Tag Archive > Siddhartha Mukherjee

Mapping Malignancy

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The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer By Siddhartha Mukherjee, book reviewAs a haematologist’s daughter, the terms ‘leukemia’ and ‘remission’ floated fairly frequently through the house. I didn’t quite understand them to begin with except that there were frequent phone calls, stories of children who had come to be examined at the Institute and the haunting tale of a patient who had been told by a psychic that everything would be all right who stopped all treatment despite protests from my father and who finally died, so presumably he was ‘all right’ in the sense that he was free from all physical ills. Later, without being asked, I heard stories about bone marrow transplants and spine taps and how painful it was for children. Leukemia, I gathered was an incurable ill that could only be fought with whatever tools there were at hand while researchers frantically sought to evolve a cure.

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