Science is Sexy: “The Cure for Cancer”

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By Jimmy Rogers (@me)
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

Yes, we at Geeks are Sexy have discovered the cure for cancer! And for this, we ask for nothing more in return than your eternal gratitude.

Ok, ok, so there are two small problems in the first sentence of this post.  First of all, we’re a blog, not a well funded group of scientists (well actually I’m a scientist, but that’s another matter).  Second, and more importantly, the hypothetical “cure for cancer” that is often tossed about in conversation is a misleading concept.  Let’s explore this second point a little further.

The other day I read a great webcomic about the day to day life of a cancer researcher and I realized that a huge number of people still have no idea what cancer is or how we might combat it.  To the general public, cancer is a dark cloud that affects the old and those exposed to cancer-causing chemicals.  It is seen as a disease that afflicts humans without warning or consideration for the human condition.

This view, while not necessarily wrong, has lead to the concept of a single “cure for cancer,” much like that found in I Am Legend (it causes the zombies, if you’ve forgotten).  Unlike other afflictions, cancer is not the result of a foreign invader or an injury.  Instead, it is the failure of the body’s natural growth controls.

Anaphase in MitosisMost body cells will grow and replicate, but only up to a certain point.  With each replication (in a process called mitosis, depicted on the right), their genomes grow shorter until they reach a point where replication can no longer occur.  There are instances where the DNA can be extended repeatedly and the cell can essentially be “immortalized.”  Unfortunately, immortality in the world of cell biology is known as cancer.

Beyond just the “first steps” of cancer, the actual disease experienced by millions every year surfaces after a cancerous cell has multiplied and begun to essentially form a new organ, a tumor.  The tumor will redirect blood and nutrients toward itself and eventually colonize new areas of the body (a stage called metastasis).

The Elements of Cancer

So what can we do to “cure” cancer?  Well essentially cancer forming cells occur naturally in the body of every human over the course of his or her lifetime.  Normally these cells either recognize the error and “commit suicide” (apoptosis) or the immune system notices them and neutralizes them.  It is only in the rare instance of a mutation that allows a cell to replicate endlessly AND evade the immune system that cancer can develop.  Those seeking to treat the disease can either target cells that are rapidly dividing (this is the strategy behind chemotherapy) or remove tumors once they become large enough to target surgically.

Something that the aforementioned webcomic discusses is the plight of the molecular biologists researching cancer.  There is not just one type of cancer, but instead there are many (The National Cancer Institute’s general list of cancers will give you some idea, but the number is in the hundreds).  Every normal body cell can become cancerous and each of those cells has a different interaction with the body.  Some cancers have already been cured while others remain a challenge to obtain funding for.  Personally, as a young biologist, I’ve thought about taking my new career toward cancer research, and believe me, it’s fairly daunting.  Cancer’s very definition as a complex regulatory disease means there will be no simple solutions and few big breakthroughs.  Progress has been made, but only through many years of painstaking experimentation, both in and out of the lab.

I hope those of you not in the biological sciences have gotten a little better understanding of cancer than you had when you began reading this article.  If we get good feedback we hope to make “Science is Sexy” a regular feature on GaS that will inform, entertain, and even occasionally editorialize in regards to a broad array of science topics.  I am a PhD student in Microbiology (starting next semester), so topics in the life sciences will probably be more common, but hopefully we can branch out into other fields as well.  Please, please, please leave your thoughts about this article and ideas for future articles in the comments section below!

Other installment of the “Science is Sexy” series:

[Header picture source: Flickr | Mitosis image is public domain, found on the Mitosis Wikipedia article | The Elements of Cancer image is an exerpt from PhD’s Comic about Cancer]





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304 Responses to Science is Sexy: “The Cure for Cancer”

    • Hello, I just finished reading your article on the cure for cancer.. and thought I might drop a few of my own lines.

      My dad was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphatic Cancer, around 5 years ago. It is currently a progressive, non-curable form of cancer that infects the lymph-node system.

      From what I know about this cancer, it is well-spread through most of his body, the doctors had given my dad an expiration date of around 7-14 years after his diagnosis.

      My dad has told me he's been smoking for 35 years, heavily – often times (1, 2) packs of cigarettes a day.

      This cancer, being progressive – has spread through many parts of his body and the doctor's have given it a numbered state of 3 out of 5, numerologically ' 5 being the worst.

      Over the course of the last 5 years I have not noticed a distinct change / affection in the man's habits (He still smokes?Wtf) and he enjoys riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle.

      It is interesting to note that the doctor's status updates on his current condition have not worsened. From what I know of my father, I still believe he has the power to overcome and endure through this cancerous lifetime.

    • Great article. Where I come from Cancer is the bogey man and everyone is quietly terrified. What you said perhaps makes it a bit more scarier seeing as the scale of the problem is more vast than I originally thought. However your explanation and the web comic made me feel a bit better. Thank you for this informative and direct article. Good luck with getting a permanent column.

    • Hello, I just finished reading your article on the cure for cancer.. and thought I might drop a few of my own lines.

      My dad was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphatic Cancer, around 5 years ago. It is currently a progressive, non-curable form of cancer that infects the lymph-node system.

      From what I know about this cancer, it is well-spread through most of his body, the doctors had given my dad an expiration date of around 7-14 years after his diagnosis.

      My dad has told me he’s been smoking for 35 years, heavily – often times (1, 2) packs of cigarettes a day.

      This cancer, being progressive – has spread through many parts of his body and the doctor’s have given it a numbered state of 3 out of 5, numerologically ‘ 5 being the worst.

      Over the course of the last 5 years I have not noticed a distinct change / affection in the man’s habits (He still smokes?Wtf) and he enjoys riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle.

      It is interesting to note that the doctor’s status updates on his current condition have not worsened. From what I know of my father, I still believe he has the power to overcome and endure through this cancerous lifetime.

    • Great article. Where I come from Cancer is the bogey man and everyone is quietly terrified. What you said perhaps makes it a bit more scarier seeing as the scale of the problem is more vast than I originally thought. However your explanation and the web comic made me feel a bit better. Thank you for this informative and direct article. Good luck with getting a permanent column.

  1. Very interesting stuff! As a self-professed geek with zero science background but a healthy amount of curiosity, I'm definitely in favor of more posts like this!

  2. Very interesting stuff! As a self-professed geek with zero science background but a healthy amount of curiosity, I’m definitely in favor of more posts like this!

  3. I'm always a fan of including more science on popular blogs. Of course, as a biologist working on my master's, I'm probably a little biased :)

  4. I’m always a fan of including more science on popular blogs. Of course, as a biologist working on my master’s, I’m probably a little biased :)

  5. Wow, thanks for all the support! Yan (guy who runs the site) suggested to me that I try out some science articles and it looks like our first one went over well. And as Lexigeek mentions, we're really going to aim at the "science-interested" crowd and not (as much) the "science-educated" crowd. If you ARE an expert do feel free to expound on any points I may have muddled.

    By the way, I'm just coming back from a hiatus of about 4 months so it's nice to hear such comments. :)

  6. Wow, thanks for all the support! Yan (guy who runs the site) suggested to me that I try out some science articles and it looks like our first one went over well. And as Lexigeek mentions, we’re really going to aim at the “science-interested” crowd and not (as much) the “science-educated” crowd. If you ARE an expert do feel free to expound on any points I may have muddled.

    By the way, I’m just coming back from a hiatus of about 4 months so it’s nice to hear such comments. :)

  7. Great article! You really illustrated this terrible affliction incredibly well by making the science behind it accessible to the layman.

    Hopefully the start of what I hope will be a great new regular feature which I'll look forward too each time :D

    Thank you!

  8. Great article! You really illustrated this terrible affliction incredibly well by making the science behind it accessible to the layman.

    Hopefully the start of what I hope will be a great new regular feature which I’ll look forward too each time :D

    Thank you!

  9. Thanks for the info! I love to learn and discover new things all the time so i am totally into the idea of a GaS section devoted to more Science.

  10. Thanks for the info! I love to learn and discover new things all the time so i am totally into the idea of a GaS section devoted to more Science.

  11. They forget to mention all the "cures" that work flawlessly in the lab and then don't work in the actual human body. The frustration must be maddening.

    Thanks for the post and the cartoon. Every little bit helps.

  12. They forget to mention all the “cures” that work flawlessly in the lab and then don’t work in the actual human body. The frustration must be maddening.

    Thanks for the post and the cartoon. Every little bit helps.

  13. As a medical librarian, I really appreciate you finding ways to disseminate information that people are better off knowing. Too many make decisions (i.e. funding) based on oversimplifications. While the truth may not be as sexy or as easy, it's a lot more interesting. Thanks for putting it out there.

  14. As a medical librarian, I really appreciate you finding ways to disseminate information that people are better off knowing. Too many make decisions (i.e. funding) based on oversimplifications. While the truth may not be as sexy or as easy, it’s a lot more interesting. Thanks for putting it out there.

  15. Definitely the most interesting article I have ever read about a subject that I would usually rather not think about. I am in favour of articles like this but I think they could easily slip across the border away from entertainment. If you keep that in mind though you should be able to watch out for the danger.

  16. Definitely the most interesting article I have ever read about a subject that I would usually rather not think about. I am in favour of articles like this but I think they could easily slip across the border away from entertainment. If you keep that in mind though you should be able to watch out for the danger.

  17. As the father with a child who got Cancer (Neuroblastoma) when he was two (and thank God he is now 5) I totally understand that Cancer does not just affect the old and those exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. The thing is, since (you are dead on) that is the perception in general (plus the number of children vs adults with cancer #s) the FUNDING is also only directed towards curing the Cancers of adults not children (most major pharmaceuticals want to fund where the payback will be greater, adults, where there are more with the disease). Most large fund raising organizations that fund all cancer research will roll out the little sick kids at fund raising time, but when it's time to distribute the dollars most of it goes for adult cancer research. That's why a lot of folks now work very hard to support organizations which fund only childhood cancer research.

    Your article was very interesting thank you and your explanation was very good.

  18. As the father with a child who got Cancer (Neuroblastoma) when he was two (and thank God he is now 5) I totally understand that Cancer does not just affect the old and those exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. The thing is, since (you are dead on) that is the perception in general (plus the number of children vs adults with cancer #s) the FUNDING is also only directed towards curing the Cancers of adults not children (most major pharmaceuticals want to fund where the payback will be greater, adults, where there are more with the disease). Most large fund raising organizations that fund all cancer research will roll out the little sick kids at fund raising time, but when it’s time to distribute the dollars most of it goes for adult cancer research. That’s why a lot of folks now work very hard to support organizations which fund only childhood cancer research.
    Your article was very interesting thank you and your explanation was very good.

