The first cell : and the human costs of pursuing cancer to the last / Azra Raza.

By: Raza, Azra
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Basic Books, 2019Description: xii, 347 pages : illustrations ; 24 cmISBN: 9781541699526; 1541699521Subject(s): Cancer -- Prevention | Cancer -- Popular works
Contents:
Prologue : cancer and its discontents -- Introduction : from last to first -- Omar : the nobleness of life is to do thus -- Per : sand piles and cancer -- Lady N : a loaded gun -- Kitty C : what wound did ever heal but by degrees? -- JC : one touch of nature makes the whole world kin -- Andrew : was honesty a choice? -- Harvey : death stared him in the face, and he stared right back -- Aftermath : give sorrow words -- Epilogue : the dawn has already arrived.
Summary: "A world-class oncologist delivers a devastating and deeply personal examination of cancer, offering a searing account of how both medicine and society (mis)treats cancer, how people can do better, and why they must." -- (Source of summary not specified)
List(s) this item appears in: New Popular Science Books
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Item type Current location Collection Shelving location Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Adult Book Phillipsburg Free Public Library
Adult Non-Fiction New Books 616.994 RAZ Available 36748002467399
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

With the fascinating scholarship of The Emperor of All Maladies and the deeply personal experience of When Breath Becomes Air , a world-class oncologist examines the current state of cancer and its devastating impact on the individuals it affects -- including herself. <br> In The First Cell , Azra Raza offers a searing account of how both medicine and our society (mis)treats cancer, how we can do better, and why we must. A lyrical journey from hope to despair and back again, The First Cell explores cancer from every angle: medical, scientific, cultural, and personal. Indeed, Raza describes how she bore the terrible burden of being her own husband's oncologist as he succumbed to leukemia. Like When Breath Becomes Air , The First Cell is no ordinary book of medicine, but a book of wisdom and grace by an author who has devoted her life to making the unbearable easier to bear.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Prologue : cancer and its discontents -- Introduction : from last to first -- Omar : the nobleness of life is to do thus -- Per : sand piles and cancer -- Lady N : a loaded gun -- Kitty C : what wound did ever heal but by degrees? -- JC : one touch of nature makes the whole world kin -- Andrew : was honesty a choice? -- Harvey : death stared him in the face, and he stared right back -- Aftermath : give sorrow words -- Epilogue : the dawn has already arrived.

"A world-class oncologist delivers a devastating and deeply personal examination of cancer, offering a searing account of how both medicine and society (mis)treats cancer, how people can do better, and why they must." -- (Source of summary not specified)

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Prologue Cancer And Its Discontents (p. 1)
  • Introduction From Last To First (p. 5)
  • 1 Omar: The Nobleness of Life Is to Do Thus (p. 23)
  • 2 Per: Sandpiles and Cancer (p. 57)
  • 3 Lady N.: A Loaded Gun (p. 87)
  • 4 Kitty C.: What Wound Did Ever Heal but by Degrees? (p. 123)
  • 5 JC: One Touch of Nature Makes the Whole World Kin (p. 157)
  • 6 Andrew: Was Honesty a Choice? (p. 179)
  • 7 Harvey: Death Stared Him in the Face, and He Stared Right Back (p. 219)
  • Aftermath Give Sorrow Words (p. 257)
  • Epilogue The Dawn Has Already Arrived (p. 279)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 291)
  • Bibliography (p. 299)
  • Credits (p. 327)
  • Index (p. 329)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Kirkus Book Review

A welcome argument that we are overdue for a change in the paradigm for treating cancer.Raza (Medicine/Columbia Univ.) decries the "protocol of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiationthe slash-poison-burn approach to treating cancer" that has remained unchanged for decades." She points out the billions spent on research to find and target a single mutated gene or a faulty signaling pathway at a time when a seasoned tumor has evolved into a chaotic mass of malignant cells reproducing in multiple clones with varying genetic and cellular derangements. In this approach, researchers study human tumors as static entities in tissue culture or injected into mice whose immune systems and microenvironments are in no way comparable to the cancers seen in mostly elderly patients. Consequently, it's not surprising that candidate cancer drugs fare dismally in human trials and that the few that offer some hope extend the life of patients by only weeksand at great cost. The author does not ignore the recent success with immunotherapy, but she notes that the therapy remains limited and comes with its own risks and side effects. What she wants instead is research to address prevention and the initiation of the cancer processfind and eliminate the first faulty cells. Her approach may be inspired in part by her own research on a pre-cancer syndrome that can develop into acute myeloid leukemia. She describes her efforts in that area as well as new research aimed at finding blood or tissue biomarkers of those first cancer cells. Her explanation of the science and her brief history of cancer research would be enough to recommend this volume to general readers, but it is in the case histories of cancer patients she has treated, including her late husband's, where Raza's eloquence is on full display. With elegant literary references and a compassion that deeply personalizes her interactions with patients and families, she engages readers in a commitment to finding a better way.Intelligence, empathy, and optimism inform the argument for new research on cancer that could obviate the suffering prevalent today. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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