The First Cell: And the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the Last

The First Cell: And the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the Last

by Azra Raza


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With the fascinating scholarship of The Emperor of All Maladies and the deeply personal experience of When Breath Becomes Air, a world-class oncologist examines the current state of cancer and its devastating impact on the individuals it affects — including herself.

In The First Cell, Azra Raza offers a searing account of how both medicine and our society (mis)treats cancer, how we can do better, and why we must. A lyrical journey from hope to despair and back again, The First Cell explores cancer from every angle: medical, scientific, cultural, and personal. Indeed, Raza describes how she bore the terrible burden of being her own husband's oncologist as he succumbed to leukemia. Like When Breath Becomes Air, The First Cell is no ordinary book of medicine, but a book of wisdom and grace by an author who has devoted her life to making the unbearable easier to bear.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541699519
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 12/01/2020
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 173,446
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Azra Raza is the Chan Soon-Shiong professor of medicine and the director of the MDS Center at Columbia University. In addition to publishing widely in basic and clinical cancer research, Raza is also the coeditor of the highly acclaimed website She lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Prologue Cancer And Its Discontents 1

Introduction From Last To First 5

1 Omar: The Nobleness of Life Is to Do Thus 23

2 Per: Sandpiles and Cancer 57

3 Lady N.: A Loaded Gun 87

4 Kitty C: What Wound Did Ever Heal but by Degrees? 123

5 JC: One Touch of Nature Makes the Whole World Kin 157

6 Andrew: Was Honesty a Choice? 179

7 Harvey: Death Stared Him in the Face, and He Stared Right Back 219

Aftermath Give Sorrow Words 257

Epilogue The Dawn Has Already Arrived 279

Acknowledgments 291

Bibliography 299

Credits 327

Index 329

Reading Group Guide 349

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