  19. Thank you so much for the interesting post. I will admit I have known the word cancer all my life, but now I have an understanding of it. Please keep articles like this one coming. There are a plethora of interesting topics to choose from. In general science you can write about atomic research, alternate renewable energies, and/or physics. In economic sciences some topics could include how inflation works, the federal reserve, and/or compounding interest rates. There are a lot of amazing things to discuss in the world of science outside of our normal tech stuff. Plus, it's good to know where you can from to understand where you're going. Keep up the great work, I look forward to future posts.

  20. Thank you so much for the interesting post. I will admit I have known the word cancer all my life, but now I have an understanding of it. Please keep articles like this one coming. There are a plethora of interesting topics to choose from. In general science you can write about atomic research, alternate renewable energies, and/or physics. In economic sciences some topics could include how inflation works, the federal reserve, and/or compounding interest rates. There are a lot of amazing things to discuss in the world of science outside of our normal tech stuff. Plus, it’s good to know where you can from to understand where you’re going. Keep up the great work, I look forward to future posts.

  21. Very, very interesting, in light of the fact my wife died of ovarian cancer. Looking back on her treatment, the extensive surgery and the whole chemo therapy process seemed totally senseless in light of the presentation made here. She suffered needlessly.

    • First of all, to those who have lost loved ones, I sympathize with you. To be clear, I don't mean to imply that our current treatments are needless or that they don't work. Chemotherapy, as tough to deal with as it is, is based on very sound science. The chemicals target only cells that are dividing. Cancer cells divide more rapidly than almost any other kind of cell, so the chemicals largely affect the cancer and (hopefully) destroy only a limited number of regular cells. Surgery on tumors is also a very effective way of "getting it all out," especially when the cancer is localized to one area.

      I should mention that my father is a survivor of prostate cancer and after having a surgical procedure, he is cancer free for many years now. The doctors who do this work have a great deal of knowledge at their disposal.

      In regards to a cure for cancer, I'm really referring to a "pill" or something that can just up and cure the disease. Believe it or not we are not only working on this but some cancers have been cured with just such a method. It isn't that cancer research is going nowhere, it's just a very daunting task and people should have a good reference frame when thinking about the disease.

      • Dear Jimmy

        What an interesting post,stimulating a thoughtful number of responses. As you point out chemo and surgery have their place in tackling this complex disease…

        …and so do we: In my area, bowel cancer, as soon as you experience symptoms it's a very good idea to go and see the doctor. These include: bleeding from the bum, a persisent change in bowel habits,abdominal pain and unusual fatigue. One contributory factor to why bowel cancer takes so many lives each year (being the 2nd biggest cancer killer), is that people are reluctant to seek help in the bottom area – it's still a little bit taboo. So we are intending on producing a little book of bum jokes, ideal for the man (or woman) on the loo, which is a light hearted diversion that contains a serious message on checking out your symptoms. Bowel cancer is very curable if caught on time but very dangerous if it has spread (matastisised). We hope that subscibers to your site might be able to submit some bum humour to contribute to the book when the time is right?

      • Dear Jimmy,

        Unfortunately, I believe you have erroneously leaned towards a pharmacological response when a natural solution always has been, and always will be, the only really effective "cure" for any disease. Especially cancer.

        Vitamin D is now effectively proven to prevent over three quarters of all types of cancer. We can make our own by baring our skin to the radiation from the sun for half to one hour daily. Chemo and radiation therapy, however, have been well documented to actually be a known causative (carcinogenic) agent in producing cancer (the very thing it is being used to "treat", not cure). Cancerous growths is one of the most likely 'side-effects', and in many cases offers no prolongation of life but can drastically reduce quality of life in the final months or years.

        The absolute worst thing about cancer is actually KNOWING YOU HAVE IT! Most people have tumours come and go their whole lives without ever knowing about them and not submitting to dangerous treatments and unnecessary butchering – the most effective way of really kick-starting mastitis, and producing even a reverse placebo-effect. In other words, convince yourself you have a disease, and sure enough, you will have it.

        It's not hard to conclude that the rare occasions where chemotherapy works, all we are really seeing is the placebo effect overcoming the odds. Most likely, however, it was all the other lifestyle changes which lead to remission. Do some research, look up Vitamin D and all the latest facts regarding it.

        All the best to all of you.

  22. Very, very interesting, in light of the fact my wife died of ovarian cancer. Looking back on her treatment, the extensive surgery and the whole chemo therapy process seemed totally senseless in light of the presentation made here. She suffered needlessly.

    • First of all, to those who have lost loved ones, I sympathize with you. To be clear, I don’t mean to imply that our current treatments are needless or that they don’t work. Chemotherapy, as tough to deal with as it is, is based on very sound science. The chemicals target only cells that are dividing. Cancer cells divide more rapidly than almost any other kind of cell, so the chemicals largely affect the cancer and (hopefully) destroy only a limited number of regular cells. Surgery on tumors is also a very effective way of “getting it all out,” especially when the cancer is localized to one area.

      I should mention that my father is a survivor of prostate cancer and after having a surgical procedure, he is cancer free for many years now. The doctors who do this work have a great deal of knowledge at their disposal.

      In regards to a cure for cancer, I’m really referring to a “pill” or something that can just up and cure the disease. Believe it or not we are not only working on this but some cancers have been cured with just such a method. It isn’t that cancer research is going nowhere, it’s just a very daunting task and people should have a good reference frame when thinking about the disease.

  23. I would definitely like to see more articles on science – I may not be a scientist, but being a geek makes me curious about everything!

  24. I would definitely like to see more articles on science – I may not be a scientist, but being a geek makes me curious about everything!

  25. This was a great article. It brings an awareness and a basic understanding of a complex subject.

    Please make more articles like this.

  26. This was a great article. It brings an awareness and a basic understanding of a complex subject.

    Please make more articles like this.

  27. THANKS for the excellent article,

    i had basic knowledge on cancer, but you clarified it with more details and it's sweet & simple to understand

    I love Science related to Astronomy & Health, Cancer is one topic that i follow all the time, but 2 years ago i stumbled on one that's really interesting, instead of using Chemotherapy which also destroys good cells, this new therapy would only target cancer cells and for any type of cancer, it's done with Radio Waves & Nanotechnology, just type John Kanzius on google or youtube, you will be amazed …

    Keep up the good work.

  28. THANKS for the excellent article,

    i had basic knowledge on cancer, but you clarified it with more details and it’s sweet & simple to understand

    I love Science related to Astronomy & Health, Cancer is one topic that i follow all the time, but 2 years ago i stumbled on one that’s really interesting, instead of using Chemotherapy which also destroys good cells, this new therapy would only target cancer cells and for any type of cancer, it’s done with Radio Waves & Nanotechnology, just type John Kanzius on google or youtube, you will be amazed …

    Keep up the good work.

  29. Wow! Thanks for the simplified, yet highly informative, article. I look forward for more Science is Sexy.

  30. Wow! Thanks for the simplified, yet highly informative, article. I look forward for more Science is Sexy.

  31. Science fascinates me but I have low retention of data,

    So I prefer INFO to be CONCISE and INTERESTING,

    How I wish to be Scientist But M POOORRRRRRRR hahahah

    Anyhow Peace & Happiness to u all

  32. Science fascinates me but I have low retention of data,
    So I prefer INFO to be CONCISE and INTERESTING,

    How I wish to be Scientist But M POOORRRRRRRR hahahah

    Anyhow Peace & Happiness to u all

  33. Science fascinates me but I have low retention of data,
    So I prefer INFO to be CONCISE and INTERESTING,

    How I wish to be Scientist But M POOORRRRRRRR hahahah

    Anyhow Peace & Happiness to u all

  34. Jimmy, thank you for writing this. Clarification is always a good thing, no matter the topic. This one really hit home though. I look forward to seeing more science articles like this in the future!

  35. Jimmy, thank you for writing this. Clarification is always a good thing, no matter the topic. This one really hit home though. I look forward to seeing more science articles like this in the future!

  36. They have already found many things that can increase your chances of getting cancer and have also found that eating fruits and vegetables can help your body to fight cancer.

    • The cure to cancer is through food — fruits, vegetables, and nuts — raw. Unfortunately, our culture is focused around eating milk products and decayed flesh (I am trying to become more vegetarian — I eat the flesh too, yuck) and it is difficult to change.

      Check out Norman Walker's simple to read books on living to old age (Norwalk Press in Prescott, AZ). I just spoke to him personally a month ago — and he said to use "Ultimate Meal" powdered shake for 2 meals a day and eat one meal with that — and you are good.

      The reason I say this is — Norman Wardhaugh Walker was born in 1876. Today is June 2009. I did not believe it was possible to meet someone is over 100 years old (133 to be closer) but look at the picture on the "Become Younger" book and the photo of the elderly man is the guy I talked to on my way into a Wells Fargo bank.

      I am still in shock myself.

      This man has the answer to living — ignore society and eat correctly.

      Strong man.

      • If you really believe that you spoke to Dr. Walker, you are either gifted with the ability to speak to the dead, or kidding yourself. All respectable documentation on the expert you are citing indicate that he died in 1985 at the age of 99.

        Always a good idea to check your sources.

  37. They have already found many things that can increase your chances of getting cancer and have also found that eating fruits and vegetables can help your body to fight cancer.

    • The cure to cancer is through food — fruits, vegetables, and nuts — raw. Unfortunately, our culture is focused around eating milk products and decayed flesh (I am trying to become more vegetarian — I eat the flesh too, yuck) and it is difficult to change.

      Check out Norman Walker’s simple to read books on living to old age (Norwalk Press in Prescott, AZ). I just spoke to him personally a month ago — and he said to use “Ultimate Meal” powdered shake for 2 meals a day and eat one meal with that — and you are good.

      The reason I say this is — Norman Wardhaugh Walker was born in 1876. Today is June 2009. I did not believe it was possible to meet someone is over 100 years old (133 to be closer) but look at the picture on the “Become Younger” book and the photo of the elderly man is the guy I talked to on my way into a Wells Fargo bank.

      I am still in shock myself.

      This man has the answer to living — ignore society and eat correctly.

      Strong man.

      • If you really believe that you spoke to Dr. Walker, you are either gifted with the ability to speak to the dead, or kidding yourself. All respectable documentation on the expert you are citing indicate that he died in 1985 at the age of 99.

        Always a good idea to check your sources.

  38. Love the article. I read PHDcomics and was psyched to see it referenced. I am a scientist myself, so I obviously support more "Science is Sexy" articles!!

  39. Love the article. I read PHDcomics and was psyched to see it referenced. I am a scientist myself, so I obviously support more “Science is Sexy” articles!!

