About a fortnight back, The Times of India carried this report “Scientists find what causes spread of cancer & new way to stop it”, based on research work done at the John Hopkins University and published in Nature. Medical science is now probing what causes the spread of cancer, but let’s take a step back- what causes cancer, in the first place? This is a question that, in all likelihood, haunts those who fall prey to this disease, and their loved ones.
Sue Armstrong’s book P53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code is a journey into the quest to understand what causes cancer and, that often asked question- is there a cure for cancer? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, in the longer time frame and no, in present times. Interestingly, Sue Armstrong talks about a Chinese drug that claims to be twice more effective than current drugs to treat certain cancers. And there is the stark truth of what smoking does to you-it leads to the formation of BPDE, the most carcinogenic substance ever discovered, inside your body. The most shameful thing is the blatant dirty propaganda war being played out by the tobacco players. In case you were not aware, at the dawn of the 20th century, advertisers sold smoking by touting the “the health benefits of smoking”. A century has not changed much- the tobacco companies have moved from selling to the consumer, to influencing governments using false propaganda.
Books such as this require an effort to read and understand, simply because it makes us step out of our comfort zones of what we normally read. However, reading across genres and themes is something that helps the curious mind stay curious.
Bookbhook contributor Varsha Srinivasan applies her immunology background to handcraft this bookbhook summary of P53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code. This book would normally require 4 hours to read, but the handcrafted bookbhook summary will take you just 12 minutes.
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