February 4th is #WorldCancerDay. Watch these six 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.
We’ve harnessed electricity, sequenced the human genome, and eradicated smallpox. But after billions of dollars in research, we haven’t found a solution for a disease that affects more than 14 million people and their families at any given time. Why is it so difficult to cure cancer? Kyuson Yun explains the challenges.
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.
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.
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.
Stem cells found in the bone marrow are crucial for our health because they are needed to become new blood cells that sustain and protect our bodies. But when the transformation goes wrong, harmful mutations can cause the cells to start replicating without control — a type of cancer known as leukemia. Danilo Allegra and Dania Puggioni explain how this happens and how certain treatments provide hope for those suffering from the disease.
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.