Synopses & Reviews
An unprecedented take on cancer and recovery
Why does cancer have such a deadly hold over our collective imagination? Why do we fear it above all else, even bankruptcy, crime, and sudden death? And why is our dread intensifying, despite the fact that many types of cancer are less common than ever, more curable, and far better understood?
Because cancer has become our malignant metaphor, a billboard for our secret sins. We havent been eating the right food; we have failed to exercise enough; we have buried too much destructive emotion in short, we have brought the disease upon ourselves. Somehow, we have allowed cancer to represent an irreconcilable trifecta of blame and anxiety: it is inevitable, yet preventable and deserved.
But it is time to rewrite the metaphor.
When her beloved brother-in-law is diagnosed with the disease, award-winning science writer Alanna Mitchell throws herself into the latest research and clinical literature, breaking it down into a clear, understandable description of what doctors and scientists know of cancer and its treatments. Clear-eyed and compassionate, Mitchell opens the door to new ways of looking at our most-feared illness.
Mitchell does a convincing job sorting fact from fiction, diffusing fear, and challenging the manipulative language of fundraisers who aim for pocketbooks rather than intellectual honesty . . . Mitchells research is rooted in science, while her writing remains grippingly personal.” Quill and Quire
"Anyone fearing cancer (probably most of us) will find relief in this compelling book; it's like having a well-informed friend by your side, helping you dodge free radicals. By 'liberating the facts,' Mitchell turns the war on cancer into a hopeful dance." Plum Johnson, author of They Left Us Everything
"In addition to her clear medical explanations, Mitchell's compassionate attitude will bring comfort to those readers and their loved ones facing a cancer diagnosis." -- Publishers Weekly
Award-winning science writer Alanna Mitchell confronts cancer myths in this powerful and personal book, as she recounts her family's experiences with the disease. When her beloved brother-in-law John is diagnosed with malignant melanoma, Mitchell throws herself into the latest clinical research, providing us with a clear description of what scientists know of cancer and its treatments. When John enters the world of alternative treatments, Mitchell does, too, looking for the science in untested waters. She comes face to face with the misconceptions we share about cancer, which are rooted in blame and anxiety, and opens the door to new ways of looking at our most-feared illness.
Beautifully written, at once deeply personal and rigorous, Malignant Metaphor is a compassionate and persuasive book that has the power to change the conversation about cancer.
About the Author
Alanna Mitchell is an award-winning journalist and author who writes about science and social trends. She is a global thinker who specializes in investigative reporting. Her most recent full-length book, Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis, is an international bestseller that won the prestigious Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment. Her one-woman play based on that book was nominated for a Dora Award and she toured across Canada. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.