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The Cancer Code

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  597 ratings  ·  94 reviews
Author of the international bestsellers The Diabetes Code and The Obesity Code Dr. Jason Fung returns with an eye-opening biography of cancer in which he offers a radical new paradigm for understanding cancerand issues a call to action for reducing risk moving forward.

Our understanding of cancer is slowly undergoing a revolution, allowing for the development of more eff
ebook, 288 pages
Published November 10th 2020 by Harper Wave
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Average rating 4.49  · 
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Sonja Arlow
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Two years ago I read The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, and while the book was fascinating and elegantly written it was also a difficult read with some complicated science thrown in.

This book is lot more updated than The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (seeing that there is a decade between the two books) and although still full of complex concepts it’s a lot more readable than the first book.

It also tackles some cancer myths we have all come across.

Cancer is cau
Lisa Kay
Dr. Jason Fung goes on a deeper dive with this, his third “Code” book. This time he travels a slightly different path than his previous books, taking he readers on an interesting, detailed journey into the history and rational of the many treatments for cancer, explaining where we came from and where we are going with regards to this terrible disease.

Along the way he covers the familiar questions: What causes it? How does it develop? What makes it progress? What are the old and new treatments? A
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For fans of Jason Fung’s previous books, THE CANCER CODE offers a far more academic and serious turn towards the history of science and medicine. He takes readers through a carefully charted course explaining the various theories and approaches regarding the etiology and treatment of cancer across the ages. It is both startling, discouraging and heartening. Unlike his other books, this one does not leave readers with a series of steps to undertake to alter their lives. Rather, it is meant to edu ...more
Levi Walls
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wouldn’t recommend anyone read this book unless you like getting your mind hole blown out. I will probably have to listen to the audiobook or read the physical book 7,000,000 more times before I can actually wrap my head around everything, but it was very intriguing so I may be willing to do that.
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
Reads like a science thriller. Jason Fung has such an excellent command of both the science behind cancer and the stylistic underpinnings that make a non-fiction text flow, he's made me giddy reading about one of the most horrendous soul-crushing afflictions of our times. Dialectical materialism, if it means anything, is thinking in terms of systems, levels, contingency and necessity, history and stages. The Cancer Code, read through this lense, is a wonderfully stimulating exercise not just in ...more
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Several months ago I read The Emperor of All Maladies by Dr. Mukherjee, an oncologist who did a good job of delineating the history of cancer and its treatment but certainly didn't stray from the straight and narrow as he concentrated present day treatment on genetics and chemo. Well, it was good enough to win a Pulitzer which says more about the award than his book. Dr. Fung gives a much more nuanced view of cancer. He doesn't have a cure but does spend time discussing current thought on the ef ...more
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read: No false promises, with clear mechanistic explanations

I've been reading Dr. Fung' extensive blog posts on diabetes and cancer for a few years now, and it's clear that this book has been quite a few years in the making. A lot of the research and treatments covered in the latter half of the book are from the period between 2010-2019, giving a really modern take on how cancer is now viewed by the medical research community.

One really refreshing aspect of this book is that it doesn
Carol Bakker
Dr. Fung has written The Obesity Code, The Diabetes Code, Complete Guide to Fasting and The Longevity Solution. He's on a roll! The Cancer Code looks at medicine's biggest mystery: cancer. It is a disease of excessive growth. Conventional therapies include cutting (surgery), burning (radiating) and poisoning (chemotherapy).

The main question: Does cancer come from the seed or the soil? Is it genetic or the environment? Or both? Since the 1990s a push to find a cure has focused on the seed, on ge
Howard Altschuler
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very informative about rhe topic. Plus Fung is a really good writer and makes complicated subject interesting.
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
My dad has cancer.

For years, I’ve been trying to understand the underpinnings, causes, and treatment implications of this disease. That’s why I picked this book as soon as I saw it on the shelf.

Overall, I’m really satisfied with the final product. Dr. Fung offers a pragmatic view of Cancer, focusing on its research, history, and scientific comprehension; emphasizing how our perspective has changed as we gain more information about its behavior. For me, the most interesting part of the book was
May 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just love Dr. Fung! I feel like he is one of the very rare doctors willing to step outside the specified narrative to bring us TRUTH!
This book leaves us with some unanswered questions but it also successfully challenges the traditional methods in which cancer has been approached. It confirms in my mind the fact that cancer is big business. So thankful for Dr.Fung's relentless search for methods that work, even if it is a free treatment like fasting!!
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I am recommending this book to everyone.
I have never been able to understand science in textbooks, but this book was so systematic and easy to understand. Everything was explained step by step, and I could visualize the things he was saying, made easy by examples that are so easy to understand . What a gift it is to have the knowledge and being able to impart it with such clarity.
Aditya V
Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Simply Brilliant. Thanks for such a lucid explanation.
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, own, health
This book provides an excellent perspective on the history of cancer research: where it went off track and where it is finally making some progress. I appreciated that he didn’t pretend to have all of the answers at the end of the book. That would have made him a lot less credible. The link between obesity and cancer is an eye opener though. One more reason to get our collective insulin resistance under control.
Rishabh Srivastava
Dec 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was a summary of our current understanding on cancer. Well written. Main takeaways:

1. Cancer is basically uncontrollable cell growth. Benign tumors are cancerous but don’t grow. Malignant tumors continue growing. This cell growth happens because of accumulated genetic mutations

2. Haeflic limit — human cells can only replicate 40-70 times before stopping. But cancer cells can be replicated indefinitely. The ability to invade other tissues and metastatize is what makes cancer lethal

3. A
Prashant Goyal
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Well, other reviewers have written about the what the book is all about, how it progresses. So let me say something about how it is written.

