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The Cancer Chronicles Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery

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RRP £8.99

Sue Baker's view...

Shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2014.

With his wife stricken by a rare cancer, George Johnson is spurred on to discover more about this devastating disease. From history evidence of cancer appears in the earliest fossil records to the striking down of common wisdom regarding diet and cancer, harmful substances, pollution and industrial processes. With evidence that little can be proved to cause or halt cancer, the one definite fact remains that it is not increasing –we are living longer and cancer remains – except in rare cases – to be a disease of the old. A good introduction to the disease of cancer and an explanation of what we can expect from future medical research.

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Synopsis

The Cancer Chronicles Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery by George Johnson

Shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2014.

When the woman he loved was diagnosed with a metastatic cancer, science-writer George Johnson embarked on a journey to learn everything he could about the disease and the people who dedicate their lives to understanding and combating it. What he discovered is that a revolution is now under way - an explosion of new ideas about what cancer really is and where it comes from. He combs through the realms of epidemiology, clinical trials, laboratory experiments and scientific hypotheses, to reveal what we know and don't know about cancer, showing why a cure remains such a slippery concept. His luminous accounts describe tumors that evolve like alien creatures inside the body, paleo-oncologists who uncover petrified tumors clinging to the skeletons of dinosaurs and ancient human ancestors, and the surprising reversals in science's comprehension of the causes of cancer, with the foods we eat and environmental toxins playing a lesser role. Perhaps most fascinating of all is how cancer borrows natural processes involved in the healing of a wound or the unfolding of a human embryo and turns them against the body. Throughout his pursuit, Johnson illuminates the human experience with elegiac grace, bearing witness to the punishing gauntlet of consultations, surgeries, targeted therapies and other treatments. Provocative and intellectually vibrant, The Cancer Chronicles will challenge everything you thought you knew about the disease - and provide hope for tomorrow and the future.

Reviews

'Rich and sweeping...this is a book for anyone whose life has been touched by cancer, which is just about everyone' -- Barbara Ehrenreich

'Compact, elegant...gripping... Everyone who is concerned about cancer - that is every thinking adult - should read The Cancer Chronicles' -- Charles C. Mann

'A highly captivating book that meticulously explains the current scientific understanding of cancer' Times Literary Supplement

'A fascinating compilation of selected discoveries in cancer research that helped shape his deeper understanding of the disease process' -- Mary L. Disis Science

'Johnson elegantly tells a fascinating chronological tale of cancer' British Journal of General Practice

About the Author

George Johnson writes regularly about science for the New York Times. He has also written for National Geographic, Slate, Discover, Scientific American, Wired, and The Atlantic, and his work has been included in The Best American Science Writing. A former Alicia Patterson fellow, he has received awards from PEN and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and his books were twice finalists for the Royal Society's book prize. He appears regularly on Science Faction on bloggingheads.tv and writes the blog Fire in the Mind for Discover. He lives in Santa Fe.

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Book Info

Publication date

28th August 2014

Author

George Johnson

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Author's Website

talaya.net/

Publisher

Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing

Format

Paperback
304 pages

Categories

Popular Science
The Real World
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Popular medicine & health
Oncology
Medical research

ISBN

9780099556053

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