Talk:Cancer/Archive 2

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Cancer vs neoplasia vs tumor

From the intro, "The word cancer is not used in medicine as it lacks precision, but remains the common name for this group of diseases in most languages. Instead, scientists and physicians use the word neoplasm."

LOL. Absolute bollocks. CANCER physicians use the word many times a day when working in their CANCER centres, or for the CANCER Research Campaign, or for the National CANCER Institute. Some of them read CANCER or the Journal of the National CANCER Institute, or Nature CANCER Reviews, or even the British Journal of CANCER. Pathologists at the tumour conference talk about CANCER. In clinic one does not approach a patient to say, "Mr Jones, I am sorry to tell you that you have a neoplasm." Funnily enough there is an article entitled CANCER in Wikipedia.
Someone please put this sentence out of its misery.Jellytussle 05:30, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, jellytussle, you are right, since 90% of the population understand "cancer", not "neoplasm" docs & other scientists use "cancer" a lot in high visibility places like titles of journals, conferences or fundraising events. They will also, of course, talk to patient about "cancer". However, the readers of these same journals would cringe at an article discussing the benefits of pre-operative CMF-type chemotherapy for "breast cancer". Why? because the different types of "breast cancer" would respond differently to chemotherapy, so lumping them together would be stupid. Ironically, such an article would never be published in the very popular scientific journal called Cancer. Emmanuelm 14:55, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Looking at a recent series of articles about trastuzumab in breast cancer in the New England Journal of Medicine, "cancer" is used, not "neoplasm." My sense is that cancer is far from a vernacular term. Andrew73 00:35, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

I have had a go at the intro papragraph. No objections to anyone else re-editing. This valiant attempt unfortunately is a bit long-winded, and therefore I have, with respect, cut it entirely:

"The uncontrolled growth of cells charactersitic of cancer can result in [[neoplasia (Latin: neoplasia, new form). They often result in a tumor ("swelling" in Latin), which is a type of neoplasm. In medicine, tumor is not synonymous with neoplasm; most tumors are not neoplasm, but rather inflammation surrounding an infection. Furthermore, many neoplasms do not cause a tumor, such as leukemia and myeloma. Neoplasms and tumors can be malignant or benign."

Jellytussle 06:05, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Jellytussle, in my pathology reports, I write that the patient has "ductal carcinoma of the breast", never "breast cancer", and certainly not "breast tumor". I added a paragraph in this article attempting to clarify the use of these three words. I wrote this paragraph hoping it would help a patient decipher a copy of her pathology report. Natalinasmpf re-worded it, and I am OK with her edits. However, I disagree with your deletion; please revert it. Emmanuelm 14:55, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Its a fair point that formal pathology reports talk about specific carcinomas, sarcomas, etc. This is necessary for coding within ICD regulations, and for precision. However, in clinical daily practice, oncologists and pathologists actually talk about Cancer between themselves and with patients. It is not strictly accurate to say that the word "Cancer" is not used in medicine. I understand what you are trying to say however. Can we reword this so that it is more clear, or is it explained well enough in the section on Classification and Nomenclature?Jellytussle 17:31, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Here is another non-oncologist who agrees 100% w Jellytussle that the sentence was just plain wrong. Perhaps the best way to achieve both purposes would be either a paragraph specifically on nomenclature, describing in what contexts the terms make sense or don't, or else a separate section entitled something like Not all neoplasia are cancer; not all cancers are the same: how to understand a pathology report or a medical journal article to cover Emmanuelm's purpose and good points? alteripse 22:45, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

How about something along the following lines, to be placed at the start of the classification and nomenclature section:

  • Cancer is just one of several terms used to describe this group of diseases.
  • These terms are partially synonymous, and are often used loosely by medical staff communicating with each other or with patients, and also by the media. This can cause confusion.
  • The terms cancer, carcinoma, neoplasm, and tumour are often used interchangeably. Leukaemia, lymphoma, and sarcoma are generally referred to seperately, though they fall within the same grouping of disease, and are treated by oncologists (Cancer specialists.)
  • There are specific pathological names for each of the many hundreds of recognised subtypes of cancer. This is necessary for precise classification, epidemiology, prognosis, and specific treatment. The pathological classification and naming of tumours is regulated by international bodies such as the World Health Organisation.
  • A basic pathological classification is given below (what is already in the classification and nomenclature section)

Just trying to phrase and order the above well is quite dificult. If anyone thinks this is a reasonable idea, please edit. I am not convinced that it is necessary to labour the point about the origin of the word "Tumour" on this page. "Tumour" could link (if it doesn't already) to an explanation of the classical Tumour, Dolor, Rubor, Calor, the philology etc. This is really History of Medicine.Jellytussle 06:12, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Haha. If you follow the link to Tumor you will find the following bald statement:"Malignant tumors are called cancer." There is some useful stuff there, though it is a bit ectopic.Jellytussle 06:19, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Jellytussle, simply stating that these terms are "partially synonymous" and "used loosely" falls short of the purpose of Wikipedia (and all encyclopedias). These terms have a meaning; your text fails to define it.
Here is my proposal:
  • Neoplasia and neoplasm are the accurate, scientific names for this group of diseases as defined in the first paragraph of the intro. This group contains a large number of different diseases; the usual classification is listed below. Neoplasms can be benign or malignant.
  • Cancer is a widely used word that is usually understood as synonymous with malignant neoplasm. Occasionnally, it is used instead of carcinoma, a sub-group of malignant neoplasms. Because of its overwhelming popularity relative to 'neoplasia', it is used a lot by scientists and physicians, especially when discussing neoplastic diseases as a group.
  • Tumor in medical language simply means swelling, either neoplastic, inflammatory or other. In common language, however, it is synonymous with 'neoplasm', either benign or malignant.
Emmanuelm 15:46, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Emmanuelm, I appreciate your comments. The bits about "partially synonymous" and "used loosely", and the succeeding points were an attempt to put something down to give orientation to Confused Joe Public, before he wades in to the more precise pathological definitions. I think it is reasonable to explain how the vernacular differs from the language of pathology. This was really in response to alteripse's very valuable points. It would be useful to have comment on this from someone who is neither an oncologist (me) nor a pathologist (yourself). Jellytussle 18:48, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't understand what you mean. If I add the definitions above to the main article, will you leave them there or delete them?Emmanuelm 18:24, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I won't delete or change anything without some consensus. I think this discussion is useful and should continue. regards Jellytussle 19:05, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Jellytussle, about "I won't delete or change anything without some consensus": you deleted my section about this subject, as edited by natalinasmpf, on Dec 31st without consulting me (did you consult her?). I think this discussion is sterile. I therefore added a separate paragraph after the introduction containing essentially my proposal above. Let's see how this one will survive. Emmanuelm 20:01, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
BTW, I'm happy to learn you are an oncologist. Why not say so in your user page?Emmanuelm 20:01, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
After rereading the first paragraph of the article, I'm not sure if the umbrella term "neoplasia" would accurately describe it. The first paragraph mentions invasion and metastasis which are malignant features. Andrew73 20:52, 10 January 2006


