Cancerland by David Scadden


A doctor's riveting story of loss and hope in the world of cancer. What is it like to encounter cancer? How does it feel to face the unknown, to enter a world of hope, loss, and dread? From the diagnosis of his childhood friend's mother to his poignant memories in the lab, David Scadden's seen the unknown world of cancer from the lens of a young boy, a classmate, a researcher, a friend, a doctor, and a neighbor. Scadden chronicles his personal me...

Details Cancerland

Release DateJul 10th, 2018
PublisherThomas Dunne Books
GenreNonfiction, Science, Health, Medicine, Autobiography, Memoir, Medical

Reviews Cancerland

  • Barbara (The Bibliophage)
    David Scadden, M.D. titled his book Cancerland: A Medical Memoir. Truthfully, it’s more of a scientific history book. There’s very little in it that constitutes memoir, in the sense of personal experiences. He does tell a bit of his mother’s cancer story, and some parts of integrating family life with being a physician.On the other hand, Scadden discusses the science and medicine of cancer treatment. He’s actually participated, both clini...
  • Marci
    This is a book that puts scientific discovery in cancer into clear perspective, and tells the story of how these advances are built on the continuing work of scientists, who sometimes succeed but often fail. This is a book best read in bits for anyone interested in cancer research and science. I will certainly refer to it, as connections are traced and made clear. An eloquent historic overview.
  • Laurie
    Dr. Scadden is an oncologist with several discoveries about cancer treatment under his belt. He is the co-founder of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and one of the world’s leading experts on immunology as it applies to oncology. He, like most of us, has also encountered cancer up close and personal, in his own friends and family. And he’s treated numerous patients in his career. He tells us of his history of cancer care and research. It’s b...
  • Shelley
    Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC!This book was truly fascinating, I thought I knew a fair amount about cancer and the therapies but it was so enlightening to read about how the history of cancer and the development of the treatments. The authors do not shy away from difficult subjects like the roles that politics, ego, funding and scientific fraud play in research. I am actually going to re-read this book because I want t...
  • Heather
    I did not particularly like this book. The topics were sometimes all over the place which made it hard to read. The author was derisive to those who have ethical objections to experimenting on embryonic stem cells, while using word play and denial to limit the amount he has to think about it himself. The author obviously isn’t particularly positive towards God or religious people, and throws in odd things like about how viruses made chimpanzees...
  • Janet
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- A doctor’s riveting story of loss and hope in the world of cancer.What is it like to encounter cancer? How does it feel to face the unknown, to enter a world of hope, loss, and dread?From the diagnosis of his childhood friend’s mother to his poignant memories in the lab, David Scadden’s seen the unknown world of can...
  • Sharon
    St. Martin's Press and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Cancerland: A Medical Memoir. I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.The idea for this book stemmed from a conversation between the authors regarding the fact that so much of what happens in science remains unknown to those outside of STEM. As almost half of Americans will be stricken by cancer in some way, the step into "Cancerland" is f...
  • David Broughall
    This "medical memoir" is very long on medical and very short on memoir, and I found, far less accessible than Siddhartha Mukherjee's monumental The Emperor of All Maladies. I found Cancerland to be a veritable blizzard of biological information with only the occasional break in the storm that would allow me to comprehend what the author was trying to convey. The author is clearly excited about the advances in cancer treatment, particularly as the...
  • Cindy
    I found this book to be less about what it's like to have cancer and more about what it is like to dedicate your life to science; specifically to cancer research. The book provides deep insights into cancer and the trials and tribulations of being a researcher. The authors use of strong analogies helps to make abstract complex science more understandable. I felt both hope and frustration as I read it - hope that there are such dedicated smart ind...
  • Susan
    Dr. Scadden is an esteemed doctor and scientist who has spent much of his life combining patient care and research that has resulted in important advances, especially in the area of cancer research. While much of this book deals with the science behind his research, making it a bit complex for a non-science person like myself, I still found it very interesting and now have a better understanding as to why cancer research is so complex, as well as...
  • Jim Connelly
    Engaging look into the research and treatment of cancer. The very real human impact on cancer patients and their families of new technologies and the efforts to find a “cure”. The study of molecules, genes and cell research is presented in a way that makes it approachable to the non-scientist. Dr. Scadden also illustrates very well the political and commercial realities of obtaining research funding. Virtually everyone is affected by cancer ...
  • Nancy
    I had trouble getting traction in this book so had to skip though when the library wanted it back. It is more science research history than memoir. I admit to liking to learn about medical progress through the lives of people who are helped by medical breakthroughs. There is plenty of good information here but I wish it were leavened with more about the people who have benefited from cancer research.
  • Courtney
    Tough to review this one because I didn't find it to be much of a memoir as advertised, so it was lacking in personality. I have a pretty strong biomedical background, so I really enjoyed the in depth look at stem cells and genetic engineering and how they are used in cancer treatment, but I don't think that the book would be super accessible without a science background.
  • Literary Soirée
    A stunning look at cancer treatment and research from a top Harvard oncologist. Poignant stories of patients battling the illness are interwoven with details on research efforts, including the pioneering stem cell expertise of the author. Highly recommended!Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books for an ARC. Opinions are mine.#Cancerland #NetGalley
  • John Crisp
    Far too medical for my liking. Was hoping it would be more about the experiences with cancer patients. Instead it was a history of the medicine behind cancer and the research that goes into it. Not really much of a memoir if you ask me.
  • MaryJohanna
    More a “memoir of cancer medicine” / science than a “medical memoir”. A very dense, but interesting read.
  • Sabrina
    Good overview of the field, but too much name-dropping. I don't care that you went fishing with Irv Weissman... Sorry!
  • Cheryl
    Probably better if you are in medicine. It is heavy on the medical side, but I found the personal side of the story much more interesting.
  • Tina
    The history of cancer treatments covered is something that I haven't found elsewhere. Seems to have a major push on stem cells.
  • Lucy
    I was given a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest reviewWell it seems appropriate that my first review after starting my nursing degree is a review of a medical book.I’ve read plenty medical memoirs before, and I would say they are fast becoming a favourite genre for me. Cancerland though is a bit different from the others.At the beginning Scadden said that one of his aims in writing his memoir was to increase peoples’ ...
  • Lauren
    This book was not what I expected it to be, but I really enjoyed it! Dr. Scadden blended personal stories from the clinic with a detailed overview of the development of cancer treatments. He hit the nail on the head with his descriptions of working in biomedical research, lab culture, and characteristics of scientists. The book very much appealed to my science background and training. This would also make an interesting read for someone less fami...
  • Ann
    This is a dense book about the evolution of cancer care through the doctor’s life. What frustrates me about this story is the limitations of those doing the work as cancer specialists and researchers. It is not a lack of creativity rather it is a lack of solid financial support. Why this country cannot provide the money for scientists to creatively tackle cancer baffles me. I wish the author revealed more of himself in the book. He offers a few...
  • Julie
    The author tries to put a human face on the scientists working on cures for various types of cancer but he doesn't really succeed. He also tries to explain how cancer works in the body which he does a better job at, particularly with blood cancers, but it is a slog to read through. I applaud Scadden for everything he has done to further the study of cancer, but I don't applaud the book itself.