In July,at my support group meeting I mentioned that I had just finished reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and had written about it on this blog. Another survivor asked me if I had read The Emperor of All Maladies - A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. She told me that it should be the very next book I read.
I put my name on the reserve list for the book at my local library and I waited. But early last month I decided to not wait any longer and I purchased my own copy. I am so glad that I did.
Don't let its large size, 470 pages, stop you. The Emperor of All Maladies is a brilliantly written history of cancer. From the first description of cancer in Egypt in 2500BC to describing the discovery of the drug Gleevec and the Human Genome project, Mukherjee kept me engaged. The glimpse we had at the care he provided his patients was wonderfully linked to the history. Mukherjee presents complex microbiological and genetic processes in a way that is easy to grasp. As I read about the ras pathway I found myself wishing I had read the book prior to going to the ASCO conference in June.
I finished the book feeling that each research development described, some with more positive results than others, has given us a better understanding of cancer that ultimately will lead to - dare I day it - a cure.
I highly recommend this book.
Every Day is a Blessing!