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Ken Burns: Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies DVD
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Item No.: SCAN600
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Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Siddhartha Mukherjee, this film tells the story of cancer, from its first description in an ancient Egyptian scroll to the gleaming laboratories of modern research institutions. It interweaves a sweeping historical narrative; with intimate stories about contemporary patients; and an investigation into the latest scientific breakthroughs that may have brought us to the brink of lasting cures.
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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
PBSKen Burns: Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies DVD
 
4.4

(based on 16 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Extremely Well-told History of Cancer

This DVD presents an extraordinarily well researched and articulated history of cancer, and leaves viewers with a basis for hope from increasing scientific research breakthroughs. This cancer story is well-paced, and very clearly...Read complete review

This DVD presents an extraordinarily well researched and articulated history of cancer, and leaves viewers with a basis for hope from increasing scientific research breakthroughs. This cancer story is well-paced, and very clearly presented so that every person can easily understand any of the fascinating historical science involved. The film takes a humanistic approach, and includes perspectives from doctors, researchers, patients and their families, and academics. Overall a must-see by anyone who's life or family or friends have been touched by cancer.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

The Emperor's New Clothes - A Disservice to Cancer Paitents

So I'm watching the 6 hour Ken Burns/PBS, "Cancer: Emperor of all Maladies" and I'm bashing my head against the wall because it's so frustrating to watch. This guy...Read complete review

So I'm watching the 6 hour Ken Burns/PBS, "Cancer: Emperor of all Maladies" and I'm bashing my head against the wall because it's so frustrating to watch. This guy Dr. Farber found a chemical in the 1940's that helped leukemia kids survive for a couple months longer. People were amazed, a new children's hospital was built, and innumerable chemicals started getting tested on kids, giving us chemotherapy today.

In the 1960's there were 3 schools of thought on the cause of cancer: viruses (e.g. Epstein-Barr), chemicals from the environment, and genes. All have validity.

Eventually they figure out that every cell in the body is capable of mutating into cancer given the right circumstances. In 1971, Nixon announces during the State of the Union address a "war on cancer". Billions of dollars are dedicated to it in the coming years and everyone thinks progress is being made. A statistician comes around in the 1980's and shows, much to everyone's chagrin, that in fact, no, were are not making much progress on cancer.

They interview like 6 Nobel prize winners for cancer research in the documentary, and every time they understand something new about cancer, immediately they discuss working on a "new chemotherapy treatment".

--> **Food quality, air quality, water quality, are not discussed in this 6 hour documentary on cancer** < -- I kid you not.

The first episode describes how the tobacco industry "brilliantly" clouded the issue on cigarette safety 50 years ago...and then this documentary proceeds to do *the exact same thing*.

They say we have no idea what causes cancer: "It's very complicated", "We can't pin anything down". The epidemiologist interviewed about Love's Canal couldn't produce any concrete link between the 20,000 barrels of toxic waste in the ground and cancer. Seriously?

Its mind numbing. They identified "chemicals" as a possible cause in the 60's, but there is no follow up. Where is the section on toxins causing normal cells to mutate into cancerous ones? Where is the section on clean food (with natural antimutagens) *preventing* cells from mutating?

Not one diet recommendation: "Steer clear of sugar, avoid trans fats, careful with mercury in tuna, watch your red meat intake" - nothing. Its like the entire industry is in denial on food. I would love to know exactly when these doctors stopped believing "we are what we eat".

The medical establishment's approach to and treatment of cancer is completely wrong. Instead of working on prevention through cleaner food and a cleaner environment and researching treatments that compliment the body, they run around like chickens with their heads cut off for the last 40 years looking for crazy chemical drugs to give us.

Horrible disservice of a documentary. Keeping people in the dark on what causes cancer and then basically only presenting the chemotherapy/radiation paradigm as a treatment option? Terrible.

A sad chapter in American history. An unconscionable waste of time, money, and effort spent going down the wrong road.

Reviewed by 16 customers

Displaying reviews 1-5

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(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great DVD

By caretaker2

from Chicago, IL

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS Ken Burns: Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies DVD:

This was well worth the cost. Three DVDs, filled with info from the history of cancer to current knowledge and treatments. Answered some of our questions and gave us info that created more questions for the next visit to the oncologist.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Documentary

By Caretaker99

from Antioch, IL

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS Ken Burns: Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies DVD:

My husband has stage 4 cancer, so I bought this for more information. There are 3 DVDs that explore cancer research, theories and treatments from the beginning. This answered some of our questions, gave us others to ask his oncology team, and gave us hope. He has responded well to his current treatment, but this gave us other options to consider should it stop working.

