Why haven’t we cured cancer?

David Gorski did a wonderful job on Science-Based Medicine of answering this question.  In short?

Why haven’t scientists cured cancer yet? Leaving aside the trite answer of “Which cancer?” I can say this: Because it’s hard. It’s very, very hard. It’s harder than going to the moon; it’s harder than building the nuclear bomb; it’s harder than wiping out smallpox. All of those were, of course, also very, very hard too, but cancer is a harder nut to crack still. It’s hundreds, perhaps thousands, of diseases. Each type of cancer can be many, even dozens, of different diseases in itself. Each tumor can be many diseases that are constantly evolving, both in response to the environment in which the cancer cells grow and to treatments that are thrown at them.

This is something I don’t think a lot of people realize.  The war on cancer is a war with a thousand fronts.  Some of them are harder than others.  Thankfully, on some we have been very, very successful, and each day, each publication, each experiment brings us closer to the answers we all want.

(cross-posted to Tumblr:  Why haven’t we cured cancer?)

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