What We Get Wrong About Cancer
"Curing cancer," explained.
Interviews were recorded with Riverside. Go to https://bit.ly/Riverside_CLEO + code CLEO for 30% off any individual plan.
We’re not looking for a “cure for cancer” anymore. Cancer is hundreds of diseases, so we’re really in a multi front fight against all of them. Cancer is a problem for us today in a way it wasn’t for previous generations. But, luckily, we also have more and more ways to fight back.
I started this episode with endless questions: What is cancer? What causes it? How do we treat cancer? What are the symptoms? Why are some cancers easier to treat than others? Why is cancer so hard to cure? Why do so many people die of cancer?
What I found is an incredible, complex, inspiring effort to treat and stop an insidious killer. In this video, we dive deep into how we treat cancer today. But I also found that we may not be helping the greatest number of people we can.
In this episode of Huge If True, I want to make the case that while we have made enormous strides in the fight against cancer we have also largely ignored one of the single best ways to save the most lives.
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00:00 Why do so many people get cancer?
02:06 What is cancer?
03:02 How do we treat cancer?
03:44 What is chemotherapy?
04:42 What is immunotherapy?
05:22 Thank you Riverside
06:27 How do we save more lives?
07:47 Does early detection save lives?
09:23 How do we detect cancer?
10:45 What are the downsides of cancer tests?
11:38 Why early cancer detection matter?
12:42 Can we cure cancer?
Sources and additional reading:
- Lifetime Risk of Developing or Dying From Cancer, American Cancer Association https://www.cancer.org/healthy/cancer-causes/general-info/lifetime-probability-of-developing-or-dying-from-cancer.html
- Crunching Numbers: What Cancer Screening Statistics Really Tell Us, National Cancer Institute https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/screening/research/what-screening-statistics-mean
- Cancer, Our World In Data https://ourworldindata.org/cancer
- A New Deal For Cancer, collected essays (including by Greg Simon) https://www.publicaffairsbooks.com/titles/abbe-r-gluck/a-new-deal-for-cancer/9781541700611/
- The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Emperor-of-All-Maladies/Siddhartha-Mukherjee/9781439170915
- How does cancer spread through the body? TED-Ed https://youtu.be/OcigJn8UJNQ
- Have We Discovered a Cure for Cancer... on Accident? SciShow https://youtu.be/e-V_MDVgISo
- What is cancer? City of Hope https://youtu.be/_N1Sk3aiSCE
- Why Don’t We All Have Cancer? VSauce https://youtu.be/Qja4z1HGDQo
- Why Blue Whales Don't Get Cancer, Kurzgesagt https://youtu.be/1AElONvi9WQ
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Cleo Abram is an Emmy-nominated independent video journalist. On her show, Huge If True, Cleo explores complex technology topics with rigor and optimism, helping her audience understand the world around them and see positive futures they can help build. Before going independent, Cleo was a video producer for Vox. She wrote and directed episodes of Vox’s Netflix show, Explained, produced videos for Vox’s popular YouTube channel, was the host and senior producer of Vox’s first ever daily show, Answered, and was co-host and producer of Vox’s YouTube Originals show, Glad You Asked.
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Typically here I’d do a “joke down low” - a joke with a key word you can use in the comments. But… well… for obvious reasons, a joke about cancer didn’t seem right. So, how about we just use the word “check” in the comments to tell me you’re a real one :)