Cancer is the price we pay for our multicellularity. The initial sculpting of tissues and organs in the embryo, their elaboration in childhood and maintenance for decades thereafter, requires trillions of cell divisions. With a task of that magnitude it is perhaps inevitable that some of those divisions will be mistimed or misplaced. The result of such an error, if left unchecked, is an out-of-control growth: cancer. It is a wonder that cancer doesn't affect more of us--but one in three is still a daunting statistic.

The profound loss of control that is cancer reverberates from skewed molecular signals, to unrelenting cell proliferation, to the invasion of healthy tissues, and finally to the commandeering of the vasculature to not only feed the initial tumor, but to seed tissues near and far. And so it is no surprise that the person newly diagnosed with cancer confronts an overwhelming sense of loss...

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