Cancer touches everybody’s life in one way or another. But most of us know very little about how the disease works, why we treat it the way we do, and the personalities whose dedication got us where we are today. For fifty years, Dr. Vincent T. DeVita Jr. has been one of those key players: he has held just about every major position in the field, and he developed the first successful chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a breakthrough the American Society of Clinical Oncologists has called the top research advance in half a century of chemotherapy. As one of oncology’s leading figures, DeVita knows what cancer looks like from the lab bench and the bedside. The Death of Cancer is his illuminating and deeply personal look at the science and the history of one of the world’s most formidable diseases. In DeVita’s hands, even the most complex medical concepts are comprehensible.
Cowritten with DeVita’s daughter, the science writer Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn, The Death of Cancer is also a personal tale about the false starts and major breakthroughs, the strong-willed oncologists who clashed with conservative administrators (and one another), and the courageous patients whose willingness to test cutting-edge research helped those oncologists find potential treatments. An emotionally compelling and informative read, The Death of Cancer is also a call to arms. DeVita believes that we’re well on our way to curing cancer but that there are things we need to change in order to get there. Mortality rates are declining, but America’s cancer patients are still being shortchanged—by timid doctors, by misguided national agendas, by compromised bureaucracies, and by a lack of access to information about the strengths and weaknesses of the nation’s cancer centers.
With historical depth and authenticity, DeVita reveals the true story of the fight against cancer. The Death of Cancer is an ambitious, vital book about a life-and-death subject that touches us all.
DeVita, an oncologist and professor at Yale School of Medicine, collaborates with his daughter DeVita-Raeburn on this engaging, informative, and inspiring history of DeVita's prominent role in developing innovative cancer treatments. The authors start with DeVita's groundbreaking discovery, while at the National Institutes of Health, of a combination chemotherapy treatment that turned Hodgkins lymphoma from a once-fatal diagnosis into one with an 80% cure rate. They also unveil some startling insights into medicine and the development of anticancer drugs, revisiting various episodes of resistance from colleagues in using new therapies, including the one DeVita developed. The book includes offers salient advice for those seeking treatment, and takes on the Federal Drug Administration and its woeful lag in keeping pace with cancer drug development. DeVita's own battle with prostate cancer teaches him the most important message: "I survived because my doctors were courageous in using the tools we already possessed... and that will allow me to take advantage of new ones." This remarkable memoir doesn't just urge the public to have hope: it showcases the exciting evidence that we may finally be winning the war on cancer.
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Death of Cancer
Dr. DeVita presents a very self-serving and egotistical story of his career taking credit for nearly every advancement that has been made in "the war on cancer". Those who really were responsible must be fuming that he barely mentions them in this very badly written "memoir".