Meditations of an oncology geek

Archive for March, 2011

Cancer viruses?

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This week I answer a question from Katie Funk in San Francisco, CA: Can cancer be caused by viruses?

Short answer: Yes. In fact, in some parts of the world chronic infection by Hepatitis is a major contributor to overall cancer rates in the form of liver cancer. HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer. Both are preventable by vaccines.

For a growing list of articles and topics, check out the Cancer for Dummies main page. It will be updated every weekend. Please feel free to submit your own dumb questions. It has been readers’ curious minds that have made this blog work so well. Keep them coming!

Ryon

Written by Ryon

March 26th, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Posted in Science Blog

Cancer as a chronic wound?

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Happy Sunday, readers!

The immune system can both destroy and stimulate new growth of tissues. So maybe a little immune-supression could be a good thing? Re-purposing of anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and rapamycin is currently being investigated as a means of both cancer treatment and prevention.

This week’s article summarizes the emerging paradigm of viewing cancer as a wound that never heals.

Plus, I’ll fill you in on what giant stone heads and a wonder drug have in common!

Written by Ryon

March 20th, 2011 at 10:41 am

Posted in Science Blog

Cancer for Dummies approaching 10,000 hits!

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It’s been two weeks and my little experiment in scientific communication is coming along nicely. Cancer for Dummies has had almost 10K hits since I launched the first articles two weeks ago. It’s been both fun and enlightening to answer readers’ questions, and I will continue to post at least one article per week. Be sure to bookmark the Cancer for Dummies main page and check back regularly!

This week I opted to discuss genes, genetics, carcinogens, and HOW these come together to promote (or prevent) cancer:
What is a carcinogen? Lots of things can contribute to cancer development, but how?
Is cancer a genetic disease? Short answer: Yes. But most of the time it is not genetically heritable. Confused? No problem. Read on!

Lastly, if you have a question or topic you would like me to discuss, please do not hesitate to send it my way. This project exists for you, dear reader!

Written by Ryon

March 6th, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Posted in Science Blog