Oncologist Azra Raza: ‘Don’t give up hope. Don’t give in to despair’

Andrew Anthony in The Guardian:

Azra Raza is an oncologist, and professor of medicine and director of the Myelodysplastic Syndrome Center at Columbia University, New York. She was married to Harvey Preisler, another eminent oncologist, who died of lymphoma in 2002. Her new book, The First Cell, argues against the current preoccupations of cancer research and treatment. Instead of trying to destroy the last cancer cell, says Raza, we should invest more money in preventive treatments that enable us to detect the first cancer cell.

What made you decide to become an oncologist?

I have been interested instinctively in natural things since as long as I can remember. As I grew older, I really wanted to study Darwinian evolutionary biology. Then I wanted to study molecular biology. But there was no way for me to study science in Pakistan, where I grew up, so the only entry into science was through medicine, and I went to medical school. Once I had a clinical experience with patients, I knew this was something I would have to dedicate my life to.

More here.