Embark on a captivating journey that will fundamentally change how you see cancer— and perhaps life itself. Cancer is more than a disease. It is an integral part of who we are—complex biological and cultural beings with a limited life span. You will be surprised, challenged, and even amused by this eloquent synthesis of knowledge. Firmly rooted in science and the principles of evolution, this book is a must-read if you aim to understand cancer.
Jarle Breivik, MD, PhD, EdD, is a professor of medicine at the University of Oslo and a former Fulbright Scholar with a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania. He is internationally recognized for his research on the evolutionary dynamics of cancer. His thought-provoking analyses represented in PNAS, EMBO Reports, Scientific American, Wired Magazine, and the New York Times have stimulated a profound debate about the meaning of cancer. In this book, Dr. Breivik brings it all together in a captivating story about humanity.
Making Sense of Cancer centers on the radical idea that there may never be a cure for cancer and that acceptance of this fact is key to arriving at new solutions to how cancer is viewed, treated, and prevented. Cancer does not always mean a death sentence, Breivik argues, making the case that cancer is an evolutionary occurrence in the cycle of life, human and animal. The result is a gently provocative, highly quotable (“We seem to get cancer from almost everything—especially the things that, for many, make life worth living”) book that urges greater preventative measures and takes many unexpected turns, all while inviting in both lay readers and the science-minded alike with lucid, engaging prose.
Breivik includes comic-strip style illustrations to lighten the tone, and he exhibits refreshing humility throughout this, at one point acknowledging the possibility that "some future cancer researchers will make me the laughingstock of the scientific community." Still, his exploration of questions like “Can we eliminate cancer and still be human?” is eye-opening. Readers who enjoy grounded-yet-bold medical research, contemplation of evolution, and in-depth scientific exploration will engage with Breivik’s searching, unexpected, powerfully argued vision.
Takeaway: Bold, well-argued case for accepting the potential incurability of cancer.
Comparable Titles: David Servan-Schreiber’s Anti-Cancer, Athena Aktipis's The Cheating Cell.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A