Saturday, October 28, 2006

Can Cancer Cells Change?

Let me start by saying that I have no idea of the answer to the question asked. I'm not a scientist, not a researcher, I have only a general lay understanding of what cancer cells are and how they come to be. But, in my exploration of blogs written by others with cancer, (this time from a blog by Teresa, who has oral cancer) I came across a link to a website that presents an animation of the inner life of a cell.

The animation is facinating, accompanied by wonderful piano music, and presents elements of cell life that I've never seen before. The Inner Life of a Cell is worth watching, perhaps over and over.

When I watch, I wonder if seeing the animation can somehow help my cancer cells "learn" how they are supposed to be, if they were healthy, functional cells. As I asked before, I wonder if cancer cells can learn, can change, can be different from their mutated selves. Can they be normal? So, the scientists may say not, but who knows? The more I learn about cancer and cancer treatment, the more I see that it's both a science and an art, and that so much is unknown.

I want to know more about how healthy cells function when I see this, about the elements of a cell. There is information from the producers of the animation, but it focuses more on how they created the animation, rather than the science. You can read what the animators say here. Apparently, the animation was created for Harvard University biology students.

So, I watch this animation and I wonder "Can Cancer Cells Change?" Or, do they just need to die and stop threatening the life of those, like me, that they live in?

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