  40. It's a great article, I understood more about cancer but you shouldn't have named the article the cure for cancer

  41. It’s a great article, I understood more about cancer but you shouldn’t have named the article the cure for cancer

  42. I'm in the biological sciences, but I still find it a great article for everyone! Even though information about several diseases is easier to be achieved these days, people still are confused or misinterpreting things. Great way to clarify (=

  43. I’m in the biological sciences, but I still find it a great article for everyone! Even though information about several diseases is easier to be achieved these days, people still are confused or misinterpreting things. Great way to clarify (=

  44. Thumbs up to this article- I nice way to make sense of a complicated issue (made more so by all the media surrounding it and the less informed stuff that ends up being read by lots of people).

  45. Thumbs up to this article- I nice way to make sense of a complicated issue (made more so by all the media surrounding it and the less informed stuff that ends up being read by lots of people).

  46. In 1931 Otto Warburg won a Noble prize, he said that we completely understand cancer and it is easy and inexpensive to prevent. It is fermentation instead of respiration of cells. Can't happen in well oxygenated environments – hence NO heart cancer.

    Laetrile/B17/Apricot kernels DOES cure and prevent cancer, this is long proven and understood.

    Repeating the malarkey of the National Cancer Institute or any other of the corporate liars isn't being a "geek", it is called being a "shill".

    • Oh Deepthinker…where to begin….

      First of all, no matter what Otto Warburg said in 1931, he certainly didn't understand cancer the way we do today. In fact our understanding of molecular genetics has only been strong enough in the last few decades to really get a grasp on the mechanics of oncogenesis. Also, his statement is a symptom of the time…before we understood that "cancer" is not really a thing unto itself but a way we describe a phenomenon.

      I'm not familiar with your wonder drug, but even if it can cure/prevent a certain kind of cancer, it probably has a limited range. We have long given up trying to find a single drug to fight all the different kinds of cancer (in fact I think someone wrote an article above these comments about JUST THAT FACT).

      One more thing to remember, just because you've won the Nobel prize, it doesn't make you any more or less accountable than the next scientist. We recognize our greatest achievers with the Nobel, but we don't (and most winners would probably agree with this) take their positions as something absolute. Especially if that position is almost a century old…

  47. In 1931 Otto Warburg won a Noble prize, he said that we completely understand cancer and it is easy and inexpensive to prevent. It is fermentation instead of respiration of cells. Can’t happen in well oxygenated environments – hence NO heart cancer.

    Laetrile/B17/Apricot kernels DOES cure and prevent cancer, this is long proven and understood.

    Repeating the malarkey of the National Cancer Institute or any other of the corporate liars isn’t being a “geek”, it is called being a “shill”.

    • Oh Deepthinker…where to begin….

      First of all, no matter what Otto Warburg said in 1931, he certainly didn’t understand cancer the way we do today. In fact our understanding of molecular genetics has only been strong enough in the last few decades to really get a grasp on the mechanics of oncogenesis. Also, his statement is a symptom of the time…before we understood that “cancer” is not really a thing unto itself but a way we describe a phenomenon.

      I’m not familiar with your wonder drug, but even if it can cure/prevent a certain kind of cancer, it probably has a limited range. We have long given up trying to find a single drug to fight all the different kinds of cancer (in fact I think someone wrote an article above these comments about JUST THAT FACT).

      One more thing to remember, just because you’ve won the Nobel prize, it doesn’t make you any more or less accountable than the next scientist. We recognize our greatest achievers with the Nobel, but we don’t (and most winners would probably agree with this) take their positions as something absolute. Especially if that position is almost a century old…

  48. Wow very well done! THis was a very well written and informative article explaining a common misconception about cancer. I hope to see more in the future!

  49. Wow very well done! THis was a very well written and informative article explaining a common misconception about cancer. I hope to see more in the future!

  50. If you really want to be a sexy geek get yourself and your PC's or Mac's to the World Community Grid – there you really can search for cures and treatments for Cancer or indeed HIV/Aids, Malaria, Muscular Dystrophy.

    In the geekiest manner possible Grid Computing using BOINC

    461,540 other geeks have already contributed 253,140 years of their PC's time to this project which launched 16th November 2004.

    Now if that's not something a sexy geek should be doing I don't know what is

    Hey we even support Linux as well as other less Geeky OS's

    Make it a great day

    Dave

  51. If you really want to be a sexy geek get yourself and your PC’s or Mac’s to the World Community Grid – there you really can search for cures and treatments for Cancer or indeed HIV/Aids, Malaria, Muscular Dystrophy.

    In the geekiest manner possible Grid Computing using BOINC

    461,540 other geeks have already contributed 253,140 years of their PC’s time to this project which launched 16th November 2004.

    Now if that’s not something a sexy geek should be doing I don’t know what is

    Hey we even support Linux as well as other less Geeky OS’s

    Make it a great day

    Dave

  52. I like the idea. And in addition, I'd personally like to see informative blogs on nutrition, fitness and general body maintenance.

    P.S. some of the less sexy geeks resembling the Simpson's Comic Book Guy might benefit from this info.

  53. I like the idea. And in addition, I’d personally like to see informative blogs on nutrition, fitness and general body maintenance.

    P.S. some of the less sexy geeks resembling the Simpson’s Comic Book Guy might benefit from this info.

  54. Hey, I just want to thank everybody who's laid down a nice comment over the last few months! It's kind of an old article at this point, but it's nice to know that people are still seeing it and enjoying my little "lecture" on cancer.

  55. Hey, I just want to thank everybody who’s laid down a nice comment over the last few months! It’s kind of an old article at this point, but it’s nice to know that people are still seeing it and enjoying my little “lecture” on cancer.

  56. Nanotechnology will be able to cure cancer in the future, don't worry. It doesn't matter how many types of cancer there are, if you can remove the cells it's all good. Currently there has been quite some succes with curing breast & lung cancer by using tiny nanobee's who inject a substance that kills the cells. Once the technology gets more advanced, we might be able to have nanorobots remove the cells themselves as if they were very very tiny surgeons.

    But maybe this is wishfull thinking…

    And SoCal Gal: Norman Walker died in '95 at the age of 99..

  57. Nanotechnology will be able to cure cancer in the future, don’t worry. It doesn’t matter how many types of cancer there are, if you can remove the cells it’s all good. Currently there has been quite some succes with curing breast & lung cancer by using tiny nanobee’s who inject a substance that kills the cells. Once the technology gets more advanced, we might be able to have nanorobots remove the cells themselves as if they were very very tiny surgeons.

    But maybe this is wishfull thinking…

    And SoCal Gal: Norman Walker died in ’95 at the age of 99..

  58. I think the increased growth rate of cancer cells is what makes cancer so bad… the fact that those cells live forever isn't the issue.

    What if all of our cells lived forever?

    I think that the secret to immortality is learning to gain control of Telomeres (Google it). If our Telomeres were shortened at a slowed rate, we could live for hundreds of years. If we learned to stop them from shortening, then we would all live forever (unless killed).

    Without getting all Sci-Fi on you, an immortal race wouldn't exactly be all bad. Yes, yes, I know we would run low on food at first, but think of some of the problems it would solve. For one, we could finally have enough of a lifespan that we could travel from one solar system to another… or another galaxy for that matter!

  59. I think the increased growth rate of cancer cells is what makes cancer so bad… the fact that those cells live forever isn’t the issue.

    What if all of our cells lived forever?

    I think that the secret to immortality is learning to gain control of Telomeres (Google it). If our Telomeres were shortened at a slowed rate, we could live for hundreds of years. If we learned to stop them from shortening, then we would all live forever (unless killed).

    Without getting all Sci-Fi on you, an immortal race wouldn’t exactly be all bad. Yes, yes, I know we would run low on food at first, but think of some of the problems it would solve. For one, we could finally have enough of a lifespan that we could travel from one solar system to another… or another galaxy for that matter!

  60. I am really greatful for your article. As a young cancer researcher (i work with ovarian cancer) i have come to the conclusion that until we stop investigating tiny parts of the pathway causing cancer to spread and survive, and concentrate on the big picture and link everything together, we are unlikely to come up with a magic potion to kill all cancer. Unfortunately, that would require massive collaboration and funding, and the governments are just not willing to throw that kind of money at it.

    It is a satisfying career path, but it's exhausting, and every question's quest for answers uncovers dozens of new questions

    Worse yet is the lack of journals publishing negative results. I sometimes worry that i am doing the same experiments others before me have done, and that had their negative results been published maybe i could've spent my tie on something new, rather than repeating failed experiments. When it comes to cancer, no piece of the puzzle should go unpublished. even if negative results were to go into some online only journal, it could be very helpful to the rest of us.

  61. I am really greatful for your article. As a young cancer researcher (i work with ovarian cancer) i have come to the conclusion that until we stop investigating tiny parts of the pathway causing cancer to spread and survive, and concentrate on the big picture and link everything together, we are unlikely to come up with a magic potion to kill all cancer. Unfortunately, that would require massive collaboration and funding, and the governments are just not willing to throw that kind of money at it.

    It is a satisfying career path, but it’s exhausting, and every question’s quest for answers uncovers dozens of new questions

    Worse yet is the lack of journals publishing negative results. I sometimes worry that i am doing the same experiments others before me have done, and that had their negative results been published maybe i could’ve spent my tie on something new, rather than repeating failed experiments. When it comes to cancer, no piece of the puzzle should go unpublished. even if negative results were to go into some online only journal, it could be very helpful to the rest of us.

  62. Hold on.

    The cure is laetrile/apricot seeds/bitter almonds/B-17

    A Nobel prize given to Otto Warburg for figuring out cancer is the body fermenting instead of respirating as it should. Can't happen where the body is well oxygenated and alkaline, as evidenced by the lack of heart cancer. (The periphery of the lungs is NOT well oxygenated, btw).

    Laetrile combines with the acid of the cancer and makes cyanide, killing the cancer cell. There is also a product called Essiac that works.

    • There has NEVER been any convincing proof that quack medicine such as laetrile or essiac work. Contrary to popular belief there is no consipiracy involving doctors and drug companies to keep these things off the market so that they may continue to make lots of money on surgery and medicines. your posting is not only bunk but its cruel bunk.

  63. Hold on.
    The cure is laetrile/apricot seeds/bitter almonds/B-17
    A Nobel prize given to Otto Warburg for figuring out cancer is the body fermenting instead of respirating as it should. Can’t happen where the body is well oxygenated and alkaline, as evidenced by the lack of heart cancer. (The periphery of the lungs is NOT well oxygenated, btw).
    Laetrile combines with the acid of the cancer and makes cyanide, killing the cancer cell. There is also a product called Essiac that works.

