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Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies Film To Air On PBS

“I’m willing to go on, but before I go on, I need to know what it is I’m battling.”
—Patient with advanced abdominal cancer

What could have been a simple answer for oncologist Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, instead inspired him to better understand the disease he treats. Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer recalls, “When I really thought about her question, I realized I couldn’t answer her question personally. And not only that, I couldn’t point her to a book, magazine, or a website that would answer that question.”

His Pulitzer Prize-winning book has now been adapted by Emmy Award winner and Oscar nominee, Executive Producer Ken Burns into a three-day, six-hour major television event to air on PBS on March 30, 31, and April 1 at 9:00pm.

The film, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, breaks up and explores cancer in three parts: past, present, and future.

  • In the past, the search for a “cure” for cancer has been an epic human effort consisting of centuries of research involving scientists from all over the world.
  • The concept of the present often has a newfound meaning and appreciation for both patients and caregivers. They are forced to dig deeper into themselves and the relationships around them to navigate their new journey with cancer.
  • The future of cancer research has never been so optimistic. Scientific breakthroughs in the past couple decades have brought finding the cure within reach.

The creators of the film include:

Each bring their own perspective to the project culminating in a film that examines cancer with a “cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective and a biographer’s passion.”

For more information about the film, visit or view the trailer below.

Zack Azar is a sponsored contributor to Mesothelioma Help Now.