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What is the purpose of cancer?
Mar 21, 2003

what is the purpose of cancer?

Response from Dr. Dezube

I'm not sure there is a "purpose" of cancer. I doubt my cancer patients would believe that their cancer serves a purpose. Cancer is caused by many many different mechanisms, many of which are normal processes which go awry. Just as one example, as part of the theory of evolution, genes mutate as a means of keeping up with pressures that challenge our body. Some of these mutations may go awry and cause cancer. Many cancers are caused by viruses; whether there is a "purpose" in cancers caused by viruses remains to be seen. The most common preventable form of cancer are those caused by cigarette smoking (lung cancer, head and neck cancer, bladder cancer, and so on). They also serve no purpose, as far as I can tell. Tossing out the cigarettes is the single best way to decrease the chance of getting cancer.

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