    • There has NEVER been any convincing proof that quack medicine such as laetrile or essiac work. Contrary to popular belief there is no consipiracy involving doctors and drug companies to keep these things off the market so that they may continue to make lots of money on surgery and medicines. your posting is not only bunk but its cruel bunk.

  64. Strengthen the immune system; and prevent/reverse cancer. The standard American diet, SAD, (and other pollutants) create 95% of cancer cases. It takes major lifestyle changes people are not even willing to look at, much less practice. Start with researching two outstanding and much maligned researchers Dr. Virginia Livingston and Dr. Johanna Budwig–you'll be amazed, I promise!!! (Of course, this is my opinion only and not medical advice–as required.)

  65. Strengthen the immune system; and prevent/reverse cancer. The standard American diet, SAD, (and other pollutants) create 95% of cancer cases. It takes major lifestyle changes people are not even willing to look at, much less practice. Start with researching two outstanding and much maligned researchers Dr. Virginia Livingston and Dr. Johanna Budwig–you’ll be amazed, I promise!!! (Of course, this is my opinion only and not medical advice–as required.)

  66. Ok, srsly one of the best articles I have read in a while. Why can't the "mainstream" media present ideas in this manner. Thanks for taking the time to put this out there and … cool illustrations …

  67. Ok, srsly one of the best articles I have read in a while. Why can’t the “mainstream” media present ideas in this manner. Thanks for taking the time to put this out there and … cool illustrations …

  68. Awesome article I really loved the information but the title leads you to hope especially when your Aunt just passed from Cancer and your cousin has it also.

    But thanks for helping me understand Cancer more thoroughly.

  69. Awesome article I really loved the information but the title leads you to hope especially when your Aunt just passed from Cancer and your cousin has it also.
    But thanks for helping me understand Cancer more thoroughly.

  70. As a 42 year survivor of an aggressive and rare form of bone cancer (chondrosarcoma), I applaud you on introducing this subject. I've run an online support group for chondrosarcoma the last eight years with over 1500 members. Frustrated by the lack of new methods of treatment and no possible cure in site, I have read many medical articles on the subject and have learned, like you, that there is no one "cure for cancer" as there is no one cure for cancer simply for one type of cancer. There are too many variables. As far as I know, the reason I have survived when things were so stacked against me with seven recurrences over eleven years is that I took part in a primitive style of vaccine trial. This has worked for a certain kind of bladder cancer and a certain type of skin cancer, but it went no further than me, because I was the only one in the study and I was not followed up upon. Too bad. However, because of this, I suspect that vaccine is the future of the cure for many types of cancer. The drawback being that if you develop antibodies to your cancer, you then risk the problem of having permanent autoimmune type of disease if your body is continuing to fight off the original cancer's attempts to return, as this is what has happened with me. The important thing, I think, is that the patient's own cancer cells (which really are specific to them) need to be used to create the vaccine, and then all signs of the cancer need to be irradicated from the body (surgically or otherwise) so that it has a fresh start. In some types of cancer, this may not be possible. This of course is my own personal unscientific unsubstantiated opinion, based upon my own experience and the extensive reading I've done in medical scientific articles, plus discussions with doctors and researchers.

    Jimmy, I appreciate the fact that you have written this for the understanding of the general public who have little scientific knowledge (sadly, this is our educational system, today) and clarifies the mistaken notion that there is only one possible method for curing cancer.

    You mentioned how frustrating it must be to researchers that what appears to be promising in the petri dish, turns out to be ineffective on humans. One thing I see in this regard with the patients in my group who participate in the trials of these newly developed drugs is that the human body cannot tolerate the side effects. That issue is not studied in the petri dish. Therefore the failure of such promising studies.

    A few, in responding, have erroneously made claims of "true" cures for cancer. I can attest to the fact that many of the patients in my group have led lives pure of chemicals, eating a so called proper diet and still have ended up with this rare bone cancer.

    I might point out that if there really were a true cure for cancer, such has been suggested, that no amount of the "evil" drug companies attempts to control and keep secret that knowledge, would prevent that news from getting out and being effective. There are other countries who do not have such controls. And think about this, please…Truly there are doctors who, themselves, get cancer, as well as, and especially, their children, who, if given the chance, would use those methods to cure themselves and their family members of cancer. Would it be possible to keep this a secret?

    I hope to see more on this subject and would like to see more on the ideas of apoptosis presented in a simple understandable format. As well as some views of the different types of cancer and why a cure for one would not work as a cure for another.

    There is new research, and trials regarding the idea of vaccinating against certain cancers. I hope, too, that you might present some information on this topic.

  71. As a 42 year survivor of an aggressive and rare form of bone cancer (chondrosarcoma), I applaud you on introducing this subject. I’ve run an online support group for chondrosarcoma the last eight years with over 1500 members. Frustrated by the lack of new methods of treatment and no possible cure in site, I have read many medical articles on the subject and have learned, like you, that there is no one “cure for cancer” as there is no one cure for cancer simply for one type of cancer. There are too many variables. As far as I know, the reason I have survived when things were so stacked against me with seven recurrences over eleven years is that I took part in a primitive style of vaccine trial. This has worked for a certain kind of bladder cancer and a certain type of skin cancer, but it went no further than me, because I was the only one in the study and I was not followed up upon. Too bad. However, because of this, I suspect that vaccine is the future of the cure for many types of cancer. The drawback being that if you develop antibodies to your cancer, you then risk the problem of having permanent autoimmune type of disease if your body is continuing to fight off the original cancer’s attempts to return, as this is what has happened with me. The important thing, I think, is that the patient’s own cancer cells (which really are specific to them) need to be used to create the vaccine, and then all signs of the cancer need to be irradicated from the body (surgically or otherwise) so that it has a fresh start. In some types of cancer, this may not be possible. This of course is my own personal unscientific unsubstantiated opinion, based upon my own experience and the extensive reading I’ve done in medical scientific articles, plus discussions with doctors and researchers.

    Jimmy, I appreciate the fact that you have written this for the understanding of the general public who have little scientific knowledge (sadly, this is our educational system, today) and clarifies the mistaken notion that there is only one possible method for curing cancer.

    You mentioned how frustrating it must be to researchers that what appears to be promising in the petri dish, turns out to be ineffective on humans. One thing I see in this regard with the patients in my group who participate in the trials of these newly developed drugs is that the human body cannot tolerate the side effects. That issue is not studied in the petri dish. Therefore the failure of such promising studies.

    A few, in responding, have erroneously made claims of “true” cures for cancer. I can attest to the fact that many of the patients in my group have led lives pure of chemicals, eating a so called proper diet and still have ended up with this rare bone cancer.

    I might point out that if there really were a true cure for cancer, such has been suggested, that no amount of the “evil” drug companies attempts to control and keep secret that knowledge, would prevent that news from getting out and being effective. There are other countries who do not have such controls. And think about this, please…Truly there are doctors who, themselves, get cancer, as well as, and especially, their children, who, if given the chance, would use those methods to cure themselves and their family members of cancer. Would it be possible to keep this a secret?

    I hope to see more on this subject and would like to see more on the ideas of apoptosis presented in a simple understandable format. As well as some views of the different types of cancer and why a cure for one would not work as a cure for another.

    There is new research, and trials regarding the idea of vaccinating against certain cancers. I hope, too, that you might present some information on this topic.

  72. Great article Jimmy. I lost my two closest friends to cancer (colon, lung), so I have a special reverence/hatred for the "Big C".

    Elizabeth, I am curious. How can a vaccine "work" for cancer – especially if the body/immune system no longer recognizes the "bad" cell as being bad? Normally, a vaccine is created from a weakened version of whatever it is that ails you, and your immune system can whip it easily. Does the same theory apply to cancer cells, and how would you get the weakened version? From a patient who has already been "cured"? I dunno, maybe I'm missing something here…

    • Thanks for the props.

      I believe cancer vaccines operate by tuning the immune system to target something specific related to the cancer cells. Some vaccines are therapeutic and can be administered after a disease has occurred in the body to help bolster the response.

      I'm not really any expert on these though, so maybe someone else can supply some more info.

  73. Great article Jimmy. I lost my two closest friends to cancer (colon, lung), so I have a special reverence/hatred for the “Big C”.

    Elizabeth, I am curious. How can a vaccine “work” for cancer – especially if the body/immune system no longer recognizes the “bad” cell as being bad? Normally, a vaccine is created from a weakened version of whatever it is that ails you, and your immune system can whip it easily. Does the same theory apply to cancer cells, and how would you get the weakened version? From a patient who has already been “cured”? I dunno, maybe I’m missing something here…

    • Thanks for the props.

      I believe cancer vaccines operate by tuning the immune system to target something specific related to the cancer cells. Some vaccines are therapeutic and can be administered after a disease has occurred in the body to help bolster the response.

      I’m not really any expert on these though, so maybe someone else can supply some more info.

  74. I know this article is kind of old, but I'm gonna put my comments anyhow.

    I really like the way you wrote all this information in a simple and understandable way. I had a different (and wrong) idea of what cancer was and how it developed in our bodies.

    Science is Sexy?? Of course!!! I'd be glad to subscribe to your RSS and follow you on your day to day task of informing us…

    Good luck in your PhD!

  75. I know this article is kind of old, but I’m gonna put my comments anyhow.
    I really like the way you wrote all this information in a simple and understandable way. I had a different (and wrong) idea of what cancer was and how it developed in our bodies.
    Science is Sexy?? Of course!!! I’d be glad to subscribe to your RSS and follow you on your day to day task of informing us…
    Good luck in your PhD!

  76. Very nice article! The complication of "big C" reduced to understandable terms and explanations. Love it. Also, this article emphasizes one very important concept: you should do everything possible to protect, preserve and enhance your immune system. It is the very BEST defense you have against Ca. Once the immune system begins to break down, Cancer is a frequent raider. So many people don't understand this but those who have been taking exceptional vitamin and mineral supplements for years seem to evade Ca for longer periods of time. Why? Vitamins and minerals help maintain and build strong immune systems. Not your regular OTC V&M but more powerful (and thus) expensive ones that are usually manufactured by specialty programs.

  77. Very nice article! The complication of “big C” reduced to understandable terms and explanations. Love it. Also, this article emphasizes one very important concept: you should do everything possible to protect, preserve and enhance your immune system. It is the very BEST defense you have against Ca. Once the immune system begins to break down, Cancer is a frequent raider. So many people don’t understand this but those who have been taking exceptional vitamin and mineral supplements for years seem to evade Ca for longer periods of time. Why? Vitamins and minerals help maintain and build strong immune systems. Not your regular OTC V&M but more powerful (and thus) expensive ones that are usually manufactured by specialty programs.

