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The Emperor of All Maladies
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer | Siddhartha Mukherjee
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane biography of cancerfrom its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologists precision, a historians perspective, and a biographers passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived withand perished fromfor more than five thousand years.The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out war against cancer. The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist. From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave may have cut off her diseased breast, to the nineteenth-century recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy to Mukherjees own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to surviveand to increase our understanding of this iconic disease. Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.
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Dostoyes
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Pickpick

Ultimately a bit choppy of a read, but it mirrored the subject matter. The history of cancer is not a neat and linear story. It has no climax, rather many, but no resolution—yet. We are in the middle of its history and the author had a massive challenge to reflect that, in which he succeeded.

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Amandajoy
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I‘ve been think about this for a couple of days & here‘s my #top10ofthedecade #nonfictionedition. I read so many good ones! As always, it was hard to choose. I picked ones I read this decade, I didn‘t care if they were published this decade. Stay tuned for the fiction edition....

Cinfhen I don‘t know why but I‘m MOST INTRIGUED by 2mo
Amandajoy @Cinfhen I bought it on a whim & it was fascinating! I think it started my love of micro histories. 2mo
Cinfhen ❤️ 🦞🦞 🦞 2mo
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Dostoyes
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Into part 2 and already recommend to everyone interested in our healthcare system and what we know and don‘t know. And how we learn about medicine and our bodies. Cancer touches pretty much all of us, Mukherjee‘s “biography” helps us grapple with what is going on, by contextualizing cancer within history.

Ericalambbrown This is on my TBR list. I read The Gene this year and loved it! (edited) 2mo
Dostoyes Thanks for the reminder @Ericalambbrown about The Gene! On my TBR as well now :) 2mo
Ericalambbrown Another one to check out if you like medical history is the book I just tagged. It‘s about Joseph Lister‘s fight for antiseptic surgery. So gross but so good! 2mo
Dostoyes Sounds like something to read on an empty stomach :) thanks! reminds me of Candice Millard‘s Destiny of the Republic about President Garfield‘s death at the hands of his physicians, and the similar struggle of the medical community to adopt antiseptics. Such important stories for us all to know! What will end up being the “antiseptic” of our time? 2mo
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Tineke
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TIL The tobacco industry is scum of the earth. When they couldn't keep their hold on American households, they moved on to greener underdeveloped pastures, using the knowledge they learned from the legal battles in America.

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Tineke
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Currently reading this one. I love this kind of non- fiction. This one is easy to read and this far very interesting. Has anyone else read this, or do you have any recommendations for non-fiction?

Tineke @Megabooks. I read that one a couple of years ago. It was a great book. Maybe I should reread it. 3mo
Tineke I will add the other one you suggested on my wishlist. 3mo
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Vivlio_Gnosi
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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Truly worth the #PulitzerPrize.
An absolute thrill to read. Mukherjee does an excellent job of taking such a complex and technical subject and bring it to a level that the average reader can understand.
This book is perfect if you're trying to get a better understanding of what cancer is and why we haven't discovered a cure yet.
#Nonfiction #cancer #medical #science #NYTBestseller

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Vivlio_Gnosi
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Last chapter! Almost done!
#Nonfiction #medical #SoClose

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Vivlio_Gnosi
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Perhaps the scariest #Halloween reality of all: #cancer.
Thankfully doctors have discovered at least 5 Achilles Heels.
1. Originates as a local disease before spreading.
2. Rapid growth rate (easier to target).
3. Accumulation of mutations in it's DNA required for growth.
4. Dependent on proto-oncogenes & tumor suppressor genes.
5. Dependent on multiple corrupt properties from other areas of the body.
#Nonfiction #medical #science

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Lauren890
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This book is incredibly researched. It‘s so packed with info that I‘m not sure I even absorbed half of it. My favorite parts were the few times the author discussed his own patients and experiences. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator‘s voice was nice to listen to but I found myself zoning out pretty often and I‘d need to rewind. 😬 I‘m definitely more interested in Mukherjee‘s book on genes now!