Emanuelm: I think the section on terminology is pretty good now. not sure about the staetement that C.I.S does not form "tumour" DCIS is certainly responsible for breast lumps in my experience (though LCIS is not.) Come to think of it, leukaemia can also be a bit lumpy sometimes (Chloromas, CLL.) Re: deleting. I made that statement on 6th Jan, after I saw what aggro my revisions caused. I think the page is better now.Jellytussle 00:44, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Jellytussle, you are right, DCIS may present as a breast tumor, but usually does not. Same for leukemia. So, when I say that CIS and leukemia are examples of neoplasms that do not form tumors, I am right more often than you are. Emmanuelm 19:52, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

The whole chapter was lost on Jan 18th by Mr anonymous while cleaning non-sense. I put it back today. Is this chapter jinxed or what? Please read and make sure I did not remove your edits. Emmanuelm 19:52, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

If you have a Jellytussle on your back, you should have it biopsied. It might be malignant. :) --JohnDO|Speak your mind I doubt it 20:23, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
 ;-P It looks OK to me. I wondered what had happened to it, but got sidetracked arguing with the alternative brigade. Jellytussle 21:18, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Bizarre additions

An anonymous user claiming to be representing the "Cancer Information & Support Society" added material to the page[1] pertaining to "psychological & emotional causes of cancer", as well as a claim that surgery has not been evaluated in a randomized trial (oh yeah?) and that Dr Ralph Moss has written great books about questioning chemotherapy.

The author is free to discuss his ideas over here, but nothing of it was suitable for inclusion. The diff above will give access to the material that was subsequently removed. JFW | T@lk 15:55, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

A brief look at the CISS website[2] will tell most of us all we need to know. JFW | T@lk 15:57, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
JFW, I agree this was pseudoscience at its best, and I agree it had to be deleted from the article. On the other hand, the unique strength of Wikipedia is exactly this: an opportunity for the alternative voices to be heard, opportunity not found in "orthodox" encyclopedias. Would an extra paragraph by a fluff-head make you physically ill?
I added a comment on this anonymous user's page inviting him to try again, this time being much more concise and more respectful of the scientific process. Emmanuelm 20:11, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

This actually fits Raul's fifth law. This editor really had nothing to say that was not already in the article, apart from his absurd claim that surgery has not been proven in trials or that Ralph Moss writes interesting books. NPOV applies to everybody, even to fluffheads. JFW | T@lk 21:28, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

DJB: As the "anonymous user claiming to represent the Cancer Information & Support Society" I am disappointed with the arrogance and dogma that is present in the Talk on "nothing was suitable for inclusion": Who decides what is suitable? ..."I agree this is pseudoscience at its best": Who decides what results from properly run randomised trials are pseudoscience? "His absurd claim that surgery has not been proven in trials": OK let's get a bit of the scientific process into this discussion and start by giving me a reference for a surgical intervention for cancer that has been shown in a randomised trials to provide a significant extension of survival or reduced mortality of life compared to no surgery. I made this claim in a peer-reviewed paper in Medical Hypotheses in 1993. It has not yet been refuted. Now is your chance. To state that nothing questioning the current paradigm of what cancer is, using referenced material, is suitable for inclusion is the height of arrogance, especially since, according to John Bailar, the war on cancer, based on the current paradigm is essentially a failure and we now have to rely on prevention if we want to make any progress.The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .Don Benjamin 21:17, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Hey,, if you want to have a constructive contribution to Wikipedia, please create a user ID, an informative user page, and start signing your posts. Emmanuelm 18:29, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Level 1 evidence, I believe:
Effects of radiotherapy and of differences in the extent of surgery for early breast cancer on local recurrence and 15-year survival: an overview of the randomised trials. Clarke M, Collins R et al Lancet. 2005 Dec 17;366(9503):2087-106
BACKGROUND: In early breast cancer, variations in local treatment that substantially affect the risk of locoregional recurrence could also affect long-term breast cancer mortality. To examine this relationship, collaborative meta-analyses were undertaken, based on individual patient data, of the relevant randomised trials that began by 1995. METHODS: Information was available on 42,000 women in 78 randomised treatment comparisons (radiotherapy vs no radiotherapy, 23,500; more vs less surgery, 9300; more surgery vs radiotherapy, 9300). 24 types of local treatment comparison were identified. To help relate the effect on local (ie, locoregional) recurrence to that on breast cancer mortality, these were grouped according to whether or not the 5-year local recurrence risk exceeded 10% (<10%, 17,000 women; >10%, 25,000 women). FINDINGS: About three-quarters of the eventual local recurrence risk occurred during the first 5 years. In the comparisons that involved little (<10%) difference in 5-year local recurrence risk there was little difference in 15-year breast cancer mortality. Among the 25,000 women in the comparisons that involved substantial (>10%) differences, however, 5-year local recurrence risks were 7% active versus 26% control (absolute reduction 19%), and 15-year breast cancer mortality risks were 44.6% versus 49.5% (absolute reduction 5.0%, SE 0.8, 2p<0.00001). These 25,000 women included 7300 with breast-conserving surgery (BCS) in trials of radiotherapy (generally just to the conserved breast), with 5-year local recurrence risks (mainly in the conserved breast, as most had axillary clearance and node-negative disease) 7% versus 26% (reduction 19%), and 15-year breast cancer mortality risks 30.5% versus 35.9% (reduction 5.4%, SE 1.7, 2p=0.0002; overall mortality reduction 5.3%, SE 1.8, 2p=0.005). They also included 8500 with mastectomy, axillary clearance, and node-positive disease in trials of radiotherapy (generally to the chest wall and regional lymph nodes), with similar absolute gains from radiotherapy; 5-year local recurrence risks (mainly at these sites) 6% versus 23% (reduction 17%), and 15-year breast cancer mortality risks 54.7% versus 60.1% (reduction 5.4%, SE 1.3, 2p=0.0002; overall mortality reduction 4.4%, SE 1.2, 2p=0.0009). Radiotherapy produced similar proportional reductions in local recurrence in all women (irrespective of age or tumour characteristics) and in all major trials of radiotherapy versus not (recent or older; with or without systemic therapy), so large absolute reductions in local recurrence were seen only if the control risk was large. To help assess the life-threatening side-effects of radiotherapy, the trials of radiotherapy versus not were combined with those of radiotherapy versus more surgery. There was, at least with some of the older radiotherapy regimens, a significant excess incidence of contralateral breast cancer (rate ratio 1.18, SE 0.06, 2p=0.002) and a significant excess of non-breast-cancer mortality in irradiated women (rate ratio 1.12, SE 0.04, 2p=0.001). Both were slight during the first 5 years, but continued after year 15. The excess mortality was mainly from heart disease (rate ratio 1.27, SE 0.07, 2p=0.0001) and lung cancer (rate ratio 1.78, SE 0.22, 2p=0.0004). INTERPRETATION: In these trials, avoidance of a local recurrence in the conserved breast after BCS and avoidance of a local recurrence elsewhere (eg, the chest wall or regional nodes) after mastectomy were of comparable relevance to 15-year breast cancer mortality. Differences in local treatment that substantially affect local recurrence rates would, in the hypothetical absence of any other causes of death, avoid about one breast cancer death over the next 15 years for every four local recurrences avoided, and should reduce 15-year overall mortality.
in addition, I do not believe that anyone sensible would dispute that prevention is better, and cheaper than cure. Good epidemiology and public health are essential. That does not mean that one gives up when cancer is diagnosed. Screening for some cancers undoubtedly reduces mortality. Approximately 50% of cancers in the West are cured. Those that are not cured are often still treateable. Jellytussle 03:15, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

