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The Emperor of All Maladies

A Biography of Cancer

Mukherjee, Siddhartha

(Book - 2010)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Emperor of All Maladies
?A historical assessment of cancer addresses both the courageous battles against the complex disease and the misperceptions and hubris that have compromised modern understandings, covering such topics as ancient-world surgeries and the developments of present-day treatments.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, c2010
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
ISBN: 1439181713
Branch Call Number: 616.994 M953e
RC275 .M85 2010
Characteristics: xiv, 571 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm


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Aug 31, 2014
  • jvb rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I have cancer and found the book caring and thoughtful. Lots of information about how we are lucky to be past the worst of the beginning, and now in the very beginning of rational treatment. I found that it read like a novel. Great book.

Dec 29, 2012
  • spacecat rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

As a History of Science book, it is quite thorough, interesting, and well written. As a cell and molecular biologist I was fascinated by some of the metaphor used to explain, for example, signal transduction pathways to a lay audience. Science writing of high calibre, as the Pulitzer prize would suggest.
I think a person going through cancer treatment could educate themselves in the field quite thoroughly, if they had the courage to read this. There has been much progress in treatment in the last twenty years. Some of the earlier cancer treatments are described as reckless and brutal by the author, who is an oncologist himself.

Oct 17, 2012
  • peggykayne rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

this was a fascinating, albeit long, audio book. I learned so much and appreciated the sincerity of the author in his work to help people through cancer. It is such a relief that we are not in the barbarous last century or two but actually moving forward into better treatments that work.

Oct 16, 2012
  • Gordo81 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Perhaps I am too involved in this field. As a Pharmacist working in Oncology I have a family member pass this book on to me, and I seriously can't get into it. I have no good reason why not, but I cannot pick it up to read.

Oct 12, 2012
  • jeanner222 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

The subtitle of this massive tome says it all: a biography of cancer. Mukerjee’s research begins with early cases of cancer and doctors and researchers trying to figure out what cancer is. The volume ends with information about cancer drugs and the latest discoveries in cancer research.

Cancer, as a disease, is baffling. Mukerjee guides the reader through years of research and discovery. Highlights include: the discovery of the link between smoking and lung cancer, the origin of Pap smears, and the breakthrough idea of prevention/origin of mammography. The author takes the reader through the evolution of radiation, chemo, and cancer surgery. Above all things, Mukerjee clearly explains the long and difficult struggle to understand and cure this deadly disease.

I enjoyed reading this, though it took me a long time. I could only read so much in one sitting, especially when the writing is quite scientific. This is an excellent read for anyone who has ever wondered, “When will they find a cure for cancer?”

Sep 13, 2012
  • axeman rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is a very informative book about the history of cancer that is fascinating and insightful. This is not a dry clinical book. It includes many case studies that add a human touch to this excellent book.

Jul 03, 2012
  • ganymede__ rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Fantastic in-depth look into cancer, showing the similarities and differences between seemingly disparate ailments. The in-depth knowledge brought on by the author, a medical doctor, was very helpful in understanding the science behind it all.

Jun 07, 2012
  • julianarae rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book was truly amazing. I admit, it was strange to read a type of biography of cancer, where a disease is personified as a powerful, nearly sentient being. The author seemed to portray more awe of cancer than disgust. His passion for oncology was contagious.

Feb 19, 2012
  • chico230 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

An excellent read. I thought it might have been a dry read, but Mukherjee keeps the audience captivated with side stories and interresting facts and trivia.

Jan 20, 2012
  • monkeymind rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I listened to the book as a 16 cd book on tape while driving up and down the WhyteMud Freeway....crushingly sad to hear how someone journeys through cancer ...it can be beaten down,weakened, and almost absent, and still lurk back in and kill. Lots of info about the disease, the politics, and the big personalities who took risks to rid the world of this scourge. Recommended.
Also recccomend White Death the history of TB

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