To Be of Use: My Five Decades as a Cancer Doctor Including the Story of the Conquest of Childhood Leukemia

Now at the end of his rich medical career, Edward Arenson MD CWSP, is sharing the touching and candid stories of his brave young patients as well as paying tribute to the many important and heroic people he worked with and lessons he learned along the way in his new memoir “To Be of Use: My Five Decades as a Cancer Doctor Including the Story of the Conquest of Childhood Leukemia.”

In his new book, Dr. Arenson reflects on his inspiring 50-year journey in medicine including his two years of military service in the Army Medical Corp for which he received the Army Commednation Medal during the Vietnam War and as a cancer doctor in which he was fortunate to be part of the studies which led to the cure of most childhood cancers including leukemia and eventually went on to specialize in adult brain cancer until his retirement. Using humor and wisdom, he presents his insider perspective on the developments of cancer treatment including the successes and not so successful ones to provide readers with a peek into the medical world and fascinating life of an accomplished doctor.

“In 1971 childhood leukemia was the most feared disease in the era of antibiotics, was the most common cancer of childhood, and was 100% fatal,” said Dr. Arenson. “It was trying times for those like me who had chosen the field of pediatric oncology, and, in the absence of effective treatment, we had little to offer but our good intentions. Little did we know, however, that we were on the cusp of a breakthrough.”

Through the observations made by Dr. Arenson and his colleagues, they found that radiation given to the brain of the patient provided children with a longer period of remission than chemotherapy treatment alone and were ultimately able to call them “cured.” His book provides further details on this major medical development along with numerous other advances Dr. Arenson consulted on during his remarkable career.

“…Not only an intriguing memoir of a phenomenal life but is an intensely detailed work, often offering in-depth medical detailing of the disease and treatment. Moreover, the author writes in a heartfelt, lucid, and authoritative voice wielding wholly intelligent insights and pragmatic life lessons.” – Lisa Brown-Gilbert for the Pacific Book Review

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