A Conversation for Cancer - a Brief Guide

Peer Review: A1079642 - Cancer for Dummies

Post 1

Bels - an incurable optimist. A1050986

Entry: Cancer for Dummies - A1079642
Author: Bels - an incurable optimist. A1050986 - U188050

The title is just a working title.

Bels 16.6.03

A1079642 - Cancer for Dummies

Post 2

McKay The Disorganised

I freely admit I know nothing about this, but apart from the title it looked pretty good.

smiley - ok

A1079642 - Cancer for Dummies

Post 3

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

A knowledgeable and sensitive article, especially for a subject so close to home. smiley - sadface

One interesting observation made some time ago has recently been suggested to have a pivotal role in cancer: aneuploidy. Virtually all of the cells in our body are diploid: all the chromosomes go around in pairs, 23 of them. Aneuploidy occurs when a cell ends up with an irregular number of chromosomes, some occuring 3 or four times over, and this is present in virtually every solid tumour. The radical theory suggests that genetic mutations don't initially cause the cells to go into reproductive overdrive rather that they cause irregular cell division. The mutated cell lines go on dividing irregularly: most die out, execpt for a few which happen to have a fatal combination of chromosomes which confer immortality on the cells. These then divide uncontrollably.

Have a look at http://mcb.berkeley.edu/labs/duesberg/research.html if you're interested.

A1079642 - Cancer for Dummies

Post 4


I'm glad it's just a working title, as it will have to be changed I'm afraid. 'For dummies' is trademarked. smiley - bluesmiley - sorry Bels. I'll be back to read the entry when I have a bit more time.

A1079642 - Cancer for Dummies

Post 5

Bels - an incurable optimist. A1050986

That's no problem at all, Mina. As I said, it's just a working title. Do feel free to suggest real titles.

And don't pull any punches. This isn't my first entry, you know, and it won't be my last, so you don't have to be gentle. Please help me improve it - that's what it's here for. Sometimes a writer can be too close to his topic.

A1079642 - Cancer for Dummies

Post 6

Bels - an incurable optimist. A1050986

Oh, and by the way - I wrote this as an ordinary guide entry so that I had something I could point people to while discussing cancer elsewhere. I only put it into PR as an afterthought. So if it isn't considered suitable for the EG that will bother me not in the slightest.

A1079642 - Cancer for Dummies

Post 7


Hi Bels!

I think this would make a very worthwhile addition to the edited guide when finished smiley - ok

I have a few questions though, that you may or may not want to answer in your entry.

First of all I had a little difficulty with some of the terms you used. I realize they are all the proper terms for the subject at hand but some of them I don't understand and others I thought could be more clearly defined. I was also thinking that the entry could be read by those younger and less educated than myself so a bit of 'dumbing-down' in the spirit of your title may be in order. The specific terms I picked out are: Carcinoma, Sarcoma, Milton's Lycidas, Malignant, Monoclonal Antibodies, and Quiescent (although there may be others). I was familiar with the other terms for types of cancer, but they may all be worth brief definitions.

Some other points...

You may wish to point out that having a tumor does not automatically mean having cancer, possibly with a link to more information on tumors or cysts.

You state that not all cancers require urgent treatment, but isn't it also true that not all cancers *can* be treated? Aren't some treatments aimed solely at alleviating symptoms when there aren't any feasible options for treating the cancer itself?

How does cancer kill? Does it poison the body or interfere with bodily functions, maybe both? Or do different cancers act in different ways? (This may well be an irrelevant question, it just crossed my mind as I was reading).

Is it possible to cure cancer, or does it just go into remission. What does it mean to go into remission? Is remission considered a "cure"?

Are different types of cancer more likely to be hereditary than others, and are there any cancers that aren't hereditary at all?

And finally, a title suggestion: Cancer - an Overview for the Easily Confused smiley - winkeye

My sincere sympathy for whatever circumstance has brought you this information smiley - smiley and my thanks for your sharing it.

A1079642 - Cancer for Dummies

Post 8

Bels - an incurable optimist. A1050986

Hello Miloso

Some very good points there - thank you.

Wording - I'll see what I can do to tidy it up and simplify.

Tumour not equal to cancer - I referred to this under benign vs. malignant but perhaps this needs expanding a bit. I don't want to introduce cysts, I think.

Treatment aimed at alleviation - yes of course there's a difference between treatment and cure. I will try to find out exactly what might be meant by saying that a cancer has been cured.

How does cancer kill? I suspect this is too complicated and varied to answer in this entry, especially since there are over 200 different ones and patients in all sorts of conditions. I suspect that a cancer that kills one person might not kill another.

Remission - I will put in a note about remission, the different kinds, and what it means.

Title - it really was something I just scribbled. Not sure if 'overview' is the word. How does 'Cancer - a brief guide for the perplexed' grab you? Delete 'for the perplexed', did I hear you say? OK!

Sympathy - thank you. You are very kind. Should you be interested, you can find out more at A1050986

Great feedback - thanks a lot. smiley - smiley


A1079642 - Cancer for Dummies

Post 9

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

I'd endorse the 'A Brief Guide' subtitle. This is a very emotive and horrifying disease, and it's impossible to what frame of mind some reading the article will be in. So don't try to position the reader in any way. I'm the son of someone who has cancer. I don't know what frame of mind I will be in before too long but it won't be a state of perplexion, believe me

A1079642 - Cancer for Dummies

Post 10


Thank you for the link, Bels. I've subscribed. smiley - smiley

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