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wheelchairman
12-12-2009, 10:00 AM
Something I've been wondering about recently is cancer. For example, what does it taste like? No not really.

Cancer as far as I have read is a fairly recent development in human...well let's call it microflora because I read that word off a gross medicine box once. I'm rambling but essentially I'm trying to say simply that cancer is new. It either hasn't always been around, or we haven't always been able to define it.

The matter of definition is quite amusing, mankind is unable to deal with a problem unless it has a definition. Thus its rather bizarre to consider what people used to believe different things were, but that's another crippled thought for another night.

I've read that 'experts' (at least one) believes cancer to be the product of post-industrialization. We live in a society where the life expectancy is not only the highest in the world, it's the fucking highest in history*. Therefore according to one expert (at least), cancer is just a part of the body going bad, and producing bad cells. (Obviously this really only refers to cancer among the elderly or the older people). Interesting no?

Otherwise the only thing I can reason out is that we've always had cancer, we just didn't know what it was. Which brings up an interesting point, what if we always had this problem, but we weren't aware of it due to a lack of vocabulary, due to a lack of knowledge. A world where the symptoms of cancer are simply the symptoms of being old and where the two are indistinguishable. How many things do we live with and accept, simply because we have no word for them, because we don't have any way of making a differentiation?

*Crippling thought side note, according to the WHO health isn't simply about living the longest, but also living in mental as well as physical wellbeing, don't let your politicians jerk you around with a 'human longevity competition', don't let them take away your cigarettes, beer and coffee!

Little_Miss_1565
12-12-2009, 10:34 AM
Ditto. A friend of mine is dying right now from it, another friend is fighting it...it kind of inevitably weighs on you. But then people like my grandmother had it, were told they had a matter of months, refused chemo...and willed themselves into remission. So it goes.

Apathy
12-12-2009, 10:41 AM
I am admittedly not very knowledgeable in the spectrum of science, but I was under the impression that it was consensus that cancer is only appearing in the modern days because people long ago would die from other untreatable illnesses before they got too old.

Edit: but then other than smokers getting lung disease I guess that doesn't really explain how very young children can have leukemia. I guess perhaps I should have just cut this post off at "spectrum of science"

wheelchairman
12-12-2009, 10:42 AM
1565, that sucks. Well for your friends struggling with it, fantastic that your grandmother could overcome it.

Apathy, yeah that's pretty much what I was trying to say in one of those paragraphs. The longevity of human life making cancer first appear now.

Cock Joke
12-12-2009, 02:43 PM
HAHAHAHAHA! "Crippling" thought!

SweetTatyana
12-12-2009, 03:30 PM
I am admittedly not very knowledgeable in the spectrum of science, but I was under the impression that it was consensus that cancer is only appearing in the modern days because people long ago would die from other untreatable illnesses before they got too old.

Edit: but then other than smokers getting lung disease I guess that doesn't really explain how very young children can have leukemia. I guess perhaps I should have just cut this post off at "spectrum of science"

Yeah there are actually a lot of cancers that target children, ie. types of bone marrow cancers etc..
I don't necessarily think cancer can be "new" because mutations happen in DNA as a result of replication, which, if in a mitotic enhancer or repression gene could throw off regulation so that cells that arent supposed to enter the cell cycle begin to divide uncontrollably - thus cancer. I think since the industrial revolution, many carcinogens have been introduced into the atmosphere that people are faced with daily, making cancer much more prevalent. I also think it was part of the fact that it wasn't really identified, as some forms of cancer would have been tough to notice without microscopes and chopping people up.

what are the stats with cancer now? 1 in 3 people will have it?

Little_Miss_1565
12-13-2009, 12:43 PM
1 in 3 is a horrifying statistic. I feel like I've never known so many people with cancer as I do right now, though. Talking with friends about why so many we know are seriously ill right now, we wonder if the global economic crisis is a factor...serious money stress for over a year, across all socioeconomic levels.

DMelges
12-13-2009, 12:57 PM
The matter of definition is quite amusing, mankind is unable to deal with a problem unless it has a definition. Thus its rather bizarre to consider what people used to believe different things were, but that's another crippled thought for another night.

Cancer? We can't even cure the common cold.

It's ironic how we can put a man on the moon, but we can't cure cancer. Man can create new cells, but he can't kill bad cells in his body.

Good news though. Back in 08, a guy named John Kanzius built a radio wave machine that he believed could cure cancer cells, and he was right. At least, he's on the right track. His work has been developed and has been showing very promising results. You can read more about the Kanzius Machine here: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/10/60minutes/main4006951_page4.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBod y

nieh
12-13-2009, 01:31 PM
I'm not sure the idea behind the Kazinus machine will work for those cells that have metastasized. If it were as easy to target only cancer cells with things like antibodies as he seems to hope it will be, then your immune system would be able to kill most kinds of cancers on its own. Still, it's an interesting concept and the fact that it was made by someone with no medical background is kind of amusing (especially when you take into account the fact that it actually seems to work on localized cancers). Anyway, the idea behind using dichloroacetate as a cure for most cancers seems a lot more promising. Check it out here (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10971).

DMelges
12-13-2009, 02:06 PM
I'm not sure the idea behind the Kazinus machine will work for those cells that have metastasized. If it were as easy to target only cancer cells with things like antibodies as he seems to hope it will be, then your immune system would be able to kill most kinds of cancers on its own. Still, it's an interesting concept and the fact that it was made by someone with no medical background is kind of amusing (especially when you take into account the fact that it actually seems to work on localized cancers). Anyway, the idea behind using dichloroacetate as a cure for most cancers seems a lot more promising. Check it out here (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10971).

Sounds promising aswell.

I wonder if once we find a concrete cure for cancer, things will go crazy like in I Am Legend....

wheelchairman
12-13-2009, 02:21 PM
Cancer? We can't even cure the common cold.

It's ironic how we can put a man on the moon, but we can't cure cancer. Man can create new cells, but he can't kill bad cells in his body.

Good news though. Back in 08, a guy named John Kanzius built a radio wave machine that he believed could cure cancer cells, and he was right. At least, he's on the right track. His work has been developed and has been showing very promising results. You can read more about the Kanzius Machine here: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/10/60minutes/main4006951_page4.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBod y

It's called progress and there is nothing ironic about it. In fact the whole point is moot in light of my original post saying that cancer may be due to our longer-than-ever life-expectancies. What on Earth are you talking about?

DMelges
12-13-2009, 02:24 PM
It's called progress and there is nothing ironic about it. In fact the whole point is moot in light of my original post saying that cancer may be due to our longer-than-ever life-expectancies. What on Earth are you talking about?

Read carefully and you might just understand. I'm saying that it's ironic that we can do so much, as put a man on the moon, yet me can't fix a problem that we have been having for a long time inside our own bodies.

wheelchairman
12-13-2009, 02:39 PM
There's nothing insightful or clever about what you're saying though. I know what you mean, but if that's the point you're making, it's a stupid point.

Little_Miss_1565
12-13-2009, 03:05 PM
It's not ironic to compare achievements in mechanics versus achievements (or the lack thereof) in biology and medicine, it's comparing apples and oranges.

T-6005
12-13-2009, 03:17 PM
Not to mention people think they can toss out facts like "we've put a man on the moon" without thinking of the tons of failures, mechanical problems, and simple guesswork that led to him being there and others crashing, failing their approaches, or a hundred other things.

Just because we put a few people on Earth's natural satellite over a span of decades is hardly a reason to imagine it's anywhere near easy.

nieh
12-13-2009, 03:22 PM
It's not ironic to compare achievements in mechanics versus achievements (or the lack thereof) in biology and medicine, it's comparing apples and oranges.

That's like comparing hands and feet.

DMelges
12-13-2009, 05:06 PM
Wow guys. I'm saying that we have accomplished many things, and yet we have accomplished very little. You think it's a stupid point to make? Too bad.

wheelchairman
12-13-2009, 05:09 PM
Wow guys. I'm saying that we have accomplished many things, and yet we have accomplished very little. You think it's a stupid point to make? Too bad.

Yes, because that's called a contradiction and makes you look stupid.

DMelges
12-13-2009, 05:15 PM
Yes, because that's called a contradiction and makes you look stupid.

