Monday, January 26, 2009

Where are the books on cancer for general readers?

This is a question about a situation that seems very odd to me.

I mean books about the biology of cancer, of course, not cancer in general and how to cope with it. There must be thousands of those, as there should be.

Browsing around at Amazon for books about cancer biology I could find a few textbooks, but almost nothing, for a non-professional reader, that goes into the science in terms of cell biology, molecular biology, etc. Something a general reader could get into and find interesting, even if a little diligence is required.

For other scientific topics, especially related to physics, astronomy, Earth science, and so forth there are are plenty of books, some written by very eminent people in the field.

As far as I can tell, however, there are very few such books for cancer biology.

One that I have, and have enjoyed reading, is Cancer: The Evolutionary Legacy, by Mel Greaves, who is (or was) a professor at the Institute of Cancer Research in London. I can highly recommend it, even though it was published in 2000, so isn't entirely current.

Another is One Renegade Cell: How Cancer Begins, by Robert Weinberg, an even more eminent name in cancer biology. That's a must-read for anyone who wants an introduction to cancer biology. But it was published in 1999, so is even less current.

So I'm just throwing the question out there, in case anyone has suggestions for something more recent. Please leave suggestions in the comments.


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Blogger DagNabit said...

I agree that there is a dearth of scientific literature on cancer for general leaders. You might be interested in the following lectures by Bruce Ames whose focus for years has been on cancer research and biochemistry:


2/08/2009 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Charles Daney said...

You might be interested in the following lectures by Bruce Ames whose focus for years has been on cancer research and biochemistry:


I watched the 3rd in the series, on cancer and pesticides. It seems to be sound and reasonable.

I haven't watched the 1st 2 on aging yet. Perhaps someone else would like to comment on them.

It does look like Dr. Ames' site is geared towards promoting antioxidant supplements. I'm a little skeptical on that, but I need to look into it further.

And Ames' lectures do not actually talk about the biology of cancer, so I'm still waiting to hear about resources in that area for a general audience.

2/08/2009 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger DagNabit said...

I am also skeptical of sites that promote supplements. I don't think that is his purpose. He is a respected researcher and has published widely.

2/08/2009 09:59:00 PM  

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