This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 05:29 and is filed under News You Can Use..
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One Response to “Spotting Cancer in a Vial of Blood”
While there are some cancers that might be prevented, for most cancers that’s just not practical. (I’m not even going to argue about fruity concepts of being able to prevent or cure cancer by changing your diet or ingesting special nutrients. Let Steve Job’s attempt to fight pancreatic cancer stand as a lesson.) The complexity of the human body is amazing. There are mechanisms to count the number of molecules in newly produced DNA – much like the checksum used in data transfer. There are mechanisms to kill bad DNA. Cancer has to beat a bunch of natural systems in order to flourish, and it’s complex enough to be able to do that with alarming frequency.
Early detection is weak, as described in the article. Genetic testing is rare unless several family members show up with similar cancers. (Even then, genes that prevent you from developing one cancer may leave you vulnerable to another.) Treatment is often brutal – nobody, and I mean nobody, comes out of chemo believing it was a piece of cake. We’ve poured billions into research and we’re still losing the war. We’d like to think that we know biology inside and out, but the fact is that we’re still barely scratching the surface of a very deep subject. Until we do understand the genetic coding so that we can turn our personal biology against the cancer, we will continue to struggle with the frustration and pain of the disease.