Ken Burns: Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies DVD & Blu-ray

$34.99 $19.99
Item #: WA7752
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 ... More
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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.

Ken Burns: The Story of Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies

The story of the war on cancer spans centuries and continents. It is a scientific story, but also a deeply human one: of doctors, researchers, and especially patients who - through courage, suffering, and occasional hubris - pushed the boundaries of knowledge. These people helped define cancer as the scourge of the modern age, and then mobilized the federal government and private industry to wage an all-out campaign against it - a campaign we are still fighting.

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Siddhartha Mukherjee, tells the complete story of cancer, from its first description in an ancient Egyptian scroll to the gleaming laboratories of modern research institutions. At six hours, the film interweaves a sweeping historical narrative; with intimate stories about contemporary patients; and an investigation into the latest scientific breakthroughs that may have brought us, at long last, to the brink of lasting cures.

Special Features include…
- Additional Scenes

This program contains mature subject matter which may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.

Producer: Ken Burns, Barak Goodman
Executive Producer: Ken Burns
Production Company: Laura Ziskin Pictures, Inc.; Ark Media Productions; WETA; Florentine Films
Production Year: 2015
Copyright Year: 2015
Rating: TV-14
Narrator: Edward Herrmann
Writers: Barak Goodman, Ken Burns, Geoffrey Ward, David Blistein
Number of Discs: 3
Length: 360 minutes
Subtitled: Y
Subtitle Languages: English (SDH)
DVI: Y
Audio Format: Stereo
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
Content Warning: Viewer Discretion Advised.

