The Department of Biomedicine

CCBIO seminar: Jarle Breivik

Cancer and aging: Facing realities and an uncertain future

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Jarle Breivik
Department of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo

The medical research community has for decades sustained the myth that the solution to cancer is just around the corner. The fact is that today's cancer epidemic is not a problem that modern medicine is about to solve – it is a problem we are about to create. It is therefore necessary to communicate a more realistic understanding of cancer and cancer research. Here I will discuss this problem of cancer communication in relation to the fundamental problem of cancer biology. How do we explain to the public that cancer is a natural consequence of aging – and that the better we get at treating cancer, the longer we live and the more cancer there will be in the population? Is there a way to beat this problem – and if so, what kind of world are we creating?

Chairperson: Lars A. Akslen, CCBIO