every Literate Person on the Planet

What did you love best about The Death of Cancer?

DeVita tells us the insider story, or what Paul Harvey would say "And now for the rest of the story".

What did you like best about this story?

Open disclosure of the reality of what every person touched by cancer actually is facing, should know about and should raise hell about.

What does Stephen McLaughlin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

For me, the narration allows me to perform exercise, hiking and reading at the same time.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Chapter 8 and 9 are must reads.

Any additional comments?

I am a cancer doctor of over four decades and what DeVita tells us is accurate. It is tragic that the American taypayer is not aware of what goes on behind the scenes, and the bureaucratic roadblocks that are part & parcel of "government action" and how this hinders advances in cancer, and prevents early access of promising drugs to those faced with death within a matter of months.

12 people found this helpful

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Loved this book!

As a pharmacist, I really enjoyed the combination of science and patient stories. A great book every health care professional should take the time to read or listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent memoir, history, and science

4.5 stars. A nearly perfect blend of medical memoir, history of cancer (think Emperor of All Maladies, abridged), and explanation of how cancer functions and the strategies for defeating it. DeVita has a lively writing style and his reminisces and anecdotes demonstrate abundant humanity and sensitivity. This is a man who clearly, both in his work developing groundbreaking treatments for cancer and directly with patients, feels deeply for the people he treats and that his work in oncology is a calling. His insights into the past and current realities of cancer research and treatment, the political and hierarchical machinations, the challenges facing clinicians and patients, are eye-opening, educational, and all too often disturbing. Well worth the time of any reader, but especially those with an interest in the ongoing mission to find ways to diagnose, treat, and eventually cure cancer.

1 person found this helpful

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A rare view into the trenches

This book was an incredible look into what it has been like at the forefront of innovation within cancer research. The incredible risks that had to be taken, the doctors just crazy enough to take the risks, and the unbelievable patients willing to risk everything for a chance at life and hope for others. As an oncology researcher myself it gave me an interesting (and somewhat devils advocate) view on the FDA- one I had not previously considered and one that helped me understand so many physicians in the field in a new way. Fantastic book- I highly recommend.

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Eye-opening and Honest Story

A genuine interpretation of the struggle of clinician scientists to treat their patients quickly and effectively against barriers like strict unnecessary regulations, scientific dogma, and politics. Excellent story detailing how far we have come in cancer research.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating Doctor Explains the Development of Can

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would because the doctor relates his own experiences with patients and other Drs which was extremely interesting.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Dr. DeVita the oncologist because he grew up from a new Dr. and followed us through his own rising career and included some of the fascinating caracters along the way.

Which scene was your favorite?

When he went out to California to treat a patient as a favor to his friend.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Several, especially when he developed treatments for childhood leukemia that saved so many youngsters.

Any additional comments?

This book was especially close to my heart because when I was in elementary school, my girlfriends younger brother died from leukemia and a few years later he would have survived.

1 person found this helpful

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This is a must listen

This book is a must read for everyone touched by cancer. It provides hope and also educates us about the need for aggressive pro-active involvement in our treatment.

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A must read!

A remarkable book about cancer research. Optimistic yet brutally honest about our complex regulatory and political system.

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Memoir of a great oncologist

How many cancers, if not killed, have been converted to chronic diseases. This is about treatment, not prevention. Also much about politics of cancer research, and failings of FDA approval process, a death sentence for many patients.

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Reads like one of his fascinating lectures.

There were times when I struggled with the content, but overall a very readable book. I worked at NCI during the time he was director, so it was especially meaningful to me. Excellent source for the history of medicine and the history of cancer research. This is a Dr. who applied science with humanity.