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Vivlio_Gnosi
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And look at that progress! I'm up to Part 6 of 6. Almost there...
#Nonfiction #GreenvilleSC #Medical #BridgeCity #coffee #espresso

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Vivlio_Gnosi
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Tried a cortado to go with my book.
#GreenvilleSC #BridgeCity

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Vivlio_Gnosi
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Trying a new coffee shop in #GreenvilleSC to finish this book up. Bridge City Coffee.

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Vivlio_Gnosi
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Vivlio_Gnosi

"the only intervention ever known to reduce the aggregate mortality for disease - any disease - at a population level was prevention."

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Vivlio_Gnosi

(Part 2 of 2) and ventilation - had driven TB mortality down in Europe and America. Polio and smallpox had also dwindled as a result of vaccinations. Cairns wrote, 'The death rates from malaria, cholera, typhus, tuberculosis, scurvy, pellagra and other scourges of the past have dwindled in the US because humankind has learned how to prevent these diseases....To put most of the effort into treatment is to deny all precedent.'"

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Vivlio_Gnosi

(Part 1 of 2) "In the history of medicine, no significant disease had ever been eradicated by a treatment-related program alone. If one plotted the decline in deaths from tuberculosis, for instance, the decline predated the arrival of new antibiotics by several decades. Far more potently than any miracle medicine, relatively uncelebrated shifts in civic arrangements - better nutrition, housing, and sanitation, improved sewage systems...

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Vivlio_Gnosi
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"care, she wrote, 'is a soft word' that would never win respectability in the medical world."
[Don't ever let the cause become bigger than the people it's designed to help.]

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Vivlio_Gnosi
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Vivlio_Gnosi

How do I choose between 2 large books? Read both of course. I alternate everytime I finish a chapter.
#BookHero #GreenvilleSC #history #Nonfiction

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CoffeeK8
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Pickpick

An amazing and detailed book. Wow.

Crazeedi Yes great read, and wasn't it a PBS show? 8mo
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SharonGoforth
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Started this yesterday and am having a hard time putting it down! #amreading #pulitzerprizewinner #nonfiction

Centique That‘s good to hear. This is coming up soon on my TBR 😊👍 10mo
Megabooks This book is amazing! 10mo
SharonGoforth @Centique I was afraid it would be too “technical”, but it isn‘t. It‘s really interesting reading! 10mo
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SharonGoforth @Megabooks I‘m less than 100 pages in, but I totally agree with you! 10mo
Vivlio_Gnosi Just started this weekend. A friend, who is a nurse, highly recommended this book. 8mo
SharonGoforth @Vivlio_Gnosi It‘s so good!! Hope you like it 😊. 8mo
Vivlio_Gnosi I can't wait. This #Nonfiction topic is right up my alley. Thank you for your review! 8mo
SharonGoforth @Vivlio_Gnosi You‘re welcome! 8mo
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Conservio
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I did it! I finally finished this #behemoth of a book! Solid 5/5. #science #cancer

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Conservio
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Still working on this #behemoth. About 100 pages to go! #science #cancer

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MamaJody
Mehso-so

As a big nonfiction reader & lover, this one just didn‘t click for me. I found the incredibly clinical subject matter and the framing such as “on a warm Autumn morning” just didn‘t quite gel for me. I‘m certainly in the minority though! #aroundtheyearin52books

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mamabear68
Pickpick

Was recommended by my BIL who eventually succumbed to cholangiocarcinoma. Such a detailed and interesting book into cancer history and research and hope for the future of cancer treatments. I‘ll want to go back to this again since it‘s so dense and I‘m sure I‘ve missed parts of the book that were “sciencey” and I should read again. But much of it is written in language that is meant for non-medical people to understand.

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CSeydel
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Here we go! Getting ready to start this guy. It was my Christmas gift ... figure I should read it before Christmas rolls around again!

