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Cancer: A Biography

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Although cancer was first documented thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, it is a disease that has long lingered at the margins of medicine--noticed only when other diseases, like tuberculosis and smallpox, had been largely eradicated. Oncologist Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee attempts to shine a light on this often misunderstoond and terrifying disease in his book: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. He recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, and traces the history of the disease in patients from Persian Queen Atossa to his own leukemia patients in Boston.

Guests:

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Comments [3]

Amy from Manhattan

j: pancreatic cancer, & also esophageal & ovarian cancer, often don't cause symptoms until they're very advanced. So by the time they're diagnosed, treatment can't help much & the patient usually doesn't live more than a few months.

One thing about cancer of the esophagus: if you start having trouble (not necessarily pain) swallowing or if you notice someone you know taking longer to eat, get (or tell them to get) to a doctor as soon as possible. It might not be cancer, but if it is, this is the best chance to catch it early enough.

Mar. 29 2011 02:10 PM
j from ny

also, lost a friend to pancreatic cancer - why is it one of the toughest to treat besides brain cancer? these cancers are so vicious and fast compared to others that i've lost friends to.

Mar. 29 2011 12:27 PM
j from ny

i know this is a little off topic, but cancer sounds like deregulated growth. have any of the bio-statistics of cancer been shown to be similar to what's gone on w/ overly deregulated financial markets?

Mar. 29 2011 12:25 PM

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