Monthly Archives: April 2014

Cancer Research UK busts ten persistent cancer myths

The charity Cancer Research UK recently published a great piece titled “Don’t believe the hype – 10 persistent cancer myths debunked”.

The article takes a common-sense approach, backed up by the latest scientific findings, to discussing some of the most common myths that surround the disease. These include the beliefs that acidic diets cause cancer, that sharks don’t get cancer, and that there’s a secret cure for cancer that’s being suppressed (something I’ve written about before, too).

I don’t know how these myths get started, but they’ve been around since I can remember, and they seem to propagate faster than ever through Facebook and other channels. I find that the Cancer Research UK website is usually a great starting point if you want to fact-check a claim about the disease. I also highly recommend the book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee; I’ve been in cancer research since 1998, so I knew much of the science described in the book, but not the story of how we gained this knowledge of the disease. It’s a fascinating read.

Check out the full Cancer Research UK article here

Full disclaimer: I did my PhD at a Cancer Research UK-funded facility, but have had no formal connection with the charity since 2002. I just really like their website and podcast 🙂


Quora activity for March 2014

Quora is a question-and-answer site. You can view all my contributions here; selected highlights are listed below. I encourage you to check out the other answers submitted for each question, too!


What are driver and passenger mutations in the context of cancer cells/genomes?

Why isn’t there more research on why most people never get cancer even if they smoke or are exposed to some other carcinogen?

What is mutational heterogeneity?

Other Scientific Subjects

What is epigenetics, in layman’s terms? (my answer was featured on the official Quora Twitter account!)

DNA: Is the amount and type of information in an individual’s DNA the same on the day they are born as on the day they die?

What is your favourite science book?

About Scientific Research

Academia: Do some professors prefer graduate students who don’t have the same exact research interests as them?

Is there a list of all major scientific research funding bodies?


Why would you live in a country with dark, cold,  wet, or snowy winters when you could live one with warmth and sun all year-round?

Book Recommendations: What is your favourite Canadian book?


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Posted by on 2014/04/13 in Quora