DJB: Thanks for the example Jellytussle. Unfortunately it is not what I asked for (a single randomised controlled trial comparing surgical intervention for any type of cancer with no surgery. Without such a trial with positive results (level 1 evidence) surgery for cancer remains experimental. Let's look at the level 2 evidence you cited. It is essentially about recurrence. I don't dispute that surgery and radiotherapy can reduce recurrence, in some cases such as radiotherapy for breast cancer, recurrence is reduce by up to 70%. Unfortunately there is no correlation between reduced recurrence and reduced mortality. For example in the breast cancer example I just cited (The Bernard Fisher studies), the 70% recurrence was not accompanied by any increased survival or reduce mortality. In the same way shrinking tumours with chemotherapy is rarely accompanied by increased survival. (This is covered in Ralph Moss' Book: Questioning Chemotherapy.) This suggests the paradigm about what cancer is, is wrong. Which is why I suggested an alternative paradigm for cancer in my "bizarre additions". The other part of the meta-analysis you cited referred to reduction in breast cancer mortality reduction. Again this is of little relevance if death from other causes goes up by the same amount, which it usually does in properly randomised trials.(This is presumably as result of the harm from the radiotherapy, as shown in the meta-analysis by the Early Breast cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group. (Effects of Radiotherapy and Surgery in Early Breast Cancer – An Overview of the Randomised Trials. NEJM 1995; 333 (22): 1444-1455.) Which gets us to the last part of the study you suggested, viz overall mortality reduction, 5.3% and 4.4%. This is valid if, and only if, the groups compared are still randomised. They appear not to be because they are described as comparisons between subgroups of the original women who had experienced >10% reduction in recurrence. In randomised controlled trials it is not valid to compare non-randomised subgroups.The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .Don Benjamin 21:17, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

I cited 8 properly randomised controlled trials whose results (up to 40% reduction of mortality) suggest an alternative paridigm is probably more valid. And this is described as "nothing useful" and the whole thing was deleted. Yet you can't cite me a single eqivalent trial for surgery with a result anything appraching the results of any of the trials I cited. The best you can cite is an invalid comparision between unmatched groups with a mortality reduction of 4-5%. I would still like an answer to why my whole edit was deleted. If it is not possible to question the current clearly invalid paradigm about what cancer is, then wikipedia ceases to be a neutral reference.The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .Don Benjamin 21:17, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

From the medical community's point of view, would you consider it ethical to include a non-intervention group? Do you have an explanation why since 1960 no trial on anticoagulation for pulmonary embolism has included a placebo group?
Anycase, for your brave assertion that surgery in cancer is rubbish you will need to prove that anyone believes in it. The medical dogma is that surgery works in localised disease for many malignancies. One website in Australia is not sufficient to attest to the fact that the non-surgery idea enjoys a wide backing. If you cannot prove that, your assertion will not be mirrored in the Wikipedia article. JFW | T@lk 14:29, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

"The other part of the meta-analysis you cited referred to reduction in breast cancer mortality reduction. Again this is of little relevance if death from other causes goes up by the same amount..."

Since our chance of death is 100%, because we are all mortal, any reduction in cancer specific death must be accompanied by a corresponding increase in death from other causes. This does not make cancer treatment irrelevant. It does go some way to explain way overall survival is not necessarily a useful endpoint for some cancer trials, especially those looking at more mature populations, where local control, disease free survival, and cancer specific survival are commonly quoted endpoints. Jellytussle 17:07, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

There is little point in continuing this discussion. Your require evidence for what I claim, then reject results of randomised trials because "the medical community" doesn't accept them. Then when I ask you for evidence for your assertion, you reply that it would be unethical to run a trial to prove what you "know" is true but has never been shown to be true in a randomised trial. I am only interested in a constructive debate about real evidence. I am not interested in answering dogmatic assertions that are a cover for lack of evidence. One rule of wikipedia is that editing should retain a neutral approach. If some editors don't conform, wikipedia becomes the loser.The preceding unsigned comment was added by Don Benjamin (talk • contribs) .Don Benjamin 21:17, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes, but please review WP:NPOV. Fringe ideas do not always need inclusion just because they exist. You are free to conduct a trial to show that surgery does not work and proves the medical paradigm wrong. Please find 100 women with localised breast cancer who are happy not to have a lumpectomy. Then compare them in a case-control study with women who are undergoing surgery. The outcomes will be a surprise for you and a sad confirmation for the medics. JFW | T@lk 22:43, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
As perhaps further example of where it is inappropriate to cite lack of random-controlled trials, we are all aware that CPR and defibrillation may sometimes revive patients following cardiac arrest, but I would guess that no one ever did a random-controlled trial (audit studies to measure survival rates yes, but no trial to prove whether works at all as no action = certain death) David Ruben Talk 14:56, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Your reference to interventions based on results of randomised trials as "fringe ideas" and medical interventions without any randomised trials to support them as the only ones that you believe need to be included in Wikipedia shows that we have completely different ideas about what constitutes scientific evidence. I have therefore sought the offices of the Mediation Cabal to help resolve this issue. Don Benjamin 07:23, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Don, you are wasting your time. The problem with your edits is that you are trying to bring out a point that has almost 0% support in the oncological community and similar numbers in the lay public. It is easily forgotten that according to WP:NPOV ideas with minimal backing do not need to be represented on Wikipedia. You are fully entitled to your views, but practically all editors involved in this article feel that your views do not merit inclusion. Whether you are right or wrong by "objective" standards. When these views have achieved notability (e.g. sympathetic editorials in oncology journals, news items in national newspapers) we can talk again. JFW | T@lk 12:07, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
For those interested, the "mediation cabal" page about this issue is here. I have asked Don Benjamin[3] why he thinks I'm his nemesis here. JFW | T@lk 12:24, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
The mediation seems to state rather a lot of original researc Don ("I have calculated..." etc) --Sinkingpie 22:36, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Why has the clinical section given way to the pathophysiology?

