The making of a cancer doctor

The Atlantic, May 15, 2012

Dr. Mark A. Lewis' inclination for helping others was passed down to him through the generations before him. His father died of lung cancer, the result not of smoking, but of the rare mutation that underlies familial tumor syndrome, in the Lewises' case, Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 1 (MEN 1). Lewis' own MEN 1 status was only revealed in his first year of oncology residency, as were the tumors already growing in his pancreas, where they still reside today, dormant, for now. Realizing that he and his father shared this familial form of cancer made his father's struggles make more sense in retrospect, and it continues to shape his relationships with medicine.


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