Why Everyone Eventually Gets Cancer

As people age their cells amass more potentially cancerous mutations. Given a long enough life, cancer will eventually kill you — unless you die first of something else. That would be true even in a world free from carcinogens and equipped with the most powerful medical technology…

Maybe someday some of us will live to be 200. But barring an elixir for immortality, a body will come to a point where it has outwitted every peril life has thrown at it. And for each added year, more mutations will have accumulated. If the heart holds out, then waiting at the end will be cancer. (More)

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  1. Nancy says:

    An interesting read.

  2. Steve says:

    An old professor of mine used to say “from the minute you’re born, you start dying.” Cancer’s just another way to go, I suppose.

  3. Mary says:

    I think I’d rather go via heart disease than cancer.

    • Thomas says:

      As morbid as it sounds, either one will await us as we age.

    • Andrew says:

      As a health care worker who used to work at the Heart Hospital, heart disease is also a devastating way to go. There may not be a lesser of two evils.

  4. Andrew says:

    You have to eventually die of something. Regardless of advances in medicine, we all will face our mortality.

    • Thomas says:

      Yeah but cheeseburgers and cigarettes will only get you there quicker.

      • Matthew says:

        Yes but it will be interesting to see if the median age continues to rise as more medical innovations are discovered.

      • perry says:

        If I make it to 75 I’m taking up smoking, heavy drinking and plenty of meaty, fatty foods to move things along. “The Big Enchilada” is not a bad way to go as long as you stay away from the ER.

      • Wilbur says:

        Not if you keep a healthy amount of exercise with them.

  5. Kevin says:

    Thanks for the post John!

  6. Devon Herrick says:

    That’s one reason cancer is a more prevalent cause of death than in centuries past. People are surviving long enough to die of cancer rather than worms, plague, pneumonia, flu, small pox and consumption (i.e. tuberculosis).

  7. Buster says:

    Throughout most of human history — up until less than 200 years ago — nearly half of babies died before reaching their 5th birthday. One of the most common causes of death in infants was dehydration due to diarrheal diseases.

  8. Ian Random says:

    I remember hearing something like a little radiation exposure helps the body learn to repair DNA. Much like everything in the body, it needs practice to get better at something.