Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: Heal: The Vital Role of Dogs in the Search for Cancer Cures by Arlene Weintraub

Title: Heal: The Vital Role of Dogs in the Search for Cancer Cures
Author: Arlene Weintraub
Format: Ebook
Publisher: ECW Press
Publish Date: October 13, 2015
Source: Author

What's the Story?:

From "Drawn from extensive research, on-the-ground reporting, and personal experience, this book explores the fascinating role dogs are playing in the search for a cure for cancer. Learn how veterinarians and oncologists are working together to discover new treatments — cutting-edge therapies designed to help both dogs and people suffering from cancer. Heal introduces readers to the field of comparative oncology by describing several research projects aimed at finding new therapies for cancers that are similar in dogs and people, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma, breast cancer, melanoma, and gastric cancer. Weintraub, who lost her sister to gastric cancer, also writes about the emerging science behind the remarkable ability of dogs to sniff out early-stage cancer, and the efforts underway to translate that talent into diagnostic devices for early detection of the disease. In the course of bringing these dogs and their human companions to life, Weintraub takes her own personal journey from grief to healing, as she shows her readers how man’s best friend might be the key to unlocking the mysteries of cancer."

My Two Cents:

"Heal" is a non-fiction book that looks at the way that dogs are helping scientists figure out new therapies for taming and curing all sorts of different kinds of cancer. I'm a huge animal lover and I have unfortunately had many people in my life taken down by various kinds of cancer. I've also had two dogs suffer for cancer. And in each case, I've found myself wishing that other people and animals did not have to watch their loved ones go through this. This book gave me great hope that scientists are looking at cancer from every angle in order to find a cure once and for all!

As the book points out, dogs develop cancer naturally like people do. Animals such as rats and mice, that often are the subjects of laboratory testing don't often develop cancer naturally. Because of this, dogs are uniquely qualified to help us understand how cancer occurs in humans and perhaps more importantly, how it can be cured. The author looks at a lot of different kinds of cancer and a lot of various trials. It was fascinating to see how much scientists were able to figure out from man's best friend.

The writing of the book was great. The author takes what could be a very technical discussion and turns it into something that can easily be understood by anyone. The book's strength also lies in that the author tackles the issue from so many different angles while inserting a dose of personality. For the author, the issue of cancer is personal. She discusses her sister's gastric cancer case with the reader, which really pulled me into the book. This book is for those that love dogs or have ever had cancer touch their lives.



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