Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies-April Book Review

This was the most difficult book that I have ever read.  While it is well written and presents in interesting history of cancer and the evolution of it's treatment over the years it is also the most discouraging glimpse of how far away we are from being able to do anything about it.

After zillion of dollars of research, in the war against cancer, we are armed with crude and primitive weapons against a cunning adversary with unlimited resources.
"Cancer, we know now is a disease caused by the uncontrolled growth of a single cell.  This growth is unleashed my mutations-changes in DNA that specifically affect genes that incite unlimited cell growth.  In a normal cell, powerful genetic circuits regulate cell division and cell death. In a cancer cell, these circuits have been broken, unleashing a cell that cannot stop growing. 
That this seemingly simple mechanism-cell growth without barriers-can lie at the heart of this multifaceted illness is a testament to the unfathomable power of cell growth. Cell division allows us as organisms to grow, to adapt,, to recover to repair-to live.  And distorted and unleashed, it allows cancer cells to grow, to flourish to adapt, to recover and to repair-to live at the cost of our living. Cancer cells can grow faster, adapt better. They are the more perfect versions of ourselves."-Siddhartha Mukherjee
This is an important book to read for anyone that have ever been touched in any way by cancer in their lifetime.

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