  78. I have heard many of these things before but it’s still very useful!
    I’d love to see more “science is sexy” posts! Every topic is welcome. :)

  79. I have heard many of these things before but it's still very useful!

    I'd love to see more "science is sexy" posts! Every topic is welcome. :)

  80. Is it bad that I already knew about all of this (and actually used a lot of the same phrasing to explain to random people why cancer is a) a tricky opponent and b) not something the government put in our water supply).

  81. Is it bad that I already knew about all of this (and actually used a lot of the same phrasing to explain to random people why cancer is a) a tricky opponent and b) not something the government put in our water supply).

  82. I was browsing the site until I saw the contributor. Is it wrong that I pictured you as Dr. Horrible explaining this to a camera?

    Keep it sexy.

  83. I was browsing the site until I saw the contributor. Is it wrong that I pictured you as Dr. Horrible explaining this to a camera?

    Keep it sexy.

  84. I once read a description of cancer I like better.

    It went approximately: Cancer is not a disease, it is a symptom. The disease is one of the immune system.

    If one wishes to find the magic bullet that has the ability to cure all cancers, this is one possible approach.

    • I mean you can say that…but it does require you to ignore all of the info in the article. The immune system does play a key role in cancer (it must essentially mistake a cancerous cell for a healthy one), but that doesn’t imply that that is ONE process…there is no magic bullet for cancer all cancers and there never will be. One cancer differs greatly from the next.

      The “magic bullet” idea implies selective toxicity, which is where a drug will attack a disease causing cell but avoid healthy cells. This is understandably a difficult strategy with cancer.

  85. I once read a description of cancer I like better.

    It went approximately: Cancer is not a disease, it is a symptom. The disease is one of the immune system.

    If one wishes to find the magic bullet that has the ability to cure all cancers, this is one possible approach.

    • I mean you can say that…but it does require you to ignore all of the info in the article. The immune system does play a key role in cancer (it must essentially mistake a cancerous cell for a healthy one), but that doesn't imply that that is ONE process…there is no magic bullet for cancer all cancers and there never will be. One cancer differs greatly from the next.

      The "magic bullet" idea implies selective toxicity, which is where a drug will attack a disease causing cell but avoid healthy cells. This is understandably a difficult strategy with cancer.

  86. What do you think about the theory that due to various viral,fungal, and bactreial infections the cells are forced to replicate themselves at a faster than normal rate. At this faster rate, the telomeres are suffering a high rate of deletions and at some point after the telomeres are exhausted the cell begins to experience deletions of the primary genetic material. Of note is that as the genetic material becomes shorter, it is much faster for the cell to aquire the required compliment of genetic material to enable reproduction. It is also interesting to note that as the cancer progresses the protiens that are expressed become increasingly less complex and the tumor cells are less able to function in their roll with respect to their surrounding tissues.

    So, what do you all think?

  87. What do you think about the theory that due to various viral,fungal, and bactreial infections the cells are forced to replicate themselves at a faster than normal rate. At this faster rate, the telomeres are suffering a high rate of deletions and at some point after the telomeres are exhausted the cell begins to experience deletions of the primary genetic material. Of note is that as the genetic material becomes shorter, it is much faster for the cell to aquire the required compliment of genetic material to enable reproduction. It is also interesting to note that as the cancer progresses the protiens that are expressed become increasingly less complex and the tumor cells are less able to function in their roll with respect to their surrounding tissues.

    So, what do you all think?

  88. Cancer cells live when people eat sh-t, don’t exercise, allow or create too much stress in their lives, expose themselves to chemicals/foreign substances (including alcohol & tobacco; funny how both are legal), etc…basically screwing up the body and creating an environment that gives the cells a chance to spread.
    You think big pharm is going to give us something that cures cancer, when never-ending “treatments” are so much more profitable? You think the government is going to eliminate the causes of cancer when it would cost too much and take away the money they waste on other things? No way! Don’t waste your time waiting for a cure…if you want to stay cancer free, you’ve got to do it yourself, and you’ve got to start BEFORE it’s too late!

  89. Cancer cells live when people eat sh-t, don't exercise, allow or create too much stress in their lives, expose themselves to chemicals/foreign substances (including alcohol & tobacco; funny how both are legal), etc…basically screwing up the body and creating an environment that gives the cells a chance to spread.

    You think big pharm is going to give us something that cures cancer, when never-ending "treatments" are so much more profitable? You think the government is going to eliminate the causes of cancer when it would cost too much and take away the money they waste on other things? No way! Don't waste your time waiting for a cure…if you want to stay cancer free, you've got to do it yourself, and you've got to start BEFORE it's too late!

  90. see Dr Sherry Roger’s book on “The Cure is in the Kitchen” and “Macro Mellow : Recipes for Macrobiotic Cooking”. A macrobiotic diet has brought many people back from the brink by helping the body heal itself. Cancer is an industry and the sooner people realize it’s about money they will take control over their own health.

  91. see Dr Sherry Roger's book on "The Cure is in the Kitchen" and "Macro Mellow : Recipes for Macrobiotic Cooking". A macrobiotic diet has brought many people back from the brink by helping the body heal itself. Cancer is an industry and the sooner people realize it's about money they will take control over their own health.

  92. Whats your opinion on Doug Kaufmann. He says cancer is indistinguishable from fungus. He says that anti fungal drugs like Diflucan and Nistatin followed by a lowish… carb diet, and probiotics etc… will beat cancer most of the time. In other words, starve the cancer from what it lives on. He talks about Blood pressure meds (statins) are just antifungals as well as the new antibiotics. It sounds a little strange but he sure has a good argument.

  93. Whats your opinion on Doug Kaufmann. He says cancer is indistinguishable from fungus. He says that anti fungal drugs like Diflucan and Nistatin followed by a lowish… carb diet, and probiotics etc… will beat cancer most of the time. In other words, starve the cancer from what it lives on. He talks about Blood pressure meds (statins) are just antifungals as well as the new antibiotics. It sounds a little strange but he sure has a good argument.

  94. I'm very happy to see someone trying to inform the ignorant of what cancer really is. It's quite frustrating when someone says they could "catch" cancer… God I know dumb people..

  95. I’m very happy to see someone trying to inform the ignorant of what cancer really is. It’s quite frustrating when someone says they could “catch” cancer… God I know dumb people..

  96. What i didn't know, but got me thinking, is that a tumor is a new organ. Do correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that cancer is the tool that all things that have DNA use in order to evolve, through metalaxis. Specifically, in every species history, evolution seems to depend on a portion of the population getting cancer and mutating to some extend. Those who die of cancer, because of natural selection, stop spreading the specific mutation. Those who live, pass it to their descendants. If the mutation gives them an advantage, they become more powerfull, have more chance to survive, females like them more, and the mutation spreads to the general population. Maybe, all the organs we currently have in our bodies started as a tumor and gave our ancestors an advantage. Maybe cancer is the evolution of the humans and finding the cure is like commiting suicide. In fact what supports my argument is that when a massive disaster occurs, making it very difficult for our bodies to survive (e.g. nuclear disaster), cancer occurances are massive. The natural assumption is that the disaster is killing us, but the odd thing is, that maybe we are evolving – killing ourselves in order to become better, so as to endure the next similar disaster.

    • Fabulous read. It kept me from getting ready for work, as I was effectively determined to finish reading it. :]

      Peter, that's a highly interesting theory that you present. While the idea of a tumor being its own organ did cross my mind (albeit an epic fail of an organ, as even though it functions, it does not function in a way that is beneficial), the evolutionary potential did not.

      It's possible, in that stem of thinking, that we will never be able to cure it, only treat it more and more effectively. But even further than that, my only problem with your theory is that we're probably not ready yet physically for this evolutionary change. This is why some people suffer and die of it, and others survive. So, probably, it's still necessary to treat cancer, to ensure that more survive to carry on the changes.

  97. What i didn’t know, but got me thinking, is that a tumor is a new organ. Do correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that cancer is the tool that all things that have DNA use in order to evolve, through metalaxis. Specifically, in every species history, evolution seems to depend on a portion of the population getting cancer and mutating to some extend. Those who die of cancer, because of natural selection, stop spreading the specific mutation. Those who live, pass it to their descendants. If the mutation gives them an advantage, they become more powerfull, have more chance to survive, females like them more, and the mutation spreads to the general population. Maybe, all the organs we currently have in our bodies started as a tumor and gave our ancestors an advantage. Maybe cancer is the evolution of the humans and finding the cure is like commiting suicide. In fact what supports my argument is that when a massive disaster occurs, making it very difficult for our bodies to survive (e.g. nuclear disaster), cancer occurances are massive. The natural assumption is that the disaster is killing us, but the odd thing is, that maybe we are evolving – killing ourselves in order to become better, so as to endure the next similar disaster.

    • Fabulous read. It kept me from getting ready for work, as I was effectively determined to finish reading it. :]

      Peter, that’s a highly interesting theory that you present. While the idea of a tumor being its own organ did cross my mind (albeit an epic fail of an organ, as even though it functions, it does not function in a way that is beneficial), the evolutionary potential did not.

      It’s possible, in that stem of thinking, that we will never be able to cure it, only treat it more and more effectively. But even further than that, my only problem with your theory is that we’re probably not ready yet physically for this evolutionary change. This is why some people suffer and die of it, and others survive. So, probably, it’s still necessary to treat cancer, to ensure that more survive to carry on the changes.

  98. Dear Jimmy
    What an interesting post,stimulating a thoughtful number of responses. As you point out chemo and surgery have their place in tackling this complex disease…
    …and so do we: In my area, bowel cancer, as soon as you experience symptoms it’s a very good idea to go and see the doctor. These include: bleeding from the bum, a persisent change in bowel habits,abdominal pain and unusual fatigue. One contributory factor to why bowel cancer takes so many lives each year (being the 2nd biggest cancer killer), is that people are reluctant to seek help in the bottom area – it’s still a little bit taboo. So we are intending on producing a little book of bum jokes, ideal for the man (or woman) on the loo, which is a light hearted diversion that contains a serious message on checking out your symptoms. Bowel cancer is very curable if caught on time but very dangerous if it has spread (matastisised). We hope that subscibers to your site might be able to submit some bum humour to contribute to the book when the time is right?

  99. Wow. I really enjoyed this! Maybe I'll change my CIS major to Biology next year. :D Definitely sending this to my friends! :)

  100. Wow. I really enjoyed this! Maybe I’ll change my CIS major to Biology next year. :D Definitely sending this to my friends! :)

  101. As on Oncology and Palliative Care social worker, I appreciated seeing this article.

    There was a TED talk not too long ago regarding 'starving cancer' that I really enjoyed and plan to show to my Blood Cancer support group.