#makemereadit #mountTBR
#readwhatyouown #nonfiction

Mindyrecycles Really good. I heard him speak right after I read the book. He was fantastic. 1y
sisilia I have a copy for more than a year 😆 1y
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Conservio
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ReadingEnvy How is it? 1y
Conservio @ReadingEnvy well I‘m only 40 pages in, but so far so good! Medical history is one of my favorite non-fiction categories. 1y
ReadingEnvy @Conservio ah cool. I'd like to read that one. 1y
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Lidia
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I finally got to open my #myfavoritebookexchange package today. It was awesome! Thank you so much Rachel @iread2much everything was so pretty wrapped too. I‘m looking forward to read your recommendations, they sound so interesting. And the other 2 are books I really really wanted for a long time. Also you just have to tell me the name of the panda cookies. They are too cute to eat and insanely good! I ate the first package too fast ☺️ #mfbs

iread2much I‘m so glad you liked everything! The bears are from Lotte, and come in lots of different flavors. You can get Panda Bears and Kola Bears. 1y
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laurentea
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laurentea
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laurentea
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Chelsey
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1. Lever Burton Reads Live! On Sunday 😁😁😁 2. Doughnuts, def 😋 3. Not yet. I'm working on this monster, so it'll be a while. 4. I had a really nice conversation with a stranger while manning a volunteer information booth 5. @BeeCharmer

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Chelsey
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Current read

irre I just bought this. 2y
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Redwritinghood
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Pickpick

This is a very comprehensive review of the history of our understanding of cancer. Very accessible for laymen, the author details humanity‘s struggle against this disease from ancient times to the present. Well worth the read.

MsLeah8417 I have this and read it from time to time. 2y
Redwritinghood @MsLeah8417 I had the audiobook from the library. It was over 20 hours but I had to listen to it quickly before I had to return it. It would be a good book to spend more time on. 2y
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JessNevertheless
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Pickpick

Comprehensive, fascinating, and accessible, I can definitely see why this book won a Pulitzer. It almost makes me want to go back to the lab, and at the very least, advocate more strongly for science literacy and funding (even more than I already do)🔬💊⚗️

wanderlustforwords I vaguely remembered the title and it‘s indeed in my 1800 want to read list on GR‘s. 🙄 2y
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Lalalauren

“History repeats, but science reverberates”

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Gezemice
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Considering that I was in a serious reading slump at the beginning of January, this is not too bad.
8 books , 2364 pages
4 poc, 3 female authors, 3 nonfiction, 1 classic

#stats #monthlystats #gezestats #january2018 #januaryrecap #newyearreads #readingresolutions

Andrew65 Well done! 2y
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Gezemice @Andrew65 Thank you! 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Great job!!!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
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Gezemice
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Pickpick

Amazing. Mukherjee covers research for both cancer‘s origins and its treatment. You‘d think it would be a synergistic effort, but the history of cancer is full of fights, personality conflicts, larger than life egos, drive, dissapointment, grief and pain. Mukherjee brings the story to life with excitement, twists and turns, and full-fledged personalities. Technical yet understandable, personal but not dumbed down. Excellent. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Oryx Such a fantastic book. I couldn't put it down. 2y
Gezemice @Oryx Yes! Same here! I was listening to it, but I wonder if reading would have been just as gripping. 2y
Currey Loved this book too @Oryx @Gezemice 2y
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shanaqui
Pickpick

This is a really good read. I found it totally gripping and fascinating -- I wish it went up to some of the recent new immunotherapies.

LauraBrook My Mom is a 3 year breast cancer survivor, my Dad had cancer 4 times, lots of deaths in my family and friend group - is this book emotional? I want to read this, but I‘m wondering if it‘ll trigger stuff and I won‘t be able to handle it. If it‘s more science-y I think I‘ll be okay. What do you think- worth trying? 2y
shanaqui @LauraBrook Worth trying, I think. It's mostly fairly clinical, and it's not written as a sob story. If it helps to know, I have generalised anxiety disorder, and cancer is one of my major buttons -- especially since three of my grandparents died of it. The book never hit that button where I was thinking about cancer in a totally emotional way or getting scared. There are case studies mentioned, but never for sentimentality. 2y
LauraBrook @shanaqui Thank you. I‘ve got buckets of anxiety issues and screwing up my sleep schedule (wobbly as it is) with worry about spiraling cancer thoughts (i.e. the last 4 years) from this book was not ideal. I can handle case studies most of the time, and it helps to know it doesn‘t verge into the sentimental much. Thank you again! 2y
Gezemice Just finished it and loved it. I agree, it is gripping! 2y
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shanaqui

I am very pleased to note that I'm now onto the biochemistry part, and understand it perfectly. Not bad for someone who was gently advised to stick to the arts, some twelve years ago...

