The Emperor of All Maladies
By Siddhartha Murkherjee
Review by Thomas (Medical Sciences)
The Emperor of All Maladies written by Siddhartha Murkherjee recounts the history of the research and treatments of cancer and its development over time. It goes all the way from some of the first known cases of cancer where knowledge of the disease was extremely limited right up to the present day. It follows the advances in oncology and goes on to describe how those advances went on to influence treatment methods and drug design. Both successful and failed hypotheses and experiments are discussed and it really gives a full picture of the struggle to get to the point we are currently at in the battle with cancer.
The book also goes into some detail on the politics that were in play in the history of cancer. This includes the government’s role in encouraging research in the field of oncology and also managing public perception of the disease and the fight against tobacco advertising.
I found this book to be extremely well written and easy to read, with the ability to engage readers regardless of prior knowledge on the topic. It starts with the basics of different topics and gradually builds up the complexity to be able to discuss more difficult points while at the pace which the reader is able to follow.
The boom goes over the cellular and molecular biology of cancer cells in a very clear way and also describes medical practices and surgical methods of treating the disease. I would highly recommend reading this book as it gives you a great understanding of a disease which is very relevant today and it gives an insight into how the medical and scientific fields have developed over time.
The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Murkherjee