How Cancer Begins

author: Robert A. Weinberg, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
published: April 19, 2013,   recorded: September 2003,   views: 5465

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If you’re worried about getting cancer, do yourself a favor: steer clear of red meat and rich foods, and avoid cigarettes. In this lecture, Robert Weinberg provides the scientific basis for this commonplace advice, as well as a layman’s look at the genetic, biochemical and environmental factors that make good cells go bad.

Normal cells are civic-minded, lining up together in a precise architecture that gives structure to body tissue. When the cell’s genes are damaged, they send out faulty instructions, turning orderly structure into a chaotic mess. This kind of injury to cells likely comes from the outside – as many as 90% of human cancers are due to bad diets and smoking. Weinberg wants to understand the specific pathways by which the cells’ enemies invade and do their damage, in hopes of then being able to halt the process and freeze a cancer’s growth. But, cautions Weinberg, better to count on prevention than a cure in the fight against cancer.

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Reviews and comments:

Comment1 David Schultz, July 2, 2013 at 2:32 p.m.:

Robert Weinberg's "general" (may I call it that?) lecture called "how cancer begins" was given back in 2003. Now, in 2013, a full decade later, one wonders what new knowledge has come to light that changes the knowledge presented in that lecture by negating and/or adding to it. Is such an updated version available in video or printed form and how can one access it?

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