Centre of the Cell, an educational charity at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, is hosting a series of “The Big Question” lectures held every season (at the end of which you receive a certificate – obviously the true object of everyone’s affections!). It’s beneficial for anyone interested in science as well as philosophy. The first one was on 3rd March on the topic stated where they spoke about the progression made so far.
The first and foremost advancement in the research of cancer was the comprehension of how cancer develops – before, biologists were investigating blindly, thinking it was caused by depression but the true origin is the damage of genes which results in cells multiplying uncontrollably, forming a tumour (which is how cancers are usually detected).
At least they weren’t like The Daily Mail, who think that basically being alive will result in cancer!
There are different types of cancer according to the type of cells affected which is the main problem when producing treatment – it’s not a single disease so you can’t have one overall cure. This means the new treatments found are specific to one particular cancer which can even become resistant to the remedy over time.
What’s grabbed the attention of experts at the moment is ways of avoiding getting cancer in the first place and identifying it earlier on so it doesn’t reach its critical stage. This they recommend you can achieve by the same age-old means: not smoking, exercise, vaccinations, screenings for genetic risk etc.
So, in conclusion, give up hopes for a cure for cancer because there’ll never be one due to it being numerous different diseases categorised together, the cancer cells being just like normal cells but just too many and because cancer evolves resulting in becoming immune to medication. However, scientists are coming up with further prevention and detection methods to ensure fewer deaths occurring because of cancer, which certainly seems to be working!
If interested in going to any of the lectures, check out: The Big Question Lecture Series