Most discoveries even today are a combination of serendipity and of searching.
I think the way we think about cancer, the way we treat cancer, has dramatically changed in the last century. There is an enormous amount of options that a physician can provide today, right down from curing patients, treating patients or providing patients with psychic solace or pain relief.
Good physicians are rarely dispassionate. They agonize and self-doubt over patients.
Pharmacology is benefited by the prepared mind. You need to know what you are looking for.
I wanted to explore cancer not just biologically, but metaphorically. The idea that tuberculosis in the 19th century possessed the same kind of frightening and decaying quality was very interesting to me, and it seemed that one could explore the idea that every age defined its own illness.
A breast cancer might turn out to have a close resemblance to a gastric cancer. And this kind of reorganization of cancer in terms of its internal genetic anatomy has really changed the way we treat and approach cancer in general.
I left Delhi in 1989 and remember very little of how life used to be then. Increasingly, in my recent visits to Delhi, I've started to realize that the city has become intellectually very lively. It makes me want to discover the city over and over again.
Cancer has enormous diversity and behaves differently: it's highly mutable, the evolutionary principles are very complicated and often its capacity to be constantly mystifying comes as a big challenge.
We don't know why, but pancreatic cancer has a very interesting physiological link to depression. There seems to be a deep link, and we don't know what it is.
I am a scientist and I am a physician. So I write papers.
There is a very moving and ancient connection between cancer and depression.
Writing anything as an expert is really poisonous to the writing process, because you lose the quality of discovery.
I had seen cancer at a more cellular level as a researcher. The first time I entered the cancer ward, my first instinct was to withdraw from what was going on - the complexity, the death. It was a very bleak time.
Most days, I go home and I feel rejuvenated. I feel ebullient.
There's a phrase in Shakespeare: he refers to it as the 'hidden imposthume', and this idea of a hidden swelling is seminal to cancer. But even in more contemporary writing it's called 'the big C'.
For un-subscribe please check the mail footer.