    The role genectics, environment, and diet play in cancer [both cause and response] is very interesting and also frightening…

    thank you for this post!

  102. As on Oncology and Palliative Care social worker, I appreciated seeing this article.
    There was a TED talk not too long ago regarding ‘starving cancer’ that I really enjoyed and plan to show to my Blood Cancer support group.
    The role genectics, environment, and diet play in cancer [both cause and response] is very interesting and also frightening…
    thank you for this post!

  103. Thanks for a great summary! My dog is being treated for transitional cell carcinoma at Purdue and I was shocked to find out that cancers can ADAPT to chemo treatments! That sounds like the same process that causes resistant strains of bacteria to develop. Everything I learn about this cancer makes me ask more questions, like how does it mutate after it's already mutated? And how can bladder cancer metastasize? The bladder is just a sac and it doesn't produce anything or perform any process, just holds pee until it's ready to send it OUT of the body. It's easy to see how pancreatic cancer could spread but bladder cancer? That's so wrong!

  104. Thanks for a great summary! My dog is being treated for transitional cell carcinoma at Purdue and I was shocked to find out that cancers can ADAPT to chemo treatments! That sounds like the same process that causes resistant strains of bacteria to develop. Everything I learn about this cancer makes me ask more questions, like how does it mutate after it’s already mutated? And how can bladder cancer metastasize? The bladder is just a sac and it doesn’t produce anything or perform any process, just holds pee until it’s ready to send it OUT of the body. It’s easy to see how pancreatic cancer could spread but bladder cancer? That’s so wrong!

  105. As I agree that there is not a singular "cure" for cancer, you should read 'When Healing Becomes a Crime' by Kenny Ausubel and 'The Answer to Cancer, Is Never Giving It a Chance To Start' by Sharma, Mishra, and Meade if you are interested in learning more about how to prevent cancerous mutated cells from metastasizing.

  106. As I agree that there is not a singular “cure” for cancer, you should read ‘When Healing Becomes a Crime’ by Kenny Ausubel and ‘The Answer to Cancer, Is Never Giving It a Chance To Start’ by Sharma, Mishra, and Meade if you are interested in learning more about how to prevent cancerous mutated cells from metastasizing.

  107. Very good posts. I wonder whether my smoking a cigar once or twice a month had anything to do with my cancer. I am a cancer survivor at age 62 — (mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the salivary gland beneath my jaw). After a 10 hour operation four months ago and six weeks of radiation, lots of painkiller (I stopped 'cold turkey' which may have been a mistake – two weeks of being dragged through hell) — I am finally beginning to do things again. The problem is that survival is not 'being cured.' I am searching my old habits to see what should be changed. I know I need more exercise, less stress at work (I am a college professor). I go back for a checkup soon. I am hoping all signs of cancer are gone. I feel fortunate not to have required chemotherapy. The battle will be fought for the rest of my life.

  108. Very good posts. I wonder whether my smoking a cigar once or twice a month had anything to do with my cancer. I am a cancer survivor at age 62 — (mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the salivary gland beneath my jaw). After a 10 hour operation four months ago and six weeks of radiation, lots of painkiller (I stopped ‘cold turkey’ which may have been a mistake – two weeks of being dragged through hell) — I am finally beginning to do things again. The problem is that survival is not ‘being cured.’ I am searching my old habits to see what should be changed. I know I need more exercise, less stress at work (I am a college professor). I go back for a checkup soon. I am hoping all signs of cancer are gone. I feel fortunate not to have required chemotherapy. The battle will be fought for the rest of my life.

  109. Dear Jimmy,

    Unfortunately, I believe you have erroneously leaned towards a pharmacological response when a natural solution always has been, and always will be, the only really effective “cure” for any disease. Especially cancer.

    Vitamin D is now effectively proven to prevent over three quarters of all types of cancer. We can make our own by baring our skin to the radiation from the sun for half to one hour daily. Chemo and radiation therapy, however, have been well documented to actually be a known causative (carcinogenic) agent in producing cancer (the very thing it is being used to “treat”, not cure). Cancerous growths is one of the most likely ‘side-effects’, and in many cases offers no prolongation of life but can drastically reduce quality of life in the final months or years.

    The absolute worst thing about cancer is actually KNOWING YOU HAVE IT! Most people have tumours come and go their whole lives without ever knowing about them and not submitting to dangerous treatments and unnecessary butchering – the most effective way of really kick-starting mastitis, and producing even a reverse placebo-effect. In other words, convince yourself you have a disease, and sure enough, you will have it.

    It’s not hard to conclude that the rare occasions where chemotherapy works, all we are really seeing is the placebo effect overcoming the odds. Most likely, however, it was all the other lifestyle changes which lead to remission. Do some research, look up Vitamin D and all the latest facts regarding it.

    All the best to all of you.

  110. If your intrested in cure for breast or colon cancer look up DR. Jacinto Convit who has made a vaccine for this two types!

  111. If your intrested in cure for breast or colon cancer look up DR. Jacinto Convit who has made a vaccine for this two types!

  112. Brilliant article! You should definitely do more :D I'd love to see stuff more in the realm of Physics … but that's probably because I'm looking to go to school for Astrophysics ^^ Any type of article is good, though.

  113. Brilliant article! You should definitely do more :D I’d love to see stuff more in the realm of Physics … but that’s probably because I’m looking to go to school for Astrophysics ^^ Any type of article is good, though.

  114. I've been curious about a different approach to dealing with cancer. Everyone always talks about "curing" cancer. I'm wondering if anyone has ever tried to harness it? Cancer is a growth of cells. Why not try to use that abilityto almost focus-fire cell growth to areas where cell growth has stopped or significantly slowed down? If there were a way to administer this rate of cell growth to the entire body simultaneously, wouldn't there then be some sort of chance to allow the body to perhaps grow stronger or live longer without decay? I'm not saying if we took what we have with cancer right now and just stuck it everywhere. We'd probably just morph into giant blobs. But if there were some sort of way we could control it and/or limit its growth to a certain degree throughout the human body, then it could be used for good! It might sound naïve, but if no one has ever tried it then its at least worth looking into, right?

    I can't say ill remember to check back on here, but if anyone has anything to add or deny about this, please e-mail me. I'd like to know more/other people's thoughts on this.

  115. I’ve been curious about a different approach to dealing with cancer. Everyone always talks about “curing” cancer. I’m wondering if anyone has ever tried to harness it? Cancer is a growth of cells. Why not try to use that abilityto almost focus-fire cell growth to areas where cell growth has stopped or significantly slowed down? If there were a way to administer this rate of cell growth to the entire body simultaneously, wouldn’t there then be some sort of chance to allow the body to perhaps grow stronger or live longer without decay? I’m not saying if we took what we have with cancer right now and just stuck it everywhere. We’d probably just morph into giant blobs. But if there were some sort of way we could control it and/or limit its growth to a certain degree throughout the human body, then it could be used for good! It might sound naïve, but if no one has ever tried it then its at least worth looking into, right?

    I can’t say ill remember to check back on here, but if anyone has anything to add or deny about this, please e-mail me. I’d like to know more/other people’s thoughts on this.

  116. I think calling an article "The Cure For Cancer" and in the opening line saying "we have found a cure for cancer" is kind of (read:very) misleading. Especially when you have brought nothing to light that anyone who has ever studied cancer for even a few hours doesn't know.

    Just seems like kind of a mean joke in a world where the last disease to be cured was Polio some 50 years ago (science has advanced a little since then).

    • Hey Kanah,

      First off, I agree, it is totally misleading…that's the point! People EXPECT an announcement like that someday and all signs point to the fact that it will never come. The article IS about the ficticipus cure for cancer.

      In terms of the info…yes, most of the article is based on my genetics class in high school…it's not very advanced stuff. Unfortunately, this stuff is also not very widely known (hence the comments) and it doesn't have to be complex to be important!

      Oh and to everybody who has dropped by with nice comments since my last comment, thanks a bunch! This was the first science is sexy article I did and the response encouraged me to do many more!

  117. I think calling an article “The Cure For Cancer” and in the opening line saying “we have found a cure for cancer” is kind of (read:very) misleading. Especially when you have brought nothing to light that anyone who has ever studied cancer for even a few hours doesn’t know.

    Just seems like kind of a mean joke in a world where the last disease to be cured was Polio some 50 years ago (science has advanced a little since then).

    • Hey Kanah,

      First off, I agree, it is totally misleading…that’s the point! People EXPECT an announcement like that someday and all signs point to the fact that it will never come. The article IS about the ficticipus cure for cancer.

      In terms of the info…yes, most of the article is based on my genetics class in high school…it’s not very advanced stuff. Unfortunately, this stuff is also not very widely known (hence the comments) and it doesn’t have to be complex to be important!

      Oh and to everybody who has dropped by with nice comments since my last comment, thanks a bunch! This was the first science is sexy article I did and the response encouraged me to do many more!

  118. I'm a biochemist (well, almost, I'll get my degree on december) and I LOVED this article. It's very explanatory, and I think it's important that everyone understands the true concepts that envolve the word 'cancer'.

    Thank you! =)

  119. I’m a biochemist (well, almost, I’ll get my degree on december) and I LOVED this article. It’s very explanatory, and I think it’s important that everyone understands the true concepts that envolve the word ‘cancer’.
    Thank you! =)

  120. They really don't know what causes childhood 'ALL' Leukemia, hence your article is not factual and I find the statement "" To the general public, cancer is a dark cloud that affects the old and those exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. """ wrong.. for we all seem to know someone affected by breast cancer for there is better media exposure,,

  121. They really don’t know what causes childhood ‘ALL’ Leukemia, hence your article is not factual and I find the statement “” To the general public, cancer is a dark cloud that affects the old and those exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. “”” wrong.. for we all seem to know someone affected by breast cancer for there is better media exposure,,

  122. You’re right, most people don’t know what cancer is, myself included. Thanks for the post.

  123. It was a really interesting article, I really enjoyed learning more on such a complex matter, If there ever come to reality Science is sexy I will be really glad to read it everyday!

  124. It was a really interesting article, I really enjoyed learning more on such a complex matter, If there ever come to reality Science is sexy I will be really glad to read it everyday!

  125. I actually learned a bit about cancer in my Biology 100 class and it actually peaked my interest in going into medicine. Alas, biology and I are star-crossed lovers at best; I am an arts student. I can never *really* understand biology and give it what it needs, and vice versa.

    SO, if you could keep writing stuff about biology that's this easy to read, I'd be mighty pleased. I really enjoyed it.

