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Nick OwcharBut his book's greatest contribution to the body of cancer literature is in its discussion of cancer's genetic mechanism and the role of DNA...what they don't explain, and what Greaves shows, is how this difference works to a cancer cell's advantage, making it "deaf" to the body's regulatory chemical commands, and how this supposed defect, following a remarkable chain of events obeying the Darwinian rules of natural selection, enables it to survive and multiply steathily.
"Will cancer patients benefit from reading this book? Greaves certainly supplies them with enough technical information to keep up with any oncologist. But there is an even more basic consolation here: that cancer has long been a part of human development, it isn't "bad luck or an act of God" that has singled out any individual, Greaves assures us. Whenever science can be used to rescue patients from blaming themselves for their condition, there is reason to celebrate.
—(L.A. Times 9/25/00)