I'm known to favour clinical descriptions before pathophysiological discussions. This is for several reasons: (1) hard science puts people off, (2) cancer is not researched if it is not recognised or diagnosed, (3) it disrupts logical flow.

Before I shift everything around again, I'd like to get some views on whether the "diagnosing cancer" section should be high up or lower down in the article. JFW | T@lk 21:36, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree. --WS 23:23, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

OK with me. Jellytussle 00:29, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Either. alteripse 01:28, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Either is fine, but we should try to be consistent with all the medical articles. --DocJohnny 01:36, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Most medical articles follow the symptoms -> diagnosis -> pathophysiology -> treatment format. JFW | T@lk 11:22, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
There's been an outline at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Clinical_medicine#Template since July 2004 describing preferred headers and order, but I think most people don't see it because it is at the bottom. It might make sense to split it onto its own policy page. --Arcadian 17:08, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Macromolecules has added some paragraphs about "macromolecule" therapy. I have not heard of this. The points are very non-specific. I have requested examples and references. Jellytussle 07:24, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree. On the Richter scale, targeted therapy is several points higher than this. JFW | T@lk 11:12, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Removal of Medicine and Religion section

It disturbs me a little to see the edit summary that accompanied the removal of the "religion" section saying "this is relevant to an article on religion, not medicine"; I am speaking from the perspective of someone who could never be called "religious" in any sense of the word. This is an encyclopedia article; it is not an article in a medical textbook. As such, consideration of the disease in its social context is in bounds and should not be so brusquely cast away as being irrelevant. The social context of a disorder and its treatment is a major factor in the quality of life enjoyed (or not) by the persons afflicted with the disorder. I trust that the medical professionals who edit this and other medicine-oriented articles are both aware and respectful of this. User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:53, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

A line on an obscure Italian saint does not constitute a useful discussion of medicine and religion or medicine in society, let alone cancer. The social context of medicine is important, and may deserve its own page. Medicine and religion likewise. Possibly both of these should be part of the history of medicine. The Cancer page is not the place. Jellytussle 01:26, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

This sainthood probably does not have adequate impact to make it to this very wide-ranging and already quite large article. Just because it is a Catholic saint does not guarantee notability. Is there any indication that a Catholic cancer charity will be named after this saint? That puts the saint on the level of Lance Armstrong vis a vis notability. JFW | T@lk 13:25, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Coley's Toxins

"In the days before antiseptics, surgery usually caused infection, but the rate of recovery from the cancer was high. This realization prompted William Coley about 100 years ago to develop a treatment method based on injecting bacteria into the tumor. According to Stephen Hoption Cann of the University of British Columbia, "He had successes you simply couldn't hope for today, curing even extensive metastatic disease" (New Scientist, 2 Nov., 2002). However, his method was not pursued because of the growing interest in radiation therapy. There is now some interest in re-examining his idea"

This should go in the vaccine/immunotherapy section rather than surgical.

The Hopton Cann article (or a very similar one) can be found for free at this journal: Dr William Coley and tumour regression: a place in history or in the future.Hoption Cann SA et al Postgraduate Medical Journal 2003;79:672-680

And a slightly more detailed scientific discussion of the subject is: Cancer vaccines Espinoza-Delgado I. Oncologist. 2002;7 Suppl 3:20-33.

I think this subject deserves a mention, but with respect your paragraph needs to be edited for style. The first sentence is unqualified. One could equally say that surgical mortality pre antiseptics was horrendous. I would lose the quote from Hoption Cann, which is journalese, and which suggests that a miracle cancer cure has simply been discounted. If Coley's Toxins are mentioned, one should also discuss contemporary methods for gnerating non-specific immune response against tumours, such as intravesical BCG for superficial bladder cancer, and also interferon and interleukin studies. Vaccines to generate non-specific immune responses are the subject of intensive research for a number of tumours, notable malignant melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. Lastly, reading the Hoption Cann article I was struck by his idea that modern oncology has abolished the pyrexial infection with its (supposed) associated antitumour benefits. It is worth pointing out that the commonest cause of death from cancer is a pyrexial infection, usually pneumonia. Jellytussle 18:25, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Oncogene definition

"...Mutations in proto-oncogenes will modify their function. If their function is modified so that they become overexpressed and thus produce more proteins of which they are coded for, thus becoming overactive."

I'm not sure the second sentence makes all that much sense grammatically. Also, a proto-oncogene can become an oncogene via a mutation that changes how the protein acts - not just through a mutation that induces over-expression. (i.e. production of a hyperactive product). For example, the rasD oncogene is produced through a point mutation inserting a glycine residue at position 12 - not through an overexpression of the normal ras product.--Sinkingpie 16:46, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
You are right wrt the grammar. Go ahead and fix it. Maybe ..."Mutation of an oncogene can modify its function, increasing or decreasing the amount or activity of the product protein." alteripse 23:31, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
Oh, remember to update the carcinogenesis page as needed. I just updated some of it, but it might require other updates. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 21:03, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Page move

This article was moved from "Cancer" to "Cancer aromatase" without discussion or move explanation. In the absence of a readily apparent reason, I have moved it back to "Cancer". — Knowledge Seeker 21:59, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Parasites / Microbes?

So I've heard various arguments from, sadly, a large number of people that the cause of cancer is actually caused by parasites, and that I am in fact a foolish rube for believing other wise.

So should we add a section or an article debunking causes/cures for cancers similar to how the moon landing article links to a page about moon landing hoaxes.