  126. I actually learned a bit about cancer in my Biology 100 class and it actually peaked my interest in going into medicine. Alas, biology and I are star-crossed lovers at best; I am an arts student. I can never *really* understand biology and give it what it needs, and vice versa.

    SO, if you could keep writing stuff about biology that’s this easy to read, I’d be mighty pleased. I really enjoyed it.

  127. Thanks for this, this is a conversation i've tried having with many people who've just been unable to grasp the fact that cancer isn't one disease which requires one pill to treat. simply written without being condescending. I have shared this with all those I can.

    Keep up the good work and release as a regular feature pls! Geeks ARE sexy x

  128. Thanks for this, this is a conversation i’ve tried having with many people who’ve just been unable to grasp the fact that cancer isn’t one disease which requires one pill to treat. simply written without being condescending. I have shared this with all those I can.

    Keep up the good work and release as a regular feature pls! Geeks ARE sexy x

  129. I'll tell ya what…Cancer has already been cured and those vested financially in "the cure" are keeping it secret to keep making money hand over fist. There is no money in a cure, there is only money in the disease and developing treatment that only keeps people barely alive and buying big pharmaceuticals treatments. This is why no extremely wealthy people ever die from this disease. They have organizations that only sole purpose is to take donations to fight cancer and how many millions and millions of dollars have they collected over decades without a shred of progress, ever wonder why? The people who take charitable donations for the cure are the same people that are concealing the natural cures. Whatever idiot that thinks radioactivity, (which gives cancer), would be used to kill it. What logical thinking is that? as soon as people get chemo, it completely destroys the bodies ability to fight cancer, and cutting pieces out of people spreads it faster. You people need to wake the hell up and realize there are some VERY evil people in this world!

  130. I’ll tell ya what…Cancer has already been cured and those vested financially in “the cure” are keeping it secret to keep making money hand over fist. There is no money in a cure, there is only money in the disease and developing treatment that only keeps people barely alive and buying big pharmaceuticals treatments. This is why no extremely wealthy people ever die from this disease. They have organizations that only sole purpose is to take donations to fight cancer and how many millions and millions of dollars have they collected over decades without a shred of progress, ever wonder why? The people who take charitable donations for the cure are the same people that are concealing the natural cures. Whatever idiot that thinks radioactivity, (which gives cancer), would be used to kill it. What logical thinking is that? as soon as people get chemo, it completely destroys the bodies ability to fight cancer, and cutting pieces out of people spreads it faster. You people need to wake the hell up and realize there are some VERY evil people in this world!

  131. Great write! This is the first time I have really understood what cancer is all about. Looking for THE cure is about like looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Nice to think about but non-existent.

    I am a bit past taking on more research, and Industrial and Management Engineering is my game anyway, but I would like to encourage you to continue. I'm certain that this article will not be your only contribution to society. And if it happens to be so, then it is a good contribution.

    I am going to post it for my friends to read on Multiply. It is not a huge site, but the word will spread.

    MT C

  132. Great write! This is the first time I have really understood what cancer is all about. Looking for THE cure is about like looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Nice to think about but non-existent.

    I am a bit past taking on more research, and Industrial and Management Engineering is my game anyway, but I would like to encourage you to continue. I’m certain that this article will not be your only contribution to society. And if it happens to be so, then it is a good contribution.

    I am going to post it for my friends to read on Multiply. It is not a huge site, but the word will spread.

    MT C

  133. Hi,

    This topic of cancer has bothered me for many years. I am now 57 yrs. old and I remember growing up and my mother telling me more than once about this woman who cured herself of cancer simply by changing her diet. Another pt. was on the news just a few years ago and there was a picture of her laying in bed, very little hair, looking like a holocaust victim. But she was told by her doctor that she had no more than 6 weeks to live. Six weeks later she walked into that doctor's office and he could find no cancer. What had she done? Please read the book called, "Nutrition: The Cancer Answer" by Maureen Salaman. Also, read a book called "The China Study." You would especially be interested in it due to the fact you want to get into cancer research. Over 100 years ago a woman stated the reason for cancer– and what people are finally realizing today. Scurvy cured by taking Vitamin C, Rickets cured by having enough Vitamin D, Beri Beri cured with nutrition, and the list goes on and on. How about all that protein they tell us we need to eat? But then mother's milk is only 5% protein. Human mother's milk. Where does all that extra protein go that we eat but do not need? Tumors are made of tissue– which is made of protein. Stop eating so much therefore they cannot grow. Please read the book, "The China Study". Thank you!

  134. Hi,
    This topic of cancer has bothered me for many years. I am now 57 yrs. old and I remember growing up and my mother telling me more than once about this woman who cured herself of cancer simply by changing her diet. Another pt. was on the news just a few years ago and there was a picture of her laying in bed, very little hair, looking like a holocaust victim. But she was told by her doctor that she had no more than 6 weeks to live. Six weeks later she walked into that doctor’s office and he could find no cancer. What had she done? Please read the book called, “Nutrition: The Cancer Answer” by Maureen Salaman. Also, read a book called “The China Study.” You would especially be interested in it due to the fact you want to get into cancer research. Over 100 years ago a woman stated the reason for cancer– and what people are finally realizing today. Scurvy cured by taking Vitamin C, Rickets cured by having enough Vitamin D, Beri Beri cured with nutrition, and the list goes on and on. How about all that protein they tell us we need to eat? But then mother’s milk is only 5% protein. Human mother’s milk. Where does all that extra protein go that we eat but do not need? Tumors are made of tissue– which is made of protein. Stop eating so much therefore they cannot grow. Please read the book, “The China Study”. Thank you!

  135. The interesting juxtaposition with cancer, the most logical uniform route, heal the cancer cell so that it will kill itself. Repairing the apoptosis function of cells seems most likely possible during the mitosis stage of cell division, so that two daughter cells 'realise the error of the ways' and suicide.

  136. The interesting juxtaposition with cancer, the most logical uniform route, heal the cancer cell so that it will kill itself. Repairing the apoptosis function of cells seems most likely possible during the mitosis stage of cell division, so that two daughter cells ‘realise the error of the ways’ and suicide.

  137. If you want to know the only cure for cancer in these days look for the story of Rick Simpson!

  138. thank you, rhis actually cleared up some of my misconceptions because all the media ever says is "a cure for cancer" like it really is just one desease, thank you again for explaining this.

  139. I have cancer myself (Acute Myelgenous Leukemia) and I found this article very helpful and amusing at the same time. It definitely gave me a better understanding of where cancer comes from than I got from my doctors that I usually just stare at with a dopey looking face, I'm sure. I say bring it on! Thank you very much!

  140. Interesting and informative article.

    I'm curious, though, about which specific types of cancer are considered "cured". I ask because I have a type for which there is a treatment that's very effective and gets rid of the cancer for about 95% of people, but for the 5% like myself who have recurrences there aren't really many other solutions and/or research being done to find them. I don't know how they would qualify a type of cancer as "cured" but I suspect mine is the sort that might be labeled as such when it actually – as my body can attest to – is not.

  141. Wouldn't it be interesting if the real disease was actually the fact that all cells eventually stop dividing? What if cancer is a process that is actually meant to make us live longer? This begs the question, does nature make mistakes? Can a species evolve the wrong way? I've always thought of evolution as a process that causes improvement. What if cancer is nature's response to people wanting to live longer? We could be evolving a way for our bodies to continually renew themselves.

  142. Wouldn't it be interesting if the real disease was actually the fact that all cells eventually stop dividing? What if cancer is a process that is actually meant to make us live longer? This begs the question, does nature make mistakes? Can a species evolve the wrong way? I've always thought of evolution as a process that causes improvement. What if cancer is nature's response to people wanting to live longer? We could be evolving a way for our bodies to continually renew themselves.

  143. Love this article I've been telling people for years their is no "Cure for Cancer" because it's simply a flaw in regulatory processes and can be part of ageing degradation. Can you tell I currently work in cancer genetics lol. You wrote this so well for lay people keep, spreading the word, just not to our sponsors! ;-)

  144. Very informative. This makes things add up better. It's bittersweet how we can't have a big blowout and get rid of it all at once, yet because if this we can make progress and achieve in certain areas, certain cases. Everyone will probably think something to the effect of "Why couldn't my friend/mom/granddad/wife be one of those cases?!" Bittersweet is the best word that comes to mind.

  145. Awesome read!
    This is a very out there question and just a musing really, but do you think cancer in itself could be an early stage of evolution in humans? Perhaps that isn't quite getting off to a good start? I was very interested to learn that the cell genome could be manipulated into becoming effectively immortal. Perhaps a poor evolutionary response to longer lifespans in our species?

  146. I think the best way to defeat cancer is by fasting or dieting. Cancer needs lots of energy and protein to maintain itself and to grow. If you starve yourself a bit, the cancer suffers much more than you do.

    Vegetarians have a much lower rate of cancer, less than half the normal rate. The adult body is not growing, and needs very little protein. People who eat lots of meat, dairy or eggs have a huge excess of protein in their diet. Cancer would use that protein to grow. Without that dietary protein, it cannot grow.

    If you have cancer, rest and relax, don't exercise or worry. If you exercise, your body needs much more energy, so you will have to eat more, and the cancer will take some of that energy.

    If you take away most of the protein and energy a cancer needs to grow, it can't grow.

    So to cure and avoid cancer, fast for a week or so. Then you can resume eating, but don't eat meat, dairy or eggs, and don't eat too much sugar, carbohydrates or fat. Take care with what you are eating, to avoid eating too much, and especially avoid protein and the calories.

    A friend of mine got rid of a large tumor in his neck by fasting for a week, then following a simple vegetarian diet over a period of a month or so (he ate mostly cabbage and pumpkin). Then he returned to his normal diet, or most likely a better diet.

    If you are a biologist, please tell me whether you agree with my reasoning or not!

  147. Thank you for this very informative and enlightening article! I di hope that you will make "Science Is Sexy" a regular feature of your site.

  148. When i was younger, in the 70s, on the news one night came a bit of news on cancer, it said they had found a cure by injecting pure fat into the tumour and it died. there was a lot of excitement at the time, as i remember both my parents had just died from it. That was the last time i heard of the process, does anyone know why they didnt persue this any further, because its has not beenmentioned since.

  149. There are studies being done that suggest cannabinoid compounds found in the cannabis plant (better known as marijuana) re-enable the "death mechanism" in cancer cells, without harming normal cells in the body. However, there is a bit of a "conspiracy theory" that since pharmaceutical companies can't patent a plant or make enough of a profit off of it, they're taking measures to keep it illegal. I urge the writer of this article — and anyone else reading this comment — to look into it. Not all "conspiracy theories" turn out to be wrong. Peace.

