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Making Cancer History

, 408 pages

23 halftones

April 2009



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Making Cancer History

Disease and Discovery at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

The history of the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center vividly reveals how cancer treatment in America—and our attitudes toward the disease—has changed since the middle of the twentieth century.

One of the preeminent cancer centers in the world, M. D. Anderson is also one of the first medical institutions devoted exclusively to caring for people with cancer and researching treatments and cures for the disease. Historian James S. Olson’s narrative relates the story of the center’s founding and of the surgeons, radiologists, radiotherapists, nurses, medical oncologists, scientists, administrators, and patients who built M. D. Anderson into the world-class institution it is today.

Through interviews with M. D. Anderson’s leaders and patients, Olson brings to life the struggle to understand and treat cancer in America. A cancer survivor who has himself been treated at the center, Olson imbues this history with humor, passion, and humanity.

James S. Olson is the Texas State University System Regents Professor of History at Sam Houston State University. He has written and edited dozens of books, including Bathsheba's Breast: Women, Cancer, and History, also published by Johns Hopkins.

"Olson illuminates the struggle to understand and treat cancer in the United States. As a cancer survivor treated at the center, Olson imbues M.D. Anderson's history with humor, passion and humanity."

"A comprehensive history of a cancer center, cancer therapies, and cancer trends throughout the second half of the twentieth century. A very compelling, thoughtful, and insightful historical examination of cancer treatment in the United States."

"A meticulously researched and well-written book... Making Cancer History is a good read and well worth a look."

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