I ran across the book The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine’s Deepest Mystery by George Johnson in The New York Times Book Review and thought it might be of interest.
There have recently been a number of books about cancer such as The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee and The Truth in Small Doses by Clifton Leaf and all these offer a great perspective on cancer and its ramifications on society.
In this book Johnson has the difficulty of writing as a husband and a reporter. He tell the story of the laboratory and is battle with cancer as well as his wife Nancy’s battle with uterine cancer. The author spends time on myths and realities but to me the following paragraph from the review says it all about cancer.
“Johnson offers the case of Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who was visiting Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and survived the bombing. Burned and half deafened, the poor man went home to Nagasaki and survived that blast too. He died in 2010, at the age of 93, of stomach cancer, possibly triggered by a diet of salted fish. The moral is, you never know. The moral is, there is no moral. Cancer is unpredictable and, to a considerable degree, Johnson tells us, random.”
This is an excellent review by David Quammen whose most recent book is Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. Please take time to read this review it will be well worth it!!!
- Cancer’s Ordered Disorder (3quarksdaily.com)
- Ten Tough Truths About Cancer (theatlanticwire.com)
- ‘Cancer Chronicles’ Digs Into The Complex History Of A Devastating Disease (wnyc.org)
- Japan – James Cameron’s promise: documentary about Tsutomu Yamaguchi (nextlevelofnews.com)