"Breast Beating: one man's odyssey in the search for an understanding of breast cancer, the meaning of life and other easy questions" Anshan publishers, 2010, Short listed for Peoples book prize 2011
Michael Baum is both a pioneer and a visionary in the fight against Breast cancer. In this brutally honest biography, he shares the highs and lows of both the personal and professional battles he has faced in his life which continues to be dedicated to the improvement of the quality and length of lives of his cancer patients.
In this biography, we travel with Baum through the history of breast cancer, interwoven with the influences of his family, friends and Judaism, often clouded by a bittersweet relationship with the British health system.
Baum also gives the reader an insight into the role Holism in medicine and the benefits of a multi-disciplinary approach, from art, literature, mathematics and philosophy, and their contribution to better understanding both disease and treatment. He also discusses the dichotomy of hard-earned progress through dedicated cancer research and the parallel of a dramatic growth in disproven `Alternative Medicine'.
Breast cancer survivors are reminded of the debt of gratitude they owe to both Baum and other scientists who "think outside the box" and are prepared to fight for their conviction. The book is also a testimony to the patients who volunteer for clinical trials, often at great risk, so that the progress in treatments can go forward based on solid research, so that future generations can benefit from their devastating diagnosis.
A riveting and easy to read book about the life of a living legend that I just couldn't put down.
Breast Cancer Survivor
Current position: Professor Emeritus of Surgery and visiting Prof. of Medical Humanities, University College London.
Michael Baum qualified in medicine at Birmingham University medical school in 1960. He held chairs of surgery at Kings College London 1980-1990, the Institute of Cancer Research 1990- 1995 and University College London 1995 -2001. In the past he has been President of the British Oncology Association, the European Breast cancer conference and chairman of the psychosocial committee of the National Cancer Research Institute. He has been awarded the William McGuire prize at San Antonio Texas, the Charles Gross prize in France, the St Gallen prize in Switzerland, the gold medal of the International College of surgeons for his research into the treatment of breast cancer and most recently the gold medal for therapeutics from the worshipful society of apothecaries in London. He established the first clinical trials centres in the UK, was one of the first to challenge the doctrine of radical mastectomy, lead the first trial that demonstrated the potential of tamoxifen to prolong life amongst breast cancer victims and was also the first to describe psychometric instruments to measure quality of life in cancer sufferers. Most recently he has lead the first trial to demonstrate the equivalence of intra-operative single dose of radiotherapy with 6 weeks post-operative treatment. His recently published auto-biography “Breast Beating: One man’s odyssey in the search for an understanding of breast cancer, the meaning of life and other simple questions” http://www.anshan.co.uk/pages/breastReview.html
Married to Judy, three children, Richard, Katie and Suzanne and 9 grandchildren.
Other interests; painting and the history of art; philosophy of science; theatre and modern literature and the history of modern and ancient states of Israel.