From OHC

September 10, 2015

Whether you’re a family member or friend of someone with cancer, or a cancer patient yourself, this terrible disease is a difficult subject to understand. Thankfully, some amazing people have written books about their experience, the experience of others, and even investigated this field of medicine. 

So for those who want or need to learn more, or who want to show their support, consider starting here: the following books are recommended by the journal Oncology. 

Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End OHC Book Recommendation

Being Mortal: Medicine & What Matters in the End
by Atul Gawande
In the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering. In Being Mortal, Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.


The Anti-cancer Diet OHC recommended bookThe Anti-cancer Diet: Reduce Cancer Through the Foods You Eat
by David Khayat
Structured by the major food groups, this book offers guidelines on what are now known to be the foods most likely to reduce the risk of cancer. The author brings together his own research with that of other major cancer specialists, and breaks down which studies provide the most solid evidence, and how to use their results.



The Philadelphia Chromosome OHC recommended bookThe Philadelphia Chromosome
by Jessica Wapner
This true story begins in Philadelphia in 1959 when David Hungerford discovers a human cell with a missing piece of DNA, little knowing that his discovery would begin a scientific trajectory encompassing modern cancer research. His discovery became known as the Philadelphia chromosome, the genetic mutation responsible for the etiology of chronic myeloid leukemia. This event marked the beginning of an explosion of interest in cancer biology and genetics.


Pandoras DNA OHC recommended bookPandora’s DNA
by Lizzie Stark
by In Pandora’s DNA, Stark uses her family’s experience with the BRCA mutation to frame a larger story about the so-called breast cancer genes, exploring the morass of legal quandaries, scientific developments, medical breakthroughs, and ethical concerns that surround BRCA mutations, from the troubling history of prophylactic surgery to the landmark lawsuit against Myriad Genetics that went all the way to the Supreme Court.



The Cancer Chronicles OHC recommended bookThe Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine’s Deepest Mystery
by George Johnson
When George Johnson’s wife was diagnosed with metastatic cancer, Johnson, a renowned science writer, set off on a journey to learn everything he could about the disease. The result, The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine’s Deepest Mystery, is a narrative that intertwines his very personal, devastating experience throughout his wife’s mortal illness, with what he subsequently learned about the disease.



The Emperor of all maladies ohc book recommendationThe Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
by Siddhartha Mukherjee
No recommended list would be complete without this Pulitzer Prize-winning book. It is a comprehensive and magnificent biography of cancer — from the time it first appeared in historic documents, through our modern struggle with the disease. Earlier this year, OHC even sponsored the local CET broadcast and premier of the Ken Burns-produced documentary of this book, as well as a panel discussion, earlier this year. We highly recommend it.



Ture Stories of Becoming A Nurse OHC book recommendationI Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse
Edited by Lee Gutkind
This is a great book for healthcare workers or those who care for the sick. Written by veteran nurses and nurses-in-training, this book is not specifically about cancer. However, their stories paint a fascinating picture of the people who form the front-line of patient care. Nurses recall the first births they experienced and the first deaths, and reflect on what they find most difficult and most compelling about this very challenging profession.


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks OHC bookThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
Henrietta was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cancerous tumor cells — harvested without her knowledge in 1951 and called HeLa cells by scientists today — became critical for the progress of medicine. This NY Times #1 Best-seller is a fascinating history of her cells, in part through the story of Lacks’s daughter, who sought to find out more about the life her mother lived and how she died.


Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *