Tune In to PBS March 30, March 31, & April 1, 2015
Next week, PBS will air an epic, 3-part, 6-hour-long television event presented by renowned documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. For anyone touched by cancer—directly or indirectly—this is a must-see TV documentary.
This historic film is based on the 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, written by Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD.
Viewers begin by learning about the earliest documented cases of cancer thousands of years ago. The documentary then brings us through the modern-day, all-out war on cancer—and the raging battles in between. Are we making progress? Will we ever be able to think of cancer as a treatable, curable illness? Tune in each night to find out.
Episode 1: Magic Bullets (Monday, March 30, 2015, 9-11 pm ET)
This episode addresses the centuries-long search for a cure for cancer. Central to this theme is Sidney Farber, who introduced chemotherapy in the 1940s and who also paved the way for the war on cancer. Throughout the segment, we learn the story of Olivia Blair, who was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia at 14 months old.
Episode 2: The Blind Men and the Elephant (Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 9-11 pm ET)
The second segment focuses on progress that has resulted from the war on cancer, as well as the new obstacles and challenges patients are facing. Dr. Lori Wilson, a surgical oncologist diagnosed in 2013 with invasive breast cancer in both breasts, shares her personal struggles as she goes through treatment.
Episode 3: Finding the Achilles Heel (Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 9-11 pm ET)
Amidst the vast emotional and physical toll that cancer has taken on so many people throughout history, some scientists believe they have finally cracked the code to cure cancer. Others think we still have a long way to go, as new challenges are presented every day. This episode examines how far we’ve come in this ongoing war. During these riveting 2 hours, we meet Doug Roger, a 60-year-old NASCAR mechanic who has melanoma, and 6-year-old Emily Whitehead, who has leukemia. We follow their stories and learn about their groundbreaking treatments—and how both of their advanced cancers have diminished—enabling them to now live healthy lives.
We will be watching Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies and providing a recap the day after each episode airs. If you’re not able to watch the film—or you are and would like to share your thoughts with us—be sure to visit our blog again next week as we discuss this groundbreaking film.