• This topic has 76 replies, 43 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by iainc.
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  • So half of us will get cancer
  • Premier Icon ti_pin_man
    Free Member

    This BBC news article is quite alarming. Estimates of half of us getting cancer at some point are amazing to me. That’s a lot.

    BBC

    In bygone era’s people didn’t die from cancer, well maybe some did but surely not those kind of numbers we see these days, even allowing for diagnosis being better and the causes of death better recorded.

    So surely we should be spending money on understanding what in modern life is causing it in the first place? Sure, finding a cure would be great but working out the cause should be as important no?

    As you can tell I have no medical expertise here but I do have personal experience of cancer.

    poo, wrong forum.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    ti_pin_man wrote:

    In bygone era’s people didn’t die from cancer, well maybe some did but surely not those kind of numbers we see these days,

    Because few made it to an age where cancer would be fatal. Typically they died of other things first.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Free Member

    live long enough and you’ll get cancer.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    So surely we should be spending money on understanding what in modern life is causing it in the first place? Sure, finding a cure would be great but working out the cause should be as important no?

    We already know lots of what causes cancers, we are just addicted the the things that do and sold them by corporations who don’t want to give up making a living…

    Premier Icon thegreatape
    Free Member

    ^ that (scotroutes)

    + (I reckon) we eat processed food with all sorts of chemical crap in it, which wasn’t as prevalent any in days gone by

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    Old age is causing it. Compulsory culling at 70 would massively reduce cancer incidence, and quite possibly five-year survival rates too… 🙂

    Moar fatties is also partly to blame, too, so perhaps we should cull the morbidly obese too just to be on the safe side.

    Anyone for utopian good health?

    Premier Icon cloudnine
    Full Member

    All sorts of causes but maybe we’ll never know how multiple causal factors increase your risk of cancer.
    Diet, sunlight, drinking, smoking, pollution, exposure to carcinogenic chemicals and agents..
    It’s like a cocktail of death..

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    Martinhuutch wrote:

    Old age is causing it. Compulsory culling at 70 would massively reduce cancer incidence, and quite possibly five-year survival rates too…
    Moar fatties is also partly to blame, too, so perhaps we should cull the morbidly obese too just to be on the safe side.

    If we eat the bodies we could cut down on intensive farming too.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    If we eat the bodies we could cut down on intensive farming too.

    Bit too much saturated fat in them corpses for me. Render them down and use as biofuel, perhaps.

    Premier Icon ElShalimo
    Free Member

    Or bio-fuel

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Full Member

    If you have a hard drive in a PC that is running constantly, copying files backwards and forwards day and night then eventually errors start to creep in even if there is some fairly clever error handling.

    So with that metaphor in mind I think cancer has a certain inevitability about it. Though obviously it doesn’t help if the “hard drive” is being bombarded by radiation, fat and smoke!

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Full Member

    There was someone on Radio 4 this am saying that the ‘50% of us will get cancer’ thing is misleading.

    What the stats show is that there is a 50% risk of any one of us getting cancer during our lives.

    It even says in the article that lifestyle choices can change this to a 30% risk.

    Premier Icon RobHilton
    Free Member

    So surely we should be spending money on understanding what in modern life is causing it in the first place? Sure, finding a cure would be great but working out the cause should be as important no?

    Surely we shouldn’t be so suckered in by the marketing around cancer as it’s not the biggest killer in the UK? How is heart disease not as vile an enemy as cancer??

    No, we won’t “beat” it – it’s perfectly natural and we’ve all got to go some way. But… if we can prevent cancer then what next? Everyone will die of something else instead.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    Dell hard drives must be the equivalent of those genetically predisposed to aggressive and incurable tumours.

    Premier Icon flicker
    Full Member

    It was my understanding that nothing we do actually ’causes’ cancer, however there are many things that increase the risk of developing it.

    Mutated cells are formed naturally in the body during cell division, these aren’t necessarily cancerous but mutations upon mutations can lead to different types of cancer.

    Premier Icon tazzymtb
    Full Member

    Best way I heard it described is that if you imaging a bucket full of raffle tickets, most are clear but a few have various cancers on them, every year take a ticket, the more things you do or are exposed to add to the numbets of tickets with a cancer. Live long enough you’ll eventually hit a ticket with a prize, or if you are unlucky you’ll hit one early, or have a genetic predispostion, or live a life of vice whislt snorting asbestos, you’ll increase your probability massively, but you may still dodge it all and die of something else.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I agree with all the above, but my immediate cynical reaction was to check the source of the report.

    Lynda Bellingham summed it up when she suggested we had got too squeamish about the fact that we will all die and need to relearn how to come to terms with it.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Full Member

    Old age is causing it. Compulsory culling at 70

    Thought you got your turn at Carrousel when you turned 30…
    The sandmen won’t want to go chasing 70 year olds, where’s the fun it that?

    If we eat the bodies we could cut down on intensive farming too.

    Way ahead of you…

    Premier Icon hilldodger
    Free Member

    50% of us are at risk of expressing a mutation typical of a pre-cancer state….

    ….a lot different to 50% of us will die of cancer

    Premier Icon WackoAK
    Free Member

    We all have a 100% chance of dying.

    Premier Icon br
    Free Member

    So surely we should be spending money on understanding what in modern life is causing it in the first place? Sure, finding a cure would be great but working out the cause should be as important no?

    Living longer as others have said.

    Both my parents have had cancer, Mum in her 40’s with breast cancer. Op and no further problems (now late 70’s). Dad has had numerous issues/ops etc and is living/dying with cancer now (mid 80’s).

