cult and paste

be careful where you clique

A brief history of Cancer

Once upon a time all cancer, was lumped into one big category. It was so much easier to understand. Cause and effect was theorized to be external… possibly viral. Today we know that some cancer may arise virally , however the majority of cancers are the consequence of a number of different factors (1) via hereditary transfer (2) from errors in cell signaling (3) from external factors that compromise a cell’s ability to carry out its special purpose (4)…..

The way of all Flesh is a documentary tracing out how one black lady from Baltimore was separated from her cervical cancer cells. The tumor cells went on to outlive her and took up residence in laboratories across the globe. HeLa cells are often employed in scientific research as a model of our own cells; how they may or may not respond to various chemicals.

This film is very dated. As usual scientific understanding has moved on as it always does. Its more complex, in other ways more simplified.  Novel treatment for certain cancers are being realized every day. Yet the power of this documentary lies in the insight it offers: very often, we frame problems in the wrong way and inadvertantly miss the boat to “progress”.


2 comments on “A brief history of Cancer

  1. Tay
    June 30, 2009

    did you hear about this new method of attacking cancer cells?
    Been used on animals only, so far, but has been surprisingly effective. I actually saw something like this done to attack a brain tumor, once. A solution with genetically engineered bacteria was being slowly (as in, continuously over the course of two or three days) injected into the cancer site. before dying, the bacteria would have a chance to produce a compound that was toxic to the cancer cells. I asked the patient how it felt, and he reported that he really didn’t feel anything at all. The sad thing is that this was meant to merely prolong his life, not save it. Despite some aphasia from the tumor, he and I had some fine conversations about the meaning of life.

  2. cultandpaste
    July 1, 2009

    interesting read, thanks for that. i’ve heard of this minicell idea and it’s on the right track- targeting a keyhole that only cancer cells possess… but the problem of differentiation and metastasis still remains an elusive threat. evolution on the cellular level can be devastating.

    Regarding the bacteria and symbiosis, there is a growing body of evidence to show that a sterilized existence is not conducive to life. Some clinicians are treating certain Autoimmune diseases with Helminthic therapy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: