“One must never forget that one dies not from disease, but from life,” wrote the philosopher Michel de Montaigne. Five centuries later, cancer surgeon Casper van Eijck arrives at the same conclusion: “You get cancer because you’re alive.” This film follows Van Eijck as he goes about his daily tasks at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam. We also meet a cell biologist, a night nurse, a pediatric oncologist and a pathologist. Examining a culture of rapidly multiplying cancer cells, the biologist sighs, “That you can reveal so much, but know so little about what’s going on.” We owe progress in medical science exclusively to unremitting human curiosity and attentiveness; the fundamentals have changed little since Hippocrates. Then as now, doctors relied on human techniques of looking, feeling and cutting. We also see patients and parents of sick children respond bravely to the devastating news doctors so often have to give. Perhaps mice will provide the answer to the question of why cells divide uncontrollably, because this animal shares 80% of its genes with humans.