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42

Laetrile/Amygdalin has been claimed to be a suitable treatment for 'cancer' (which is a summary term for an extremely heterogeneous class of diseases). Even though laetrile/amygdalin in these claims is often called a vitamin, it in fact is not a vitamin as the molecule is not essential for the metabolism (Greenberg (1980)). The claimed effects of laetrile/...


36

Can a cancer cells from someone else's body cause cancer in a healthy person? No. Cancer cells from another person cannot cause cancer in a healthy person. The rare cases of transmissible tumors all involve unhealthy or not yet developed persons. Transmission of tumor cells from one individual to another happens, but is quite rare, and in all cases ...


28

Before OP edited his/her question, it was a little unclear whether the question was only about humans. The following answer is more general than asked as it also considers cancers in non-humans Most cancers are not transmissible but some are. We call them (clonally) transmissible cancers. Transmissible cancers The most famous case of transmissible cancer ...


21

Short Answer: No. Background: First of all, there is no such thing as vitamin B17. The compound, amygdalin or laetrile, which is referred to by this term, is not a vitamin1. Amygdalin is indeed a cyanogenic glycoside (like glucosinolates, see this answer) which is poisonous to organisms including humans, because it forms cyanide which is toxic2. See this ...


19

A tumour is simply a space-occupying lesion (something that should not be there, that is; a "lump") caused by abnormal cell replication. (In medicine, the word "tumour" literally means "swelling", and can sometimes refer to that instead, but that's a different story). Cancer is a disease in which cell replication is totally out of control. What causes ...


17

Yes. The very first cells used to study cancer are still around (HeLa Immortal Cells - Named for the subject Henrietta Lacks) and are basically immortal as long as they're fed. As for tumors, whether cancerous or not they most definitely can continue to grow until they become a serious medical issue (WARNING: GRAPHIC - 3 Largest Tumors Recorded). One of the ...


17

Yes, plants of all sizes can have cancerous growths. Agrobacterium tumifaciens, the causative agent of crown gall disease, produces what is called a tumor. See this link for detailed information on these growths. Alternatively, use a plant physiology textbook to look up the above terms. (Here, is where a textbook is better than a single abstract in PubMed.) ...


15

The HeLa cell line is undoubtedly the most used and investigated human immortal tumor cell line. Extracted from a cervical tumor from Henrietta Lacks in 1951 at Johns Hopkins hospital, Baltimore, MD these cells proved immortal and are still used in many, many labs worldwide today. It is the oldest human cell line in use and, therefore, the oldest human ...


14

Such projections are more formally known as spiculations. Most commonly, we talk about spiculations with respect to the radiographic appearance of malignant breast and lung lesions. This paper* describes the correlation between the mammorgraphic appearance of spiculated breast lesions and their pathology (microscopic appearance), which is a reasonable start ...


14

The methodology behind homeopathy is scientific nonsense. If you dilute anything a billion times, it will have no chemical effect, not even if you shake it all the while. So no, homeopathy does nothing for cancer, or any medical condition at all. Of course plants can have active compounds in them, once scientists have identified those compounds, they can ...


14

Short version: This is nonsense, cancer does not arise from nutritional deficiencies. Long version: The substance is called Amygdalin, a poisonous cyanogenic glycoside. It can be found in higher concentration in the kernels of several plants including apricots, plums, bitter almonds, peach, plum. The semisynthetic, modified form is called Laetrile. Taking ...


13

Hanahan and Weinberg's "Hallmarks of Cancer" articles should answer your question. Their original, highly cited (14k+ citations), [Six] Hallmarks of Cancer article list these six common attributes of all cancers: Sustaining proliferative signaling Evading growth suppressors Activating invasion and metastasis Enabling replicative immortality Inducing ...


13

Actually we aren't that good at localizing cancer cells. There need to be around 100,000 cancer cells at a single location for the cancer to be visible on fMRI. If you want to treat a cancer via chemotherapy it's good to be able to see the cancer. It allows you to see whether the drug you are giving works. When dealing with a metastasized cancer where you ...


13

Interesting question. I believe it definitely is an evolutionary process. unicellularity breaking away from a multicellular life. There are two examples that I can think of, which can support this argument: Hela cells: Hela cells have been classified as a different organism because they have the ability to grow outside the host indefinitely and their ...