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Free Member

    Yep in past days people died of death, we didn’t diagnose why, same as the increase in a lot of conditions is probably due to looking for it and diagnosis rather than an increase in occurrence.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Full Member

    Yep in past days people died of death

    Indeed. What were these natural causes people used to die of?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Full Member

    What were these natural causes people used to die of?

    And how many people actually died of supernatural causes?

    Premier Icon jonba
    Free Member

    I’ve not read the article but things to consider are:-

    Death is a certainty, all of us will die.
    People dying prematurely of cancer is more concerning than people dying around normal life expectancy.
    Some people die of cancer, some people die with cancer. If I remember prostate cancer rarely kills people but is quite common. Things like bowel cancer are normally fatal?
    Not all cancer is fatal – my little sister had leukemia as a child and recovered, my wife had a teratoma removed a few years ago

    Premier Icon alibongo001
    Full Member

    There is another side to this, in that if you get cancer, then your best ever chance of not dying from it is now (rather than years ago)

    From a Pharma company perspective, cancers are the last big diseases to make treatments for – this is complicated by their sometimes low incidence (thankfully) giving the large drug costs headlines we read occasionally.

    There is a huge amount of research being done by companies and charities on cancer prevention / cure and things are getting better.

    Premier Icon iainc
    Full Member

    Some people die of cancer, some people die with cancer. If I remember prostate cancer rarely kills people but is quite common.

    as a 49 yr old who has recently had treatment for Prostate Cancer this is spot on. The surgeon explained to me that something like 90% of us blokes will die with prostate cancer, but only 10% will die of it. I sure hope I’m not in the latter group 🙂 Many more cancers are being picked up at early stages than they were historically and this is pushing up the stats behind this 50% headline.

    Premier Icon johndoh
    Free Member

    What was that? Sorry? Cancer? Where?

    Mmmm, Jenny.

    Premier Icon torihada
    Free Member

    iainc – Member
    Some people die of cancer, some people die with cancer. If I remember prostate cancer rarely kills people but is quite common.
    as a 49 yr old who has recently had treatment for Prostate Cancer this is spot on. The surgeon explained to me that something like 90% of us blokes will die with prostate cancer, but only 10% will die of it. I sure hope I’m not in the latter group Many more cancers are being picked up at early stages than they were historically and this is pushing up the stats behind this 50% headline.

    As a fellow rider keeps pointing out, the likelihood of developing prostate cancer in men over 50 is 55%; he’s over 50 and every time he stops for a pee, we comment on the state of his prostate, hence his reply that once we hit 50 we’re more likely to get prostate cancer than not. But as above when my grandfather died he had prostate cancer, but it was the emphysema that killed him. oh happy days.

    Premier Icon breatheeasy
    Free Member

    Let me guess, the headline figure was bandied about by the Cancer charity ‘sponsoring’ the research? More donations anyone?

    Premier Icon iainc
    Full Member

    ^^^^^ let’s hope your one of the 50% of the lucky ones then, eh … 🙄

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Full Member

    Well, I was going to post about hearing something about people being more likely to cured, than die, of cancer, but doesn’t seem right as I’ve just had an email informing me of the death of a friend and colleague who had been fighting cancer for the last 4 years and seemed to be on the mend (his original diagnosis was swine flu…) he was 36.

    Shit.

    Premier Icon poah
    Free Member

    flicker – Member

    It was my understanding that nothing we do actually ’causes’ cancer, however there are many things that increase the risk of developing it.

    going out in the sun causes the formation of thymidine dimers in DNA which in turn causes mutations which in turn causes cancer. The body either kills cancers cells or the cells commit suicide. If these are knocked out then the cancer cells are allowed to grow

    Premier Icon FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    This BBC news article is quite alarming. Estimates of half of us getting cancer at some point are amazing to me. That’s a lot.

    You have got to die from something, and the fact is that these days modern medicine keeps you from dieing from things you should be dieing from, that its almost impossible not to get a ‘cancer’ of some sort.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Sorry, not read any of the posts but did stare at Jenny Agatar for a good 5 minutes…..

    American Werewolf anyone?

    Premier Icon poah
    Free Member

    mmmmm shower scene

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Exactly…

    Premier Icon john_drummer
    Free Member

    <pedant>

    that picture’s from Logan’s Run. hmm, icy scene

    </pedant>

    some cancers are treatable more often than others. sometimes the bastards pop up elsewhere after you thought you’d got them all. like whack-a-mole.

    My BIL was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2013. September 2014 we buried him 🙁

    My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2014. She’s had surgery and the chemotherapy, and has now started the radiotherapy. After that it’s medication for the rest of her life. Which will hopefully be a very long time, she’s only 46.

    hopefully that puts me in the 49% not at risk, but we all know statistics and damned lies don’t work like that 😉

    Premier Icon jekkyl
    Full Member

    *shouting* RENEW RENEW RENEW !!

    Premier Icon Tom_W1987
    Free Member

    So surely we should be spending money on understanding what in modern life is causing it in the first place? Sure, finding a cure would be great but working out the cause should be as important no?

    We have mostly, but the answers that we have found means that there is no foreseeable ‘cure’ to cancer in the short-medium term future.

    And this is why

    http://www.ncf-net.org/radiation/HengChromosomalInstabilityCrucialToCancerEvolution.pdf

    It also explains why chromosomally unstable tumors may initially be more sensitive to treatment drugs, but paradoxically more commonly acquire drug resistance. From a molecular mechanistic point of view, targeting cancer is a simple principle. From an evolutionary point of view, which more faithfully follows real world situations, the consequences of targeting are not predictable

    It throws our previous “mutation” theory of carcinogenesis on it’s head, as an undergrad I designed my own little project to investigate this (much to the amusement of my old school cancer biology professor) before it was cool.

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