(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

This was really disappointing, I expected better from Burns

By Trillium

from Washington State

Comments about PBS Ken Burns: Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies DVD:

I have always like Burn's documentaries but after watching this one I found so many holes in this it has me wondering about his past documentaries. As you can see several big pharma companies supported this film. Not surprising this film has a certain bent to it about big pharma. I saw so many holes in this I really don't even know where to start! Ken, this felt more like an infomercial for big pharma and is this the only way you can things made now? Lets begin with the doctor who talks about HPV and how she now has her daughter vaccinated for this. If you did any digging on this topic at all, you would understand this vaccine does not protect from HPV since there are many strains they have yet to identify. You mislead the public with this whole bit. You never talk about how these big pharma companies are not required by the FDA to provide all outcomes of their drugs when applying to the FDA. How unethical is that? So that is one of the reasons these drugs are so iffy since the docs don't have all the data to make decisions on. That is why these patients are really guinea pigs in other ways. Shall we talk about diet? So many have resolved cancer by diet. You could have talked to Mariel Hemmingway's ex about that. You never talked about stats about the lives of these people. How about the identical twins where one gets sick and the other one? So wouldn't that lead researchers/doctors to really see what environmental impacts there really are? You quickly dismiss this, which is a big wow. You don't even talk about the biggest thing now which is the microbiome and how that is now the smoking gun on so many diseases and even cancer. How about talking to the famous Alessio Fasano or other equally famous researchers about the link to antibiotics and killing off beneficial microbiome that sets folks up for diseases? How diet impacts this? How big pharma was making way too much from antibiotics to really look for other ways. Now they have stopped making them realizing the huge mistakes they have made with all this and chronic illnesses they have created. Now they are thinking about using beneficial bacteria instead of antibiotics to treat infections. Alessio is saying All diseases begin in the gut and affect the IMMUNE system. This was a hack job if ever there was one with a documentary on a subject so important. Is it any surprise that we haven't moved forward nearly enough on this topic when so many sell out to big pharma, including Burns.

(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

The Emperor's New Clothes - A Disservice to Cancer Paitents

By RJ

from Chicago, IL

Comments about PBS Ken Burns: Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies DVD:

So I'm watching the 6 hour Ken Burns/PBS, "Cancer: Emperor of all Maladies" and I'm bashing my head against the wall because it's so frustrating to watch. This guy Dr. Farber found a chemical in the 1940's that helped leukemia kids survive for a couple months longer. People were amazed, a new children's hospital was built, and innumerable chemicals started getting tested on kids, giving us chemotherapy today.

In the 1960's there were 3 schools of thought on the cause of cancer: viruses (e.g. Epstein-Barr), chemicals from the environment, and genes. All have validity.

Eventually they figure out that every cell in the body is capable of mutating into cancer given the right circumstances. In 1971, Nixon announces during the State of the Union address a "war on cancer". Billions of dollars are dedicated to it in the coming years and everyone thinks progress is being made. A statistician comes around in the 1980's and shows, much to everyone's chagrin, that in fact, no, were are not making much progress on cancer.

They interview like 6 Nobel prize winners for cancer research in the documentary, and every time they understand something new about cancer, immediately they discuss working on a "new chemotherapy treatment".

--> **Food quality, air quality, water quality, are not discussed in this 6 hour documentary on cancer** < -- I kid you not.

The first episode describes how the tobacco industry "brilliantly" clouded the issue on cigarette safety 50 years ago...and then this documentary proceeds to do *the exact same thing*.

They say we have no idea what causes cancer: "It's very complicated", "We can't pin anything down". The epidemiologist interviewed about Love's Canal couldn't produce any concrete link between the 20,000 barrels of toxic waste in the ground and cancer. Seriously?

Its mind numbing. They identified "chemicals" as a possible cause in the 60's, but there is no follow up. Where is the section on toxins causing normal cells to mutate into cancerous ones? Where is the section on clean food (with natural antimutagens) *preventing* cells from mutating?

Not one diet recommendation: "Steer clear of sugar, avoid trans fats, careful with mercury in tuna, watch your red meat intake" - nothing. Its like the entire industry is in denial on food. I would love to know exactly when these doctors stopped believing "we are what we eat".

The medical establishment's approach to and treatment of cancer is completely wrong. Instead of working on prevention through cleaner food and a cleaner environment and researching treatments that compliment the body, they run around like chickens with their heads cut off for the last 40 years looking for crazy chemical drugs to give us.

Horrible disservice of a documentary. Keeping people in the dark on what causes cancer and then basically only presenting the chemotherapy/radiation paradigm as a treatment option? Terrible.

A sad chapter in American history. An unconscionable waste of time, money, and effort spent going down the wrong road.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A hard hitting, historical story

By BG Charlie

from Bowling Green, OH

See all my reviews

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS Ken Burns: Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies DVD:

I was pretty wrung out by the time I watched all of the episodes. There is no candy coating on this presentation; you will be up close and personal with the horrors of cancer. The emphasis is on curing advanced stages of cancer, which is proving again and again to be very difficult. All in all, the message was very unsettling for me.

Displaying reviews 1-5

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