Thursday, April 25, 2013

[Searcher] Defeating Cancer

This week's topic of cancer and it's causes was particularly meaningful to me because many members of my family have had cancer or died from it. What was particularly interesting to me was the notion that cancer is constantly evolving. Although this seems obvious, it's implications are huge. Finding a cure has always been an issue because we appeared late in the game, so to speak. What makes things even more difficult is that cancer is not static and that it is different in every case. Cells work much like evolution in that natural selection and mutations are inevitable. A cell line that gains an advantage in the competition for resources will have accumulated mutations that will likely proliferate and possibly evolve into a cancerous tumor. This surprised me because I also never thought of cells as being in a competition either. Some possible surface-level solutions to this adapting cancer is to be checked routinely for cancer as the less time a cancerous cell has to evolve, the less diverse the population of cells will become. Another possible solution is to attack early cancer aggressively so that it doesn't have the chance to evolve and evade assaults. With how easily cancer tends to evade our advances, it's important to know as much about it's history and how it functions as possible.

More information about cells adapting and possible solutions:

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