Archive for September, 2011

  • Interview with Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of ‘The Emperor of all Maladies’

    • Sep 2, 2011 • No Comments • Tags: ,

    Why did you decide to write a book about cancer?

    The book is a very long answer to a question first posed to me by a patient I was treating in Boston, a  woman with a very aggressive form of abdominal cancer. She had been treated with chemotherapy and had relapsed and been treated again. At one point, deep into her treatment, she said to me, “I’m willing to go on, but I need to know what it is I’m battling.” My book is an attempt to answer her question by going back to the origin of the disease and showing its development through history. I called it “a biography of cancer,” because it draws a portrait of an illness over time.

    What exactly is cancer?

    Cancer is not a disease but a whole family of diseases. These diseases are linked at a fundamental biological level. They’re characterized by the pathological proliferation of cells—occasionally cells that don’t know how to die, but certainly cells that don’t know how to stop dividing. Read more…