See the section in Carcinogenesis on non-mainstream theories. There has been an ongoing debate about the merits of using space on this page to discuss alternative theories. The consensus seems to be that they should be discussed elsewhere. There are numerous alternative pages in Wikipedia. Jellytussle 00:52, 18 February 2006 (UTC)


i have alot of friends who have been cancer (including me i am now a mirical child who is totally cleard of cancer (miraculusly) survivors and i encurage you to not give up if you have cancer fight the battle and win (talk · contribs)

One of the messages from this article should be that a diagnosis of cancer is no death warrant. Indeed, some cancers have a much better prognosis than more severe but less ill-reputed conditions such as stroke.
I'm not sure whether we should refer to undergoing cancer treatment as "fighting and winning". Sometimes the cancer wins. If I were to be asked, I would prefer to focus on "dealing with the challenges", "remaining sensible", "following medical advice", "trying to lead a happy life despite the problems". A person does not change just because of a tumour. Sometimes it seems it's not the patients who has the cancer but the cancer has the patient (Kylie Minogue has already become synonymous with her tumour). JFW | T@lk 00:51, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Vitamin C

Maybe this is of interest? --Striver 10:00, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Not really. A series of 3 patients doees not make a proper trial.Jellytussle 18:00, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Up to

This phrase, e.g. "Up to half of" doesn't belong in a good scientific article, but it appears several times (err... up to 50 times :-P ). For example, IF it's true that 1% of cancer is caused by x, THEN it must also be true that UP TO half of of cancer is caused by x. Please, can we remove the phrase, which is normally only used by unethical marketers? "Approximately" could be an appropriate replacement, but without a reference, it's impossible to know. PS:JFW, kudos on lots of evident hard work on this article. -Elvey 18:22, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Hormonal suppression/Magic bullet

A section on hormonal maneouvres is useful and could be expanded. However, I am not sure that the paragraph on "magic bullet" fits in the same section. Firstly, the phrase "magic bullet" is in itself of debatable relevance. Secondly, it is incorrect to state that hormonal therapy is likely to form the basis for "magic bullet" therapy: this sort of thing is already being used, with antibodies as the vehicle. Suggest deletion/revision/move that paragraph Jellytussle 15:47, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Ok. Deleted the following from the hormonal suppression paragraph:
"An anti-cancer magic bullet would most likely take the form of a hormonal suppressor. This chemical (most probably a protein growth factor or antibody) would preferentially recognise and target cancerous cells without recognising healthy cells. Once the cells have been identified it is comparatively easy to deliver a lethal dose of some cytotoxic compound. There are many obstacles to overcome before this therapy becomes reality. The first is identifying characteristics that are unique to cancer compared to normal cells. Bear in mind the fact that cancerous cells derived from different tissues and even within the same tissues have very different characteristics. Such that one magic bullet designed from one cancer might be ineffective against another."
Jellytussle 19:30, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

History of cancer treatment & research

I was looking for some historical info on cancer treatment & research. The history pages all seem somewhat cryptic. There's a good story about how the correlation between smoking and lung cancer was discovered in the 50's, and it seems that an Italian physician in the 19th century discovered a link between nuns and breast cancer.

Are you sure its not nuns and cervical cancer? Nuns (ie virgins) don't get it (so to speak) since they have not been exposed to HPV. I agree that the history section could be expanded. I have moved the para on Coley's toxins to the history section: although it may be relevant to modern immunotherapy, it definately counts as history rather than as current practice.Jellytussle 03:06, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Ok, I've taken a go at it, but I am still not satisfied! There is so much info still out there on the 20th century. I would ideally like to see TWO sections on history: History of cancer research, and history of cancer treatment, since they are not always related.

Good stuff.Please get a user name and sign your work.Jellytussle 20:20, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Cancer research should be the container for the history of cancer research. This article should focus on a broad history of the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. JFW | T@lk 13:51, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I know that this history blurb should be sketchy and not too detailed, but really, I do think some more basic info is needed. Thanks for the edit by the way, it reads much better! I'll check out the cancer research part next. There's still a problem at the beginning of the paragraph though, since Galen is actually a few centuries younger than Hippocrates, but who really cares? Also, we need some info on the early successes of radiation, and later of chemo.Jane 15:15, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

JFW is right. This should be a section in Cancer research which is currently a fairly bad page. Cancer is getting a bit unwieldy. If History is moved, there should be some very clear linkage from the cancer page.Jellytussle 16:10, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Links to external sites

The number of links seems to expand by the day. Some of these are to internationally recognised organisations of high repute, with useful and accessable information. Others are either repetitive, parochial, or less useful. How do we decide which stay or go, apart from me wielding the delete button?Jellytussle 21:30, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Some guidelines: Wikipedia:External links --WS 21:39, 17 June 2006 (UTC)


Maybe it should be featured. If someone nominate the article, I alert Medicine WikiProject, and all medicine related contributors. It's an important topic, I created hungarian cancer article on the basis of this article, and it became featured. I help, if needed. NCurse work 08:09, 26 June 2006 (UTC)


The first para of the cheotherapy section need some expansion and editing.Jellytussle 22:24, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

What kind of faults have you found in it? Maybe it would help in expanding. NCurse work 06:43, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Pattern Recognition Tumor Targeting (talk · contribs), now registered as Jeffglazier (talk · contribs), has been making extensive edits to champion a new form of cancer therapy based on Pattern Recognition Tumor Targeting. This is a discovery of Arnold Glazier, MD, in his (self-published) book[4]. The idea is that by targeting cells that both proliferate and invade you cure every cancer. It is endorsed by Emil Frei III, leading oncologist, and the author thanks a lot more very big names in his acknowledgements.

Never mind that the contributions don't go into detail. What modality should be use? Something called targeted therapy perhaps? It all doesn't make a great deal of sense.

Given the complete paucity of Google hits for this innovative approach I suspect the Wikipedia article shouldn't devote attention to Pattern Recognition Tumor Targeting. JFW | T@lk 21:11, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

JFW: +1... We shouldn't devote attention to it. Now. NCurse work 09:47, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

This is an easy dimissal. Look at the advertisement for the book and the "acknowledgments" page posted by Jeff Glazier. The acknowledements page thanks a list of eminent oncologists for vague support, inspiration, guidance, etc. I assume Dr. Glazier met them during his training; a cynic might suspect the main reason for the acknowledgments page is to lend authority to the author's credentials to sell more books. There is certainly no claim or reason to infer that they agree with him or endorse a specific theory of his. Second, look at the book, which is apparently written for a popular audience. Our uncharitable cynic might infer it can be summed up as:

  1. Since cancer cells proliferate and invade, find a marker for cells that show that pattern of behavior.
  2. Attach a signal to these cells that attracts immune destruction or triggers apoptosis or allows delivery of a toxic molecule, thereby killing the cancer cells.
  3. The author leaves the details to the lab wonks and clinicians and awaits the acclaim of a grateful public and his Nobel prize.

