Joe Biden today promised to cure cancer if he is elected president. Politicians have been making that promise at least as far back as Richard Nixon. The problem is that they are ignoring basic biology.
Cancer is not a single disease but a collection of several hundred diseases. It is not like a communicable disease in which a foreign substance, like a virus or bacteria, enters the body. Instead, it is caused when cells mutate. That is a natural process that occurs constantly. Nothing is going to change that. Of course, some substances, like cigarette smoke, can increase the likelihood of cancer occurring. Medicine can try to control cancer through early detection and better treatment. It is a painstaking process. A drug developed by the East Germans has been found to be effective with a type of lymphoma in just the last few years.
I am not questioning his sincerity. He lost a son to brain cancer. I don’t think there is anything more painful than losing a son or daughter. Cancer has changed my life. A few years ago, I lost the love of my life to it. Last year I was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma. I am in remission but it will come back some day.
Cancer is a horrible disease. We are making great strides but it will be long, hard fight to defeat it. We are fooling ourselves if we think there is a magic cure out there.