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Radiation Medicine

A Bit of History

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1903 was divided, one half awarded to Antoine Henri Becquerel "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by his discovery of spontaneous radioactivity,the other half jointly to Pierre Curie and Marie Curie, née Sklodowska "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel."
Marie CurieHenri Becquerel (1852 - 1908) Pierre Curie

Inspiring Stories

When Breath Becomes Air

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living? At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade's worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi's transformation from a naïve medical student "possessed," as he wrote, "by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life" into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. "I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything," he wrote. "Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: 'I can't go on. I'll go on.'" When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.

The Emperor of All Maladies

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize The Emperor of All Maladies, now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years. The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out “war against cancer.” The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist. 

Red Sunshine

Dr. Kimberly Allison diagnoses breast cancer for a living. But as a 33-year-old healthy new mother, she never expected to find herself looking at her own malignant cells under the microscope. Like many others diagnosed with cancer, Dr. Allison was starving for stories of other survivors. She wanted to hear someone's tale, to feel their experiences and look for hidden clues to what her own future might hold. Ultimately, the story that Dr. Allison was looking for was found in her own life. Red Sunshine is a memoir about Dr. Allison's sudden journey from physician to patient and her attempt to make the most of this terrifying and unexpected ordeal. Her experience reflects the incredible power of the bonds of friendship and family. It is about paying attention to the magic that is waiting to be uncovered in everyday life. Red Sunshine is an uplifting story of survival in which Dr. Allison shares all the intimate details of her emotional journey with both humor and honesty.