18 Reviews
M
Me
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
04/09/22
Inspiring history of our fight against a killer
Review by Me on 04/09/22 review stating Inspiring history of our fight against a killer
This documentary is wonderfully narrated and illustrated. The human and emotional side compels us all to think about this group of diseases. We marvel at the advances made during our lifetime and are inspired by those fighting the ongoing fight. This should be mandatory watching for all.
C
Caretaker2
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
04/09/22
Great DVD
Review by Caretaker2 on 04/09/22 review stating Great 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.
C
Caretaker99
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
04/09/22
Great Documentary
Review by Caretaker99 on 04/09/22 review stating Great Documentary
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.
R
Rj
Anonymous User
2.0 star rating
08/03/21
The Emperors New Clothes - A Disservice to Cancer Paitents
Review by Rj on 08/03/21 review stating The Emperors New Clothes - A Disservice to Cancer Paitents
So Im watching the 6 hour Ken Burns/PBS, Cancer: Emperor of all Maladies and Im bashing my head against the wall because its so frustrating to watch. This guy Dr. Farber found a chemical in the 1940s that helped leukemia kids survive for a couple months longer. People were amazed, a new childrens hospital was built, and innumerable chemicals started getting tested on kids, giving us chemotherapy today. In the 1960s 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 1980s and shows, much to everyones 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: Its very complicated, We cant pin anything down. The epidemiologist interviewed about Loves Canal couldnt 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 60s, 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 establishments 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.
B
Bg C.
Anonymous User
4.0 star rating
08/03/21
A hard hitting, historical story
Review by Bg C. on 08/03/21 review stating A hard hitting, historical story
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.
K
Kapik
Anonymous User
4.0 star rating
06/15/21
Great Story of Cancer
Review by Kapik on 06/15/21 review stating Great Story of Cancer
Great educational DVD that will inspire doctors, researchers and patients
Z
Zanne
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
06/15/21
Excellent presentation of the history of cancer treatments
Review by Zanne on 06/15/21 review stating Excellent presentation of the history of cancer treatments
I was spell-bound watching this presentation of cancer and the struggles modern day doctors and researchers have confronted in the treatment of various forms of cancer. My 5 year old grandson was diagnosed with leukemia, a disease that did not afflict anyone on either side of parents families. Whatever the cause, it was often heart-breaking to watch my brave little grandson subjected to grueling chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and then somtimes suffer a relapse! Thankfully, my grandson is now 12 years old and cancer-free since two years. It would have been helpful for friends and family members to have seen Ken Burns documentary to understand why cures in cancer treatments are so difficult to achieve, given the complexity of the various forms of cancer that afflict so many individuals.
T
Trillium
Anonymous User
1.0 star rating
04/06/21
This was really disappointing, I expected better from Burns
Review by Trillium on 04/06/21 review stating This was really disappointing, I expected better from Burns
I have always like Burns 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 dont 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 dont 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 Hemmingways 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 wouldnt that lead researchers/doctors to really see what environmental impacts there really are? You quickly dismiss this, which is a big wow. You dont 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 havent moved forward nearly enough on this topic when so many sell out to big pharma, including Burns.
A
Angie Q.
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
Content question
Review by Angie Q. on 07/17/20 review stating Content question
Can anyone tell me whether the DVD for purchase includes the season one episodes? Magic Bullets, The Blind Men and the Elephant and Finding the Achilles Heel)
D
Diane
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
A Compliment To The Book
Review by Diane on 07/17/20 review stating A Compliment To The Book
Well done very educational. A compliment to the book. The book needs to be read as well as seeing the dvd .
D
Doug P.
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
cancer: the emperor of all maladies
Review by Doug P. on 07/17/20 review stating cancer: the emperor of all maladies
I enjoyed the dvd. it was very informative and thought provoking. it showed the struggles faced by 21 century medicine and the heart ache experienced by some with cancer of any form or those impacted by the disease by just knowing someone with cancer. it was a good purchase and a dvd that I will watch again. thank you, doug pratt phone: 830-708-5096 117 w. lilly lane Arlington, tx. 76010
J
Jd
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
Essential Viewing
Review by Jd on 07/17/20 review stating Essential Viewing
Powerful, wrenching, eye-opening. If cancer has touched your life in any way, you owe yourself every eye-opening minute of this documentarys nearly six hours. It could make you, too, one of the new resistance fighters against this dread disease.
R
Rn
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
Cancer Film
Review by Rn on 07/17/20 review stating Cancer Film
Im an RN working for 4 years in Oncology in a chemo clinic. Very interesting to know the history and how far weve come.
G
Gbert14
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
Most excellent
Review by Gbert14 on 07/17/20 review stating Most excellent
Extremely informative, both on a social and scientific level. They follow 2 patients in each episode which is important, and gives the series a real-feel. A must-watch.
R
Radiation S.
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
Impeccable Depiction of Cancer
Review by Radiation S. on 07/17/20 review stating Impeccable Depiction of Cancer
This film is captivating in every sense of the word. The amount of accurate detail and relevant information is perfect in explaining the truth behind cancer. It follows a perfect chronological order of events giving us a great history behind what we know today about the disease. We learn everything we can about whats been done, whats happening now and whats to come in the future in terms of diagnosis, treatment and follow up care. I would definitely recommend this documentary to anyone who is studying medicine, is going through or is post treatment, or anyone who is generally interested in the medical field. Cancer has become a battle that we are constantly learning to fight and this film brings to light everything we need to know about it. One of the best documentaries I have ever seen by far.
T
Tina
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
Excellent historical review of cancer and efforts to cure it
Review by Tina on 07/17/20 review stating Excellent historical review of cancer and efforts to cure it
My husband and I found this DVD to be very informative concerning the history of cancer--learning of its origins, experiments in treatment and advancements through more research.
T
Ted
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
Extremely Well-told History of Cancer
Review by Ted on 07/17/20 review stating 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 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 whos life or family or friends have been touched by cancer.
A
Annie B.
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
Mothers Day Gift for my MD Sister!
Review by Annie B. on 07/17/20 review stating Mothers Day Gift for my MD Sister!
Just the word cancer is scary. Watching this series has got me talking more openly with my neighbors about their struggles with cancer and their family members who are struggling with cancer. Each time I watch this I learn more. I did read the book but this DVD set makes me want to reread the book now.

3 out of 4 stars -Video Librarian, July/August 2015



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