Friday, April 29, 2011

The Emperor of all Maladies

Cancer has held a perverse fascination for me, for sometime. It may be when a member of my immediate family was diagnosed with one. That she recently succumbed to this disease after at first overcoming, but only to become overcome again, only urged to me know more. I wish i had known more about this dreadful disease, earlier. I bought this book recently, and have just begun reading it.
My first vivid characterization and persona of this disease, was built on the description from the book 'Fever' by Robin Cook. He writes;
"No longer did they listen to the mysterious central control and mature into normal white blood cells. Instead they responded to an unfettered urge to reproduce their altered selves. Although they appeared to be relatively normal within the marrow, they were different from other young white blood cells. They usual surface stickiness was absent, and they absorbed nutrients at an alarmingly selfish rate. They had become parasites within their own house."

The video below is a discussion by Siddhartha Mukherjee, on how this book came about.

My reading of the book so far, has already dispelled a few long held notions about this disease.