  150. There are studies being done that suggest cannabinoid compounds found in the cannabis plant (better known as marijuana) re-enable the “death mechanism” in cancer cells, without harming normal cells in the body. However, there is a bit of a “conspiracy theory” that since pharmaceutical companies can’t patent a plant or make enough of a profit off of it, they’re taking measures to keep it illegal. I urge the writer of this article — and anyone else reading this comment — to look into it. Not all “conspiracy theories” turn out to be wrong. Peace.

  151. this research its very dificult, and, I give Congratulations to all the people to work in that for the humanity. Pitifully the economic power makes a hugh influence in the research factory. I hope that not affect the humanitarian scense, I'm gladd to work in something like this. :D

  152. Very informational indeed but it leaves more questions than answers about how to cure cancer. With so many cells that can evolve into cancer, that leave me to think that it is hopeless to combat cancer by any means except strengthening our immune system in which it degrades as we grow old.

  153. Very informational indeed but it leaves more questions than answers about how to cure cancer. With so many cells that can evolve into cancer, that leave me to think that it is hopeless to combat cancer by any means except strengthening our immune system in which it degrades as we grow old.

  154. Natural Health is great at addressing this….Vitamin C in large doses…gets rid of the bad cells, mutated. Research it! Gershon Method.

  155. Vegetarians love to declare that avoiding meat a dairy will prevent or even cure cancer. However, I don't think Linda McCartney would agree even though she promoted the same ideas…

  156. This is excellent. It's a mistaken belief that we normal people do not have cancer cells. Everyday we do!! It's just the our immunity stops them from accelerating into recognizable tumors. Why we need to eat healthily so the body's immunity is strengthened. Many people who think they are (eating healthily) are actually not.

    REAL FOODS -foods that are not highly-processed and canned foods – can be contaminated too.

  157. This is a great article. As someone who has beaten cancer (AML3 to be precise) I really appreciate the discussion on the whole "cure for cancer" idea. Keep up the good work!

  158. Brilliant article. I had no clue what causes cancer and you have explained it succinctly for us non-biology students.

  159. Science IS definitely sexy and I hope to see more articles like this. I especially appreciate that this article was aimed towards those interested in science and not just those who are educated in that field. I am a survivor and hope to be one for a very long time. Any knowledge you have or gain in your field that you care to share is greatly appreciated.

  160. "There are instances where the DNA can be extended repeatedly and the cell can essentially be 'immortalized.' " – a bit of an ironic phrase, seeing as the process leads to the hosts demise.

    I truly believe that 'natural selection' plays a part too. We all know of someone, or someone who knows someone who smoked their whole lives and died in their nineties. It's amazing what doctors can do to fix people, but do you think that it might be a futile push against the tide of where our species is headed?

    • Except that it is the natural tendency of life to fight against death, i.e. humans to work toward a cure for that which kills us. So no, it's not futile, it's part of the exact process of life that includes the 'natural selection' that you refer to.

  161. It is hard to battle a disease that has long been the subject of many scientific discoveries for over the years.I admire the cancer warriors and I sincerely hope that a cure for it will soon be discovered.

  162. Great Article! just switched out of biological sciences to exercise science: applied kinesiology as my major but the way you present the info is flawless and can pull any avid learner in.

  163. This post was put in simple form for those who are not science geeks, could understand & explain cancer. The next time my seven year old asks me about cancer I have a better understanding, and he will also.

  164. Yes, the functioning ends of the genes are affected by plack I feel are reacting to inflammation from the garbage we eat. I have written about this in my blog… It is good that we each are bringing to the general audience the chemical basis of the building, both for good and for disease, our bodies.
    Institute For Rewiring The System then click on the link for Blog and do a little search for my writing about cancer.

  165. Plain ans direct paragraphs, I enjoyed the read and had a even quite optimistic point of view about cancer.

  166. Wow! So essentially cancer is the idea of immortality by separating from the whole and avoiding time in the form of age.

    This is powerful stuff. And in essence (without entering the complexity of the field) may mean that a simple solution to cancer is reprogramming the idea at very deep levels of the sub conscious are the best way to convince renegade bits of the whole to find balance.

  167. Very interesting however the ? Remains how can u attack the cell back to duplicate normally or prevent the tumor from forming in the 1st place?
    I'm supposing scientists have been studying the mutating cell itself? If some way yu can figure out the mechanics of a studied tumor and reverse the process. Wish yu the best,.

  168. Wow, that was very enlightening. I am a college teacher whose brother has cancer. Now that I know more about it, I will certainly work to dispell the myths! Thanks for the enlightenment.

    Yours, Collin

  169. liked the article very much even though I am just a CPA my father died of cancer when we was 49. he refused all treatment he died with in 6 months.
    I had a friend that was a Chiropractor in was very big on the Microbiotic Cooking
    for most of his life, he died at 43 from leukemia.
    I know people who used the "cure – laetrile/apricot seeds/bitter almonds/b-17
    they died of cancer it did not save them.
    I have know people who were vegetarians all there lives who died of cancer
    I know one person who survived cancer through fasting but I know others who tried
    it and died.
    I have known people who never drink, never smoked, exercised, ate organic food
    and still got cancer.
    I have watched relatives who got cured by Chemo and then died anyway because
    the body couldn't handled anymore.
    personnally I will eat, drink and be merry if I get cancer and die when I die.
    Royce

  170. Lets discuss the benefits from eating non-processed or minimally processed foods and their ability to boost our bodies defenses and repair functions. I believe we can cure ANY ailment using products grown on Earth given that we catch it in time.

  171. The problem with specialization is the narrow-sightedness and bias you are usually left with. The observations of Weston A Price and others like him will shake the grounds on which you've built your understanding of the body's ability to fight off disease.

  172. Great article! I was diagnosed with testicular cancer late 2009 and was amazed at the level of ignorance among friends and family about cancer and how it occurs! Most people don't want to know about it and assume it will happen to someone else! This article hits the nail on the head and is the clearest explaination I have come across on the net, great job!

  173. Nice article and still getting posts years later!

    Doesn't your article suggest that the common theme is the DNA extending repeatedly (or bad mitosis)? So if this can be 'fixed' then that would be a single cure for cancer wouldn't it?
    Though I would agree that the treatment for the symptoms is varied and depends on the type/location of the cancer.

    Some really interesting ideas in the comments too. I, like others above, was wondering if the immortality of cancer cells had been researched to try and find a way to extend the life of other (healthy) cells?

    I'm liking the idea that cancer is an evolutionary phenomenon searching for the next, newer improved version of us! Though I am not personally willing to leave any tumours untreated in the hope that it makes me super human!

    It's been 12 months since my body was mutilated and then irradiated in the name of medical science and after reading the comments I'm wondering if the reason I am still clear is because during this period I have expended very little energy and ate just enough to maintain my weight.

    It's a mystery to me – but I am glad there are intelligent and well meaning people trying to work these things out.

    One last question… where do you geeks work? The geeks I have worked with don't ever wear skirts as short as the one at the top of this page! If they did the rest of us geeks wouldn't work from home so often!

  174. This article is great! You explained the mechanics of cancer in an accurate and understandable way. Way to go! If you continue Science is Sexy, I will definitely be an avid reader of yours!

  175. Your C1 and C2 cannabinoid receptors help your body fight free radicals that cause cancer.  As long as you ingest THC in some form the chances of you developing cancer are signficantly lowered.  What does this mean?  It means Medical Marijuana is the answer, and big pharma and government knows this.  Unfortunately because you can grow the cure for cancer in your backyard, it's not profitable for our government for you to be cancer free, therefore it's profitable for people to not be educated about what exactly cancer is.

  176. To understand what Anon is talking about look up – "Run from the Cure" by Rick Simpson.
     A canadinan Canadian man that has used and said that T.H.C oil has cured Cancer of his nabours and friends. This is the human side of the science.

    Look up "What if cannabis cured cancer" to see the scientific side of it and how it works. Its very interesting and well worth the watch.                

  177. To understand what Anon is talking about look up – "Run from the Cure" by Rick Simpson.
     A canadinan Canadian man that has used and said that T.H.C oil has cured Cancer of his nabours and friends. This is the human side of the science.

    Look up "What if cannabis cured cancer" to see the scientific side of it and how it works. Its very interesting and well worth the watch.                

  178. I got a ideal do you think we die of natural causes or is the natural cause of death is cancer aging our bodies to death…………….think deep.

  179. Nicely written. I spent nearly 20 years as the chief communications officer for a cancer research and treatment center. My (strictly nonscience) prediction is that the "cure" lay in immunotherapy or vaccines. The common underlying condition of those with uncurable cancers who experienced "spontaneous remissions" (and were thereby completely cured) was an infection/fever  unrelated to their cancer diagnosis. A fever, a few days of flu-like symptoms, and then, health. Our immune systems are incredibly intelligent. If we can just crack that nut, we'll be golden.

  180. well, this is by far the most comments i've seen in awhile. hopefully that was the sign you were looking for to keep up the S.I.S. articles. good job!

  181. I think this idea of occasional educational posts is a great one. I think it's an excellent way to sneak a little extra learning into our lives. Keep at it, GoS!

    FWIW, Jimmy, I lost both parents to cancer– my mother about 40 years ago, then my father a year ago this coming weekend. Congrats on your noble choice of career. You go give cancer a great big ole kick in the nuts for me, 'kay? :-)

  182. Thank you for writing this up.

    I'm a biochemistry student from New Zealand and wish to work on currently incurable autoimmune diseases, some of which similarly involve cell cycle regulatory errors. A friend of mine is a molecular oncologist and after speaking with him briefly on the topic I can see how it must be really quite daunting, as you say.

    I too have observed many individuals making such fictitious claims and playing on the general public's misunderstandings and incorrect assumptions. You've put in words what I have been thinking for some time now, and far more beautifully than I ever could have.

    Look forward to seeing more.

  183. Excellent article, but don't just stay with traditional medicine, try witl alt healthcare also, specially with Reiki. I'm not just saying, I've been trough this, I have lived it, and I can tell you, don't discard one treatment just beacuse you chose one in particular or just beacuse it sounds tricky, complement one with the other, and complement yourself.

  184. That was an excellent post. It certainly is an art to explain the complex in simple terms, so that anyone can understand a subject without losing accuracy. You totally nailed it, more please!

  185. Personally I'm of the opinion that Cancer is the next stage of human evolution that we're refusing to allow to come to fruition by constantly cutting it out of people or blasting it with radiation, although perhaps someone with the suitable scientific education can debate against this point and help me have a clearer understanding…