12

Short answer All mutagens are potential carcinogens unless the mutagen is highly specific to a site. As noted in the question, carcinogens need not be mutagenic. HPV causes oncogenic transformation of a cell because of certain proteins that it expresses. HPV is considered a carcinogen by the IARC. Some retroviruses are oncogenic: they might carry an ...


12

This is a great question. Just to make it clear people with DS do have a reduced risk of solid cancers and an increased risk of blood cancers, (B-ALL and AML). You are correct in picking out DSRC1 because of its angiogenic implications. The current hypothesis centers around people with DS being less capable of driving angiogenesis, and therefore having an ...


12

Short answer Large animals do get cancer. They may contract cancer with an incidence less than that estimated by absolute cell numbers, but there seems to be a lack of data on cancer rates in large animals to support this hypothesis conclusively. Background Whales contract cancer (Martineau et al, 2002). There does, however, seem to be a lack of correlation ...


10

Yes, this is mostly about estrogen. Most breast cancers rely on endogenous estrogen to sustain proliferation. Some general reading: Cancer Medicine, Chapter 18 More in-depth reading: Endogenous Hormones as a Major Factor in Human Cancer Requested summary of mentioned readings: First of all, there is an established link between breast cancer cell ...


10

This is a specific version of the great cancer question: "Why are some cancers more common than others?" The answer is either "Some have more common causes", and (or) "Some are cured spontaneously more often". So now all you are asking is "What causes cancer?" and "How do we cure it?" Given that, I don't expect a general definitive answer will be ...


9

Interesting question. My answer is no, but it requires a rather science-fiction style answer - at least it's beyond current technology, but here goes: My Assumptions I make the simplifying assumption that ageing is only related to telomere length. Thus by "avoid ageing" I assume you mean "avoid telomere shortening". Also to clarify things for others, I'll ...


9

Cancer cells and normal cells differ on the genetic basis but they share the same genetic background, so they have not different DNA in the sense of two different people. They have to be different, since cancer cells have to accumulate mutations on a number of genes to become a cancer cell, which can survive and will not be directed into apoptosis. These are ...


9

The cells never died in the sense that they kept replicating, individual cells still died. They were safely cultured in petri dishes before Henrietta Lacks died. The cells came from a tumor that developed from her cervix. The cervical cancer cells had developed high telomerase activity. Telomerase builds telomeres on the ends of DNA, protecting the ...


9

Cigarette smokers are most certainly prone to cancer. See Cecil Medicine, Chapter 183, on the epidemiology of cancer, exposure to tobacco is the most important environmental risk factor for cancer development, at least in the US: Exposure to tobacco is the single largest cause of cancer in the United States... All forms of tobacco can cause cancer. ...


8

To answer this question in its entirety we have to split it into two questions: What are the underlying mechanisms of carcinogenity? One of the main mechanism behind carcinogenity is the mutagenity of the cancerogens, i.e. the ability to cause mutations, that are abberations of the cell DNA leading to uncontrolled proliferation. This classical paper ...


8

Ewing's sarcoma is a bone cancer. As such, it does not arise as a primary tumor in the heart. Ewing's sarcoma does metastasize. Like any metastatic cancer, it seeds along it's venous return to the heart, "taking root" in suitable tissue. Cardiac metastases of Ewing's sarcoma are exceedingly rare, with only a few reported cases. Since all blood returns to ...


7

This article covers some of the key issues of cancer in layman's terms. Essential, cancer is caused by multiple mutations in key regulatory genes which function in maintaining the cell cycle. This provokes uncontrollably rapid cell division, with only furthers the problem with genetic mutation. Here are some quotes from the article to strengthen your ...


7

Cancer is such a diverse group of diseases that they really only share one commonality, unregulated cell growth with the potential ability to invade or transfer to other tissue types. Many types of cancer share certain characteristics and can thus be grouped, but as a whole the only characteristic all cancers share is that they are classified as cancer. ...


7

I'm assuming you are not talking about a single solid tumor, but rather one where the tumor is loose and is distributed throughout the tissue, or has metastasized I guess the answer is you could, but it would be one amazing machine. This robot would have to examine each individual cell and destroy it based on what you could sense about the surface ...


7

Sharks sense their prey with the normal senses, they see, hear and smell them. They have a remarkable sensitive sense of smelling, which enables them to sense highly diluted traces of prey. They can also use their smelling to determine the direction where a certain smell comes from. This is achieved by the timing in which the senses arrive in different ...


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