As it was intended to inform a layperson about the history of cancer research and why/how of this zealot disease, it can be quite repetitive, I mean quite a lot. It could be well about 60-70% of its current length.

Second, as he sometimes berates the dogmatic beliefs of scientific community to put their efforts on a particular course for the understanding of
Feb 06, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
I learned a few things, but I am not sure whether I trust or appreciate the knowledge. As a melanoma survivor, much of it is discouraging (regarding future metastasis).

One part is leading back to his main theories about diet (specifically fasting and keto) in his other books, which lends to some cynicism.

It is well written, but I wish I hadn’t bothered picking it up. Oh, and is it revolutionary as in the blurb? No. But it is a digestible source of the scientific information that is already out t
Alicia Bonk
Feb 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Audiobook: I was excited to get this book after hearing the author on a podcast. The book did well with explaining where we are with cancer and how we got there. I was hoping for more “do this” “avoid this” with lowering your cancer risks, but instead I leave this book with more knowledge of just how wickedly complicated cancer can be.

Podcast with author that I recommend:
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding book, would recommend to everyone who has been touched by cancer. Although difficult at times ( understanding the physiology, and thinking of family with cancer), the education received from this book was just jaw dropping. A whole new way of understanding WHY cancer is. Wow.
May 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, science
...can’t help extrapolating to current vaccine chasing the virus
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyable reading (in my case listening).
Brilliant storyteller, Dr Fung, offers quite a comprehensive excursus into our attempts to decipher and to treat cancer.
Probably not for hypochondriacs :)
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really thought I understood Cancer well enough before this book, but it proved me so wrong. Turns out I knew so little. Now it all make so much more sense in my head. This book even got me thinking about Cancer in a new way long after I finished reading it.
Dec 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent overview of the current state of oncology outlining the limitations of conventional treatment and the new paradigms giving hope for the future. As we all tend to do, Fung reveals his confirmation bias - dismissing micronutrient approaches with a handful of poorly chosen studies - and emphasising macronutrient approaches for their potential to mediate growth factors and nutrient sensing pathways. Fund dismisses the potential of 'folic acid' without seemingly understanding the researc ...more
Bastard Travel
May 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Nobody loves codes as much as iconoclast physician Jason Fung. This is his third code so far. Though it's easy to suppose they'd be spiritual successors the Robert Langdon trilogy of shitty mystery novels, Doc Fung instead focuses his energy on street-teaming for intermittent fasting and pushing low-carb paleo living without ever saying the word "paleo", for which we're all grateful.

Now, full disclosure, I haven't read the Diabetes Code, but my high IQ and longtime Rick and Morty enjoyment makes
Nikkei Flores
Apr 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cancerawareness
I was intrigued reading about the different cancer paradigms from a genetic standpoint and medical nutrition. After reading this and the Obesity Code, I truly believe that cancer therapies would benefit from ketogenic diets and intermittent fasting. What I like about it is that it goes through a much more indepth look at cancer historically - from the different theories, etiology, medical treatments created by different providers and scientists - in addition to talking about the physiology of ca ...more
Mar 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Fung holds no punches and is not afraid to throw a few upper-cuts in the direction of the cancer and research industries for their myopia and bias. This is needed. With all of the hoopla of the covid pandemic and the media's overwhelming support that 1. the science is settled and 2. we should always believe the experts supported by the media, this was a refreshing read as Fung establishes that decades of mistakes have been made, research dollars spent ineffectually, and that all costs truly ...more
Mar 11, 2021 rated it liked it
This book is largely fantastic and I have little to say in complaint. Dr. Fung provides an easy-to-understand analysis of three paradigms of cancer. He goes beneath the surface just far enough to provide a deeper understanding of cancer as a disease, without ending up in the weeds where he would lose a reader without an MD at the end of their name.

He claims to offer a new way of seeing the origins of cancer. The foundations for such are based in evolutionary biology and make a lot of sense. I th
May 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Excellent history of the fight against cancer and our understanding of this terrible disease. Especially impressive are the author’s analogies that help make sense of difficult subjects. Much of the book was over my head, but I was able to glean quite a bit of new information. I especially liked how the book ended on a positive note with the advances in immunotherapy.

…Consider another analogy. You are studying the significance of the Declaration of Independence, so you closely examine each in
May 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Cancer Code is a comprehensive and lucid primer offering current perspectives on our understanding of what cancer is, why and how it develops, and how it can be more effectively addressed. For me, a key take-away is the extent to which cancer-as a disease- is tied to external factors such as environment, smoking, and diet/obesity. Fung suggests that the key to defeating most cancers lies in its prevention through better management of our health and environment. In this regard, the read is quite ...more
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book was the right level of technical and non-technical for me. The book is full of fascinating insights and research, and is presented in an understandable way, with diagrams and clear writing. It explains the various paradigms that we have had for understanding cancer, what they have contributed and what they have lacked. It finishes up with the newest paradigm for understanding cancer and the new treatments that paradigm has unlocked. It is a fascinating read and I found it so interestin ...more
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  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
30 likes · 9 comments
“1. Sustaining proliferative signaling; 2. Evading growth suppressors; 3. Resisting cell death; 4. Enabling replicative immortality; 5. Inducing angiogenesis; 6. Activating invasion and metastasis; 7. Deregulating cellular energetics; and 8. Evading immune destruction.” 0 likes
“If the genes themselves are unchanged, then deciphering the underlying genetic code at great expense is of limited usefulness. By the time work on the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) started, it was already well known that changes in DNA methylation are vital to the development of some cancers.3 A number of known carcinogens are considered to act through epigenetic pathways. In colon cancer, up to 10 percent of protein-coding genes are methylated differently from normal colon cells, emphasizing the role of epigenetics.” 0 likes
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