The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Siddhartha Mukherjee
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 136 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. The year of his death, 1972, marked what?

2. Then this surgery was accelerated to what?

3. Virchow began to notice uncontrolled growth of cells. Virchow referred to this as _____________ or distorted growth.

4. What was the problem with the type of oncologist described in number 77?

5. Virchow ultimately referred to the disease as "weisses Blut" or ___________. In 1847 the name was changed to leukemia.

Short Essay Questions

1. How does chemotherapy reverse Paracelsus' belief about poison and drugs?

2. Describe Min Chiu Li's work. Why did others believe further treatment was not necessary?

3. Describe the New York Times letter to Richard Nixon. How could this tactic be useful today?

4. Why was John Bennett wrong?

5. What is meant by counting? Why does this matter?

6. What was the significance of using MOPP in the treatment of breast cancer?

7. How was the chemotherapy ward a battle ground in the 1970s?

8. Describe the drug and cancer lists of Canellas and Frei. How is this significant?

9. What important drugs came out in the 1940s and 1950s? How are these important to us today?

10. Why did Sidney Farber change professions? How might this have been a somewhat difficult adjustment?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Mukherjee discusses the history of cancer.

Part 1) When was the finding and study of cancer first seen? How is this surprising? Why might knowledge and/or discussion of cancer stopped after this period of time? Did cancer still exist? Why or why not?

Part 2) What are two other times in history when the study of cancer took place? What did doctors and scientists know about cancer at that time? On what information was this knowledge based? How accurate was this knowledge?

Part 3) What is known about cancer today? How much of our knowledge today is based on previous knowledge? How important is cancer history to the study of cancer today? Why? How is history, in general, important to us today?

Essay Topic 2

The government has at times been involved in the fight against cancer.

Part 1) When did the U.S. government first get involved in the fight against cancer? What led to this involvement? How was cancer research affected by this involvement? When and why did this involvement and public interest wane? How did this affect cancer research?

Part 2) At what other times did the government get involved in cancer research? How did the fight against cancer benefit from this involvement? How are our own lives affected by this involvement?

Part 3) At this point in our history, is the study of cancer as important to the American people as it was at other times in the past? Why or why not? What issues are most important to Americans today? Why? How might this affect the study of cancer?

Essay Topic 3

James Watson is quoted as saying, "The National Cancer Institute, which has overseen American efforts on researching and combating cancers since 1971, should take on an ambitious new goal for the next decade: the development of new drugs that will provide lifelong cures for many, if not all, major cancers. Beating cancer now is a realistic ambition because, at long last, we largely know its true genetic and chemical characteristics." Part 6, p. 393

Part 1) What does this quote reveal about the mindset regarding cancer at the time? Is this a realistic mindset? Were these realistic goals? Why or why not?

Part 2) Is this the view of many today regarding cancer? Do many believe that cancer can be eradicated in the next decade? Why or why not?

Part 3) Do you believe that cancer will ever be eradicated? Why or why not? Can any disease ever be completely eradicated? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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