If Glazier really had an approach ready for description as one of the top 1000 facts about cancer for an encyclopedia article, there would already be numerous research and review articles in the medical literature about his approach, both from his own lab and clinic and that of others who have tested the new ideas and are finding them valid and useful enough for patient trials. alteripse 13:29, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

It is most gratifying to see that people have taken the time to respond to my posting regarding Pattern Recognition Tumor Targeting. My understanding is that the book was written by Dr. Arnold Glazier to help present this new and novel approach to the problem of metastatic cancer. Pattern Recognition Tumor Targeting is a patented technology which is currently being reviewed by numerous oncologists throughout the country and to-date has met with extremely favorable views. It is understandable and easy to recognize why one would want to immediately dismiss the concepts presented by Dr. Glazier, but before doing that I would appeal to you first to take the opportunity to review and read the book, which goes into much clearer explanations. Or, if you prefer, you can get a synopsis of the technology by reading his peer-reviewed article in TIBETS, which has been published by the Windber Institute. Once you have done that, I think further discussion would be more meaningful. Dr. Glazier has received formal letters of support from numerous leading oncologists in the country and is currently in the process of planning a workshop of leading oncologists to present his work in a more formal manner. Respectfully, Jeff Glazier

We shouldn't need to read a book to understand the principles of PRTT. You have still not explained what treatment modalities are used - at the moment we have no way of knowing. Endorsement of a promising theory by bigwigs is not equivalent to notability. None of these endorsements are available online, for example. To say it more poignantly, really important science needs no letters by Emil Frei III - it is immediately quoted senseless in the literature. The fact that this hasn't happened makes me wonder.

We're all assuming good faith here, make no mistake. Possibly in 10 years all other cancer treatments will have been relegated to the rubbish heap. But Wikipedia is not a crystal ball and should not engage in unsustained speculation.

Just out of interest, is Arnold Glazier your dad or your brother? JFW | T@lk 23:21, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Dear JFW, Unfortunately, it takes time for new ideas to assimilate. The media does not jump at the opportunity to publish breakthrough technologies; each organization fears being the first to publish controversial advances. Dr. Glazier--who is in fact one of my uncles--decided to publish the book because to establish public awareness of the need of critical review of this new approach to treating cancer. The technology itself is fairly simple, and I can try to summarize in a few short sentences, but please don't take my word as gospel. I'm a lawyer, not a scientist, and it would be very irresponsible of me to pretend that I fully understand PRTT. From my understanding of the matter, Dr. Glazier has done more than merely invent another technology. He has also created a whole new theory of the disease. Dr. Glazier has taken a step back and looked at the problem of cancer from a new perspective. He realized that while scientists have learned a lot about different "types" of cancer, no one truly understands the disease as a whole. This is true because of the stochastic nature of cancer. Unlike previous approaches, Dr. Glazier focused only on the things that are deemed universally true for all cancer cells. He then applied deductive logic to determine the consequences: which are that all types of cancer are actually one and the same disease, and that there is one and only one way to cure cancer, namely to fulfill a set of very specific requirements. The first part of his book walks the reader through all of this logic very meticulously. Part II of the book then presents Dr. Glazier's solution the problem of cancer by showing how to design drugs that meet those very specific requirements discussed in Part I. Dr. Glazier calls the solution Pattern Recognition Tumor Targeting. It is a fundamentally new way of designing drugs, based entirely on using existing technology in new, nonobvious ways. There are actually many, many different forms of PRTT (the patents span nearly a thousand pages). In his book, he presents merely a few forms of it, for demonstration purposes. The treatment modality of PRTT is to simultaneously administer multiple drugs in a way that causes those drugs to target every possible cancer cell that could ever be in a patient, without harming any non-cancer cells. In other words, Dr. Glazier has discovered numerous ways to specifically target not only all cancer cells currently in a patient, but also any cancer cells that could ever arise in that patient. PRTT is a way of desgining drugs such that only cells that both proliferate and invade (as opposed to merely doing one OR the other) will be killed. Thus, every cancer will be killed and every non-cancer cell is spared. This solves the problem posed by cancer, which is tumor cell evolution. The other reason for reading the book is because it explains the social and economic problems related to the acceptance of new technologies. I posted to Wikipedia with the hope that the public could become aware of this new approach. Actually developing PRTT would be an engineering project of enormous proportions, by drug development standards. The book is therefore a call for action. I would also suggest that you preview the book on, to get a sense of whether it is worth reading.

Respectfully, Jeff Glazier

Thanks. You are confirming that my description above is essentially correct: this is a work of "armchair speculation" on how to cure cancer by someone who has been unwilling or unable to do the detailed work to make it an effective treatment but hopes to gain (by patent) when other people solve the real problems. Your uncle is no doubt a brilliant guy, the acknowledgements list suggests he had the contacts and the opportunities to sell his theory to those who make decisions about where to direct cancer research. But there have been hundreds of ingenious ideas for curing cancer over the last century. This article does not mention the ones that did not result in effective or widely used treatments because it is already a long article and theories not currently used to understand or treat cancer don't reach the threshold for inclusion. It would be great if his ideas become the basis for better treatments but wikipedia wont be the deciding factor. alteripse 01:05, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Dear Alteripse,

You stated Dr. Glazier is “someone who has been unwilling or unable to do the detailed work to make it an effective treatment but hopes to gain (by patent) when other people solve the real problems.” Apparently I have been unable to clearly explain that Dr. Glazier has in fact formulated a detailed blueprint which he has patented for solving the real problem of how to develop the drugs that will specifically target only cancer cells. He has already detailed exactly how the drugs are to be designed. Because PRTT operates by targeting abnormal PATTERNS of normal cellular proteins, the first step is to engage in a massive research project to identify all of the normal patterns of proliferation and invasiveness proteins in every single type of normal cellular tissue. Normal patterns must not be targeted, because that would result in toxicity to the patient. Next, drugs must be designed to target only the abnormal patterns. Such drugs will be designed by using one of many methods that Dr. Glazier has invented. Dr. Glazier and others have estimated that this project will require approximately $150 million over a five year period to bring a set of drugs to clinical trials. PRTT was invented 6 years ago as a result of many years of hard work. It is incorrect to say that Dr. Glazier has not “solved the real problems.” His work tells us exactly what must be done and how to do it. The primary goal now for Dr. Glazier is to be able to implement his work through a massive project dedicated to the cure of cancer.