Good for me then. :)

Paint_It_Black
12-17-2009, 04:48 AM
The longevity of human life making cancer first appear now.

Sure, it has to be a combination of that and people just not knowing what it was previously. People used to die all the time of unknown causes. In the modern age we are quite determined to discover the cause of any death. Label it. Investigate it. Attempt to prevent it. Our quest to prevent everything is amusing in a way, because ultimately we have to die of something. And I feel that's where cancer comes in. It seems to me to be a useful process. At least in theory. Old people have to die. It's what they're best at. They can't do anything useful anymore and are somewhat of a burden on society. We've been able to increase life expectancy to the point where cancer has become the primary means of culling the herd. I see it as something of a failsafe. A self-destruct mechanism to get us out of the way once we pass our prime. It couldn't have evolved as that though, so my view works better in some kind of creationist viewpoint. But ignoring that implication, this is still how cancer appears to me. And the tragedy of young people getting cancer? Just an unfortunate flaw in the system. Some early triggering of a process that should not happen until much later.

Without death we could never really progress as a society. People become rigid in their beliefs and ways of thinking. New generations get a chance to start fresh. Biological evolution is also dependent on new generations replacing the old. We simply need old people to die. Cancer, I feel, exists to make sure this continues.

Obviously I'm looking at this with a detached view. I'd love to see a cure for cancer, I feel sad for those people who suffer from it, and I dislike that anyone ever has to die. Just to add a disclaimer.

To really beat cancer we need to find a way to stop cell mutation and degradation. If we ever manage this it could be simultaneously the greatest and most terrible of human achievements. We could acquire near-immortality, but perhaps at the cost of what it means to be human, and sacrificing the adaptability that has made us great.

IamSam
12-17-2009, 11:21 AM
Put ♥ this ♥ on ♥ your ♥ status ♥ if ♥ you ♥ know ♥ someone ♥ who ♥ has ♥ or ♥ had ♥ cancer! ♥ All I want for Christmas is a CURE! ♥ RIP Grandma!

IamSam
12-17-2009, 11:29 AM
Not to mention people think they can toss out facts like "we've put a man on the moon" without thinking of the tons of failures, mechanical problems, and simple guesswork that led to him being there and others crashing, failing their approaches, or a hundred other things.

Just because we put a few people on Earth's natural satellite over a span of decades is hardly a reason to imagine it's anywhere near easy.


Wow guys. I'm saying that we have accomplished many things, and yet we have accomplished very little. You think it's a stupid point to make? Too bad.

Throw this out there: Sure, we have put a man on the moon but the human body and disease is significantly more difficult than crunching some numbers, throwing some shit together, and lighting a giant bomb off underneath of it and praying you multiplied the trajectory right.

Sidewinder
12-17-2009, 11:52 AM
Completely serious post here:


I would rather develop a way to slow down birth rates before we increase life expectancy.

Little_Miss_1565
12-17-2009, 12:36 PM
Completely serious post here:


I would rather develop a way to slow down birth rates before we increase life expectancy.

Don't we already have both?

Sidewinder
12-17-2009, 01:04 PM
I mean to say, given the choice, I would rather find a way to prevent the overcrowding becoming more and more rampant as opposed to finding a way to cure cancer.

Little_Miss_1565
12-17-2009, 01:08 PM
I feel like the overcrowding is a problem due more to climate and economic reasons than population reasons.

wheelchairman
12-17-2009, 02:05 PM
The 1st world has a declining birth rate, I see no reason that this should factor into anything. Except that once the children of 1945+ retire or die we'll have more jobs than people. Maybe.

So really we should work on life-expectancy and quality of life in order to keep people working.

Jules69
12-19-2009, 03:20 PM
Put ♥ this ♥ on ♥ your ♥ status ♥ if ♥ you ♥ know ♥ someone ♥ who ♥ has ♥ or ♥ had ♥ cancer! ♥ All I want for Christmas is a CURE! ♥ RIP Grandma!

Exactly!! I miss my grandma too!! I also want a cure for cancer for Hanukkah!! She had breast cancer that became so severe it grew inside of her bones.:( Will always love and miss her.