What we know (and don’t know) about cancer


Today is #WorldCancerDay. Watch these four TED-Ed Lessons to get more informed about cancerous cells, how they spread and some methods people are using to fight the disease head on.

1. How do cancer cells behave differently from healthy ones?

How do cancer cells grow? How does chemotherapy fight cancer (and cause negative side effects)? The answers lie in cell division. George Zaidan explains how rapid cell division is cancer’s “strength” — and also its weakness.

2. How does cancer spread through the body? – Ivan Seah Yu Jun

Cancer usually begins with one tumor in a specific area of the body. But if the tumor is not removed, cancer has the ability to spread to nearby organs as well as places far away from the origin, like the brain. How does cancer move to these new areas, and why are some organs more likely to get infected than others? Ivan Seah Yu Jun explains the three common routes of metastasis.

3. The cancer gene we all have – Michael Windelspecht

Within every cell in our body, two copies of a tumor suppressor gene called BRCA1 are tasked with regulating the speed at which cells divide. Michael Windelspecht explains how these genes can sometimes mutate, making those cells less specialized and more likely to develop into cancer.

4. Can we eat to starve cancer? – William Li

In this TED Talk, William Li presents a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases: antiangiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor. The crucial first (and best) step: Eating cancer-fighting foods that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game.


  1. Seiji Yokota

    Terrific! Eat more fruits, vegetables, teas, whole grains, etc. Fast food and junk, away!

  2. These are a great series of videos.
    Thanks for making and posting them.

  3. Katherine Meares

    I’d like to sign up for a study! I do not have cancer, that I know about! K

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