From The Times:
On a visit home for lunch one Sunday four years ago, I found Dad chopping and cooking vegetables — but instead of charging around the kitchen as usual, he was sitting on a stool. He was hunched-up and his head had retreated into his shoulders. He said that he had a little back pain.
His GP made an appointment for an X-ray, which revealed that one of the neck vertebrae had crumbled and a second was cracking. The hospital couldn’t be sure of the cause but my mother, a doctor, was certain. “The odds are it’s cancer,” she told me in her plain and doctorly way.
My first reaction was to search for a book that we could read and discuss. I found memoirs of celebrities who had battled the disease, self-help guides containing basic information and others that described the science in detail. None seemed to connect.
I started talking to doctors with the idea of writing the book that I could not find. Like many people, I believed that cancer was becoming more prevalent and that medicine had failed to cure it. But as Dad underwent surgery to remove his tumour, I learnt that the past decade has been historic for cancer research and that in a few more decades it will be a disease that we live with rather than die from.