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Synopsis: Every day, 1500 Americans die of cancer, and yet for most of us this deadly disease remains mysterious. Why is it so common? Why are there so many different causes? Why does treatment so often fail? What, ultimately, is cancer? In this fascinating new book, a leading cancer researcher offers general readers clear and convincing answers to these and many other questions.
Mel Greaves places cancer in its evolutionary context, arguing that we can best answer the big questions about cancer by looking through a Darwinian lens. Drawing on both ancient and more modern evolutionary legacies, he shows how human development has changed the rules of evolutionary games, trapping us in a nature-nurture mismatch. Compelling examples, from the King of Naples intestinal tumor in the 15th century, through the epidemic of scrotal skin cancer in 18th-century chimney sweeps, to the current surge of cases of prostate cancer illustrate his thesis. He also shows why the old paradigms of infectious diseases or genetic disorders have proved fruitless when trying to explain this complex and elusive disease. And finally, he looks at the implications for research, prevention, and treatment of cancer that an evolutionary perspective provides.
Drawing on the most recent research, this is the first book to put cancer in its evolutionary framework. At a time when Darwinian perspectives on everything from language acquisition to economics are providing new breakthroughs in understanding, medicine seems to have much to gain from the insights provided by evolutionary biology. Written in an exceptionally lucid and entertaining style, this book will be of broad interest to all those who wish to know more about this dread disease.
Review: Nothing can scare us quite as much as cancer. This disease, striking sometimes sensibly, sometimes arbitrarily, inspires despair and hopelessness to the same extent that its cure eludes us. Cancer researcher Mel Greaves illuminates what we know of its causes and the obstacles to research in Cancer: The Evolutionary Legacy. The subtitle is intriguing, and Greaves backs it up with a detailed examination of the evolutionary biology of cancer cells. It turns out that we can profitably think about cancer as a tool in the struggle for survival and reproduction among all the cells within a body. Losing regulatory genes might be great for reproducing individual cell lines, but in the long run, they are, of course, devastating to the organism as a whole. Greaves's personal, almost chatty style helps the nontechnical reader through some of the complicated immunological and genetic issues, and it also humanizes a topic that can easily overwhelm us with awe. Slipping back a few centuries, he explores the history of cancer and our attitudes toward it, then looks at how it has changed in recent years to become more widespread and better understood. Though Greaves is careful not to promise a cure just around the corner, his experience lends the writing an optimism that most readers will find refreshing. Though we're still at the mercy of this terrible disease, it's good to know we have more than just natural selection on our side. --Rob Lightner
Book Condition: New
Book Description Oxford University Press, 2000. Condition: Good. (rev)01 Edition. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP88121586
Book Description Oxford University Press, 2000. Condition: Good. (rev)01 Edition. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP8466999
Book Description Oxford University Press. Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, thatâ€™ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 2858522195
Book Description Oxford University Press, Incorporated. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Light shelving wear with minimal damage to cover and bindings. Pages show minor use. Seller Inventory # G0192628356I3N00
Book Description Oxford University Press, Incorporated. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Minimal damage to cover and binding. Pages show light use. Seller Inventory # G0192628356I3N00
Book Description Oxford University Press, Incorporated. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Book shows minor use. Cover and Binding have minimal wear and the pages have only minimal creases. Seller Inventory # G0192628356I3N00
Book Description Oxford University Press, Incorporated. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Very good condition - book only shows a small amount of wear. Seller Inventory # G0192628356I4N00
Book Description Condition: Good. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages are intact ( dust cover may be missing or if its there may be in extremly rough condition. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May NOT include discs, access code or other supplemental material. Seller Inventory # 2UEEY30001N2
Book Description Oxford University Press. Hardcover. Condition: Good. 0192628356 Ex-library book with usual markings. Meets or exceeds the good condition guidelines. Nice copy. Five star seller - Buy with confidence!. Seller Inventory # Z0192628356Z3
Book Description Oxford University Press, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Good. isbn matches very clean hardcover with jacket a few pencil underlines to text solid binding very light wear. Fast service with confirmation, no international or priority orders over 4lbs. Seller Inventory # mon0000104200