--Jeff Glazier

Remember the "War on Cancer" of the late 1970s? A huge amount of money was poured into a variety of excellent theoretical ideas with disappointing results. I am not accusing Dr. Glazier of trying evade the problem but to say that this book is no different from a research proposal. Why hasn't he gone to the NIH or the NCI or venture capitalists or any of a hundred biotech companies or pharmaceutical companies with this? If he knows that many top oncologists and they have politely said "nice idea" but haven't been convinced to direct some of their lab efforts in that direction or to invite him to work on it under their wing, it might have some apparent flaws or is not quite so well elaborated as you think. The problem is that ideas are beginnings, not results-- I heard Carleton Gajdusek, one of the smartest people I ever met, describe ideas as "the shit of intelligent minds." His point was that smart people have lots of good ideas-- the next step is much tougher: to decide which are worth pursuing and to have the perspicacity to see the path and the ability to solve the problems along the way. Come back when Dr. Glazier's ideas are a few steps farther along. Surely you can see that an encyclopedia is more about what has been done than what might be done? alteripse 05:13, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Dear Alteripse,

Yes, it was the War on Cancer of the late 1970s and its disappointing results that caused Dr. Glazier to realize that he needed to take a step back and reanalyze the whole problem of cancer. I really would encourage you to take a look at the book. Dr. Glazier has been in contact with the most senior people at the NCI, venture capitalists, and large pharmaceuticals, and things are beginning to come together. However, everything seems to take much longer than it should, given the urgency of the problem. All of this is addressed and explained in the book. Furthermore, not a single scientist has found a fatal flaw with the theory or technology, and he has in fact been gaining more and more scientific support that should propel this project forward. The book covers more than his technology. It also discusses the social and organizational obstacles to the development of a cure. Every question that you and the others have asked is very clearly addressed in the book. Have you previewed the book yet? If you would like, I would be pleased to give you the link to it. Every time I try to post the link to you on this site, someone strikes my message. If you'd like the link, please e-mail me at Of course, I’m glad to try to answer any additional questions that you may have to the best of my ability, but why learn about the theory and technology from me, when you can read it in the words of the inventor himself? Clearly you’re highly knowledgeable and astute in matters related to cancer, which is all the more reason that I am confident that it would be worth your time to read this book. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Best regards, Jeff Glazier

I wish the project well. It sounds like it is in far better hands than ours and I will watch for results. alteripse 23:27, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. -- Jeff Glazier

Sex as the cause?

Why is sex listed as one of the lifestyle factors of cancer? Is this a vandalism?

No. Think about cervix carcinoma or carcinoma of the penis. These are sexually transmitted cancers. I mean absence of hygiene, etc. can lead to these. NCurse Nuvola apps edu science.png work 10:34, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Or rather, sexual contacts as such can lead to cancer - just like anything sexually transmitted. Sexual transmission of papilloma virus is a huge risk factor for cervix cancer. // Habj 19:01, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Cancer vaccine programs important on a global scale?

I removed the half-sentence "'and public health and vaccination programs are also important on a global scale." AFAIK cancer vaccins are pretty much in the stage of research. If there are vaccine programs anywhere, I do not know of them - granted I am no expert but I doubt you can say they are "important on a global scale". Regarding public health programs - this is so unspecific. The only thing I can think of is screening programs, like for instance for breast cancer. Maybe that could be included, but for now I just remove it. // Habj 19:01, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Except that public health and vaccination programs against infectious diseases which predispose to cancer (rather than cancer per se) are very important, and currently ongoing. For example: public health and vaccination programs against Hepatitis B and C, HIV prevention, Schistosomiasis are very well established. HPV vaccine against cervix cancer is likely to be up and running in a few years. We await good EBV vaccination programs. The comment you deleted is valid and should be re-intituted.Jellytussle 12:00, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Cancer and Biopsy in Nature Cure

This section seems out of place in a mainstream cancer article, so I've removed it. Biopsying tumors is standard procedure. To suggest otherwise would represent a fringe practice that is outside the scope of standard medical practice. This material may be more appropriate in an alternative medicine article. Andrew73 14:51, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

"p53 section maybe needed"

I mentioned p53 has two sites of action:nuclear transcription factor and cytoplasmic effecting cell cycle and apoptosis. p53 maybe linked to Warburg effect.I believe I've read that half of all cancers have alterations in p53.Given the significance it maybe worthwhile to have a specific section dedicated to it.GetAgrippa 03:56, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Let's not overload this article with too much detail. For that we have carcinogenesis, which itself will probably need to be broken up. Please keep our readership in mind - not all of them are trained biochemists (not even {{GT}}). JFW | T@lk 21:32, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Excellent, Jfdwolff, I see there is a p53 link anyway. I am beginning to see the method to the madness, and the strategy for organizing this article. My oversight. I understand gearing the comments to any audience and I will address that issue in the future. I can also see how the molecuar biology section could evolve disjointed to the rest of the article. My apologies. I am new to this so just slap me up side the head when appropriate. Thanks. GetAgrippa 02:11, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Photo comparing cancer with crab

I created this composite photo to illustrate why Hippocrates called this disease "crab". This ressemblance is very obvious for those who handle cancerous tumours daily, but I have never seen it described or illustrated before. If Nunquam Dormio or someone else thinks it does not belong in the article, please discuss it here before deleting it. Emmanuelm 21:06, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

The image does lack a bit in clarity. Some cancer biopsies are prestained with methylene blue as part of a sentinel node procedure. Wouldn't that look clearer? JFW | T@lk 21:32, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
This photo was to illustrate what Hippocrates saw: cancer, plain and ugly. Cancer is whitish, as illustrated, not blue. Showing a photo of a blue-stained tumour would be confusing. I can assure you that the naked-eye appearance of cancer does not get clearer than this example. In fact, I have cut through about 20 cancers before finding one with such a classical appearance.
On the other hand, I now see that the middle picture is indeed confusing. I will redo the picture and update it. Emmanuelm 13:36, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for getting rid of the Rorschach blot! Nunquam Dormio 15:02, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Thank you Emmanuelm for the kind messages left on my page and on Emmanuelm. I suggest that the photo should include a meaningful caption, such as "The pale yellow section in the top photo shows the resemblance to a crab" What exactly the purple splodge in the middle illustrates, I leave for the very, very wise to describe. Nunquam Dormio 09:03, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Nunquam, the "pale yellow section" is a cancerous tumour. All those with a modicum of knowledge about this disease will recognize it. As for the "purple splodge", it is a histological section of a cancerous tumour, as indicated in the legend. Wikipedia has a nice article on histology. Read it sometime. Emmanuelm 13:36, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
And the target audience for a wikipedia article are whom? Oncologists or ordinary punters? Nunquam Dormio 14:00, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Alkaline Cure

I was surprised to find no mention of alkaline cures for cancer. There are many sites that claim that raising the PH levels of the body to above 7.4 will cure cancer and that this can be done by ingesting alkaline minerals. there are also several books on the subject.

