DAVID BIANCULLI

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ERIC GOULD

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LINDA DONOVAN

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MIKE HUGHES

KIM AKASS

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TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES
March 30, 2015  | By David Bianculli

PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

 
Part 1 of 3. Ken Burns presents this three-part, six-hour documentary, which is directed by Barak Goodman and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Siddhartha Mukherjee, who also appears in this PBS study. Edward Herrmann narrates, gently taking viewers on a tour that shows how the world has fought the war against cancer – on several fronts, and across many decades, sometimes with frustrating results. Mukherjee’s point is that we have to know how we’ve treated this disease over the years to understand what we’re doing wrong – and how, perhaps, to approach from other directions. Surprisingly, this first two-hour installment goes back centuries, then works its way back to relatively modern times – and WWI, and the popularization of cigarettes and the increase of lung cancer. The sequence on how scientists linked lung cancer to cigarettes, over the years, is especially fascinating. Check local listings.
 
 
 
 
 
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