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Cancer: The Evolutionary Legacy

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Cancer: The Evolutionary Legacy Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Synopsis:

An award-winning researcher illuminates the nature of cancer in an evolutionary context, giving compelling examples from the 15th century to the present to illustrate his thesis. 20 halftones. Line illustrations.

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.

About the Author

Mel Greaves is Director of the Leukemia Research Fund Center at the Institute of Cancer Research, in London. The winner of several awards for cancer research, he lives in London.

Table of Contents

Figure acknowledgements

Part One: Cancer: ancient legacies and modern myths

1. Perplexed? You should be

2. The King of Naples and other silent witnesses

3. Soot, civilization, and neuroses

4. An evolutionary view

Notes to Part One

Part Two: Evolving cancer

5. Pundit's progress

6. Clones, clones, clones

7. The way we are: risks and restraints

8. How cancer cells play the winning game

9. St. Peregrine's progress

10. Green-eyed mutations?

11. Off to a shaky start

12. Blind chance - and ultimate extinction?

Notes to Part Two

Part Three: Paradox of progress: indecent exposures

13. Is cancer an evolutionary inevitability?

14. And then you set fire to it?

15. Women's troubles

16. Men's troubles

17. Cancer d`a deux

18. Other ways of getting bugged

19. Travelling light

20. The great glut

21. Dying for a living

22. Collateral damage

23. Finale: cause, complexity, and the evolutionary rub

Notes to Part Three

Part Four: Finessing the clone

24. Treatment: the blindfolded marksman

25. Epilogue: cancer in the twenty-first century

Notes to Part Four

General facts, figures, help, and advice

Glossary

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780192628350
Author:
Greaves, Mel
Author:
Greaves, M. F.
Author:
null, Mel
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Location:
Oxford ;
Subject:
Oncology
Subject:
Life Sciences | Evolutionary Biology
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
no. 1881
Publication Date:
20000525
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 full color, 22 halftones and line illu
Pages:
290
Dimensions:
9.3 x 6.2 x 0.9 in 1.4 lb

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Cancer
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution

Cancer: The Evolutionary Legacy Used Hardcover
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Product details 290 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780192628350 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , An award-winning researcher illuminates the nature of cancer in an evolutionary context, giving compelling examples from the 15th century to the present to illustrate his thesis. 20 halftones. Line illustrations.
"Synopsis" by , 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.

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