I came here to see if there was any truth to these claims and there is no mention.

here is one website claiming this:

here is another website claiming... im not sure what, it seems to be for it one sentence and against it the next, seems very badly worded.,%20Calcium

all the sources I have seen place this cures discovery in the hands of Otto Warburg and Keith Brewer, I found plenty of articles here mentioning Warburg (although none mention an alkaline cure bein gone of his discoveries) and there doesnt seem to be a page on Brewer.

Can someone tell me if there is any truth to this? is this nonsense invented to sell placebo cures? or is there some real science here?

I think this page should have a section on this explaining what the real situation is and debunking any myths on this topic. - Mloren 13:59, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

The reason it is not mentioned here is that it is on the fringiest edge of fringe medicine. If you look through the history of this page you will find a number of other obscure alternative treatments which have sought publicity by trying to get a contoroversial paragraph here. Any explanation, dissent etc can take place on one of the alt medicine pages. Does not automatically deserve any mention or even link on the main cancer page. Jellytussle 16:50, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Cancer research

At the moment the opening para reads thus:

"Cancer research is the intense scientific effort to understand disease processes and discover possible therapies. Although understanding of cancer has greatly increased since the last decades of the 20th century, few radically new therapies have been discovered."

The second sentence is inaccurate on several levels. Jellytussle 07:31, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Catching Cancer

Is it possible to spread/transmit cancer via organ transplant, intercourse, or other means (dirty needles), similar to Canine transmissible venereal tumor disease?

As well, just like CTVT Disease, do cancer cells in humans have more or less chromosomes than they normally should (46)? Raccoon FoxTalkStalk 00:03, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Alternative Medicine

Can someone add that other alternative medicines are Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment and Hydrogen Peroxide? And that they won't be looked at by doctors and pharmaceutical companies because they are inexpensive and will cause the companies and doctors to lose a lot of money? That last part may be considered POV, but many tests by un-biased companies and have showed these medicines/treatments are highly effective. 00:27, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment has a number of applications in conventional medicine. A hyperbaric oxygen unit is a very expensive piece of infrfrastructure. Hydrogen peroxide treament for anything apart from washing wounds and bleaching hair is quackery. Jellytussle 08:48, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm not saying go buy your own Hyperbaric chamber...there are hyperbaric treatment centers located in the US. Can you prove that last point you made about hydrogen peroxide with facts?Gotmesomepants 00:04, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Why haven't you addressed that question to those that claim it works? It is their responsibility to prove their claims. There are few things more obscenely unethical than taking people's money by falsely promising to cure their cancer when you have made no effort to objectively test your treatment. alteripse 01:08, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
There are facts that support this, I'm not one to believe everything I see at first glance.
So whether taking people's money by falsely promising to cure their cancer is ethical or not is based on me testing the treatment? Also, this is not my treatment...i'm merely suggesting that this be added to the list.Gotmesomepants 23:33, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
I was not calling you unethical. That was the categorization of people who sell "cures" without attempting to objectively demonstrate efficacy and risk. There are no end of proposed "cures" out there and hyperbaric oxygen seems less outré than, for example, Hulda Clark's "zapper" or the coffee enema and carrot juice treatment, but one must draw a line between ethical and unethical somewhere, and the willingness to submit a method to objective testing seems to many of us a good place to draw it, even if it leaves a few alt med favorites out in the cold. alteripse 02:34, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree, many of these "cures" are unfounded and untested home rememdies. I'll get some links from my chiropractor, there have been a number of tests with hyperbaric treatment on various illnesses such as cancer.Gotmesomepants 03:29, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Hyperbaric oxygen has 2 main uses in the treatment of cancer. Firstly it is used in the treatment of osteoradionecrosis, which is a side effect of high dose radiation, particularly to the jaw when there are bad teeth. Secondly, there has been some experimental interest in giving radiotherapy in a hyperbaric chamber, to combat the adverse effects of tumour hypoxia, which is a cause of radioresistance. This second application is largeluy theoretical, since it is very difficult to put a linear accelerator into a hyperbaric chamber, and because large numbers of patients would need treatment in order to prove a benefit. There are a number of far easier approaches to managing tumour hypoxia, which are cheaper and with a better evidence base, so RT in a hyperbaric chamber has never really caught on.Jellytussle 09:13, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

An external link, maybe.

I would like to know if it would be ok to add a link to They have a sub site just for cancer ( They have a lot of great info and a live talk show and blogs. I just thought that this would be a place that would be good to link to.

Flax Seeds and Cancer

Here is a link that states that flax seeds inhibits the growth of breast, colon, prostate, and uterine cancer. [5] It says that the best way to consume flax seeds is to ground them in a coffee grinder and eat the powder right away. Two to five tablespoons of flax seed powder a day is the recommened ammount. Considering all the evidence that flax seeds can prevent and help to contain certain types of cancer, can the link be added to the main article? It is something people should know about. 13:49, 11 October 2006 (UTC)Bennett Turk

It's a commercial site selling snake, er.. flax oil, and making unfounded claims. No thanks. alteripse 15:07, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
First of all: It is Not a commercial site selling snake, er..flax oil. The Medford, Oregon "Mail Tribune" is the town's Newspaper that has been serving Southern Oregon for Nearly 100 Years. Second: At the Wikipedia article on Breast Cancer; there is a paragraph that states: "There is preliminary research that flax seed can significantly inhibit breast cancer growth". There are Four references to back up this claim. [6]. Third: At, putting the words "Flax" and "Cancer" into the search box will get One Million, Ten Thousand replies. That is a lot of people, (and probably), almost all of them think that flax seeds should be included in a discussion of cancer prevention and treatment, based on the known evidence. 17:00, 11 October 2006 (UTC)Bennett Turk

Lilian U. Thompson, P.H.D., Dept. of Nutritional Science, University of Toronto is the person whose studies flax seeds as a way to prevent and treat certain types of cancers and who has found encouraging evidence to back up these claims. 17:34, 12 October 2006 (UTC)Bennett Turk

Paragraph 2 query

Paragraph 2 states, "If untreated, cancers may eventually cause illness and death, though this is not always the case." The grammar of the sentence implies if treated, no illness of death will occur. I suggest this be corrected. Weffiewonj 12:53, 29 November 2006 (UTC)