Yes. Everyone gets cancer. In fact, if you are reading this, then technically you have had, or will have cancer, some time today. Let me explain.
Cancer is a failure of the biological mechanisms that govern the normal lifecycle of cells in your body. For a range of reasons, the biological mechanisms that govern cell division, cell growth and cell death occasionally go wrong, resulting in cells growing and dividing uncontrollably. Cancerous cells may take over normal cells in surrounding tissue or detach, enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body. Uncontrolled cancerous cell growth can cause other complications in the body