Every year, more than 18 million people around the world are told, “You have cancer.” In the U.S., nearly half of all men and more than one-third of women will develop some kind of cancer during their lifetimes, and 600,000-plus die from it annually. Despite the billions of dollars and countless new treatments that have been thrown at it since President Richard M. Nixon declared “war” on the disease in 1971, cancer refuses to be beaten.
Why does it remain such a formidable foe? After all, it’s been known since Nixon’s day that unrepaired genetic damage can cause cells to grow uncontrollably, which is viewed as cancer’s root cause. But this understanding has not pointed the way to an obvious treatment. Research into cancer biology has revealed it to be one of the most complex and insidious human diseases for a variety of reasons.
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