(I did at first. Dropped biology, took English, French, Classical Studies and Religious Studies. Went to uni and studied English Lit, emphasis on medieval stuff. Got a BA, then an MA, but couldn't get PhD funding. Now I'm in my final year of a biology degree...)

shanaqui (In case you're wondering, I do plan to do a fourth degree. Possibly science research, possibly something totally different to keep my brain ticking over while I work in a lab...) 2y
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shanaqui

I find this surprisingly gripping. The section on AIDs makes me want to hurry up and read the book I got on AIDs, too.

I should probably sleep. But I kind of want to finish this book!

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shanaqui
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I meant to read maybe a chapter or two. It's now 4am.

(The overall number of books and hours read, btw? A few months. I think this Kobo's been used since November. Maybe October. To me this amount seems unremarkable, but it seems to give others pause...)

Hooked_on_books I love that at 119 books only 12% of your library is read. I can totally relate! 2y
shanaqui @Hooked_on_books And that's just my ebooks/ARCs/magazines... 😲 2y
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Rcoco
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Pickpick

Listened to this on my way to work every day. Fascinating stuff. Some of the parts were more interesting than others....but overall a great listen. I‘m a cancer nurse so while this was written for a general audience it may be hard for some to follow who aren‘t familiar with the vernacular. Plenty of illustrative anecdotes that make it relatable.

Liz_M What am amazing job you have! I listened to this ashes ago and definitely had problems following along, but was very glad to have learned what I could from it. 2y
Rcoco @Liz_M thanks I love it! 2y
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Rcoco
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Absolutely fascinating. Listening to the audiobook and seriously considering getting the kindle version so I can go back and forth.

cajunsyd I have this book on my shelf but haven‘t started it yet. You have inspired me! 2y
UrsulaMonarch Love this book!! 2y
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tricours
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Bookhaul! I was just going to see if the still had the Emperor at the sale, because even though I've got the eBook it's the kind of book I want on my shelf (medical history!). This was before I knew the hairdresser was going to ruin me at a fabulous 1630 NOK ($204).

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Brie
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Although I can name many #SouthAsianWriters and their books, I'm struggling to find some on my shelves that I've read. Any recommendations? Here are two books from authors of Indian descent. I've read the Mukherjee, and the Kaling is still on my #TBR. #anditsaugust

vivastory One of my favorite books of the year was Rushdie's 3y
vivastory One of my favorites of last year was 3y
vivastory And this one I haven't read yet, but it sounds delightful 3y
See All 15 Comments
ChantelMcCray Anything by Jhumpa Lahiri. 3y
Lmstraubie It's not life changing, but it was fun 3y
8leagueboot If you like poetry, I highly recommend anything by Rabindranath Tagore! 3y
8leagueboot @vivastory oh, this one looks fun.. 3y
Brie @8leagueboot @vivastory @Lmstraubie @ChantelMcCray Thanks everyone for your recommendations! I'll check all these out. 3y
Sue I really enjoyed this one 3y
Andrea4 I suggest Rohinton Mistry, specifically 3y
Brie @Sue @Andrea4 Ooh thanks, I'll look into these also. They sound pretty good. 3y
batsy Although he's now based in Canada, Shyam Selvadurai's Funny Boy is great 3y
batsy This one was lovely 3y
Brie @batsy Thank you for the recs. I've never heard of those. 3y
66 likes15 comments
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jdtchicago

The smiling oncologist does not know whether his patient vomits or not.

tlarocca I want to read this so badly. 3y
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jdtchicago

Cancer researchers knew that X-rays, soot, cigarette smoke, and asbestos represented vastly more common risk factors for human cancers.

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jdtchicago

Cancer is not a concentration camp, but it shares the quality of annihilation: it negates the possibility of life outside and beyond itself; it subsumes all living.

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jdtchicago

By 1926, cancer had become the nation‘s second most common killer, just behind heart disease.

Jennick2004 😩 3y
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