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When the female he liked was detected with a metastatic cancer, science writer George Johnson embarked on a trip to find out everything he could about the condition and the people who dedicate their lives to understanding and combating it. Exactly what he found is a transformation under way-- an explosion of originalities about exactly what cancer really is and where it comes from. In a provocative and intellectually vibrant exploration, he takes us on an adventure through the history and current advances of cancer research study that will challenge everything you thought you learnt about the condition.
Deftly excavating and illuminating years of investigation and analysis, he reveals exactly what we understand and have no idea about cancer, revealing why a cure remains such a slippery concept. We follow him as he combs through the worlds of epidemiology, clinical trials, laboratory experiments, and scientific hypotheses-- rooted in every discipline from evolutionary biology to video game theory and physics. Cogently removing fact from a towering canon of myth and hype, he describes growths that evolve like alien animals inside the body, paleo-oncologists who discover petrified growths clinging to the skeletal systems of dinosaurs and ancient human ancestors, and the unexpected reversals in science's comprehension of the causes of cancer, with the foods we consume and ecological contaminants playing a lower role. Maybe most remarkable of all is how cancer obtains natural procedures associated with the recovery of a wound or the unfolding of a human embryo and turns them, jujitsu-like, versus the body.
Throughout his pursuit, Johnson clarifies the human experience of cancer with elegiac grace, attesting to the punishing gauntlet of consultations, surgeries, targeted treatments, and other treatments. He discovers compassion, solace, and neighborhood among a large network of clients and professionals dedicated to the fight and wrestles to comprehend the terrible randomness cancer metes out in his own household. For any individual whose life has been influenced by cancer and has discovered themselves asking why?, this book supplies a new understanding. In good business with the works of Atul Gawande, Siddhartha Mukherjee, and Abraham Verghese, The Cancer Chronicles is endlessly unexpected and as glowing in its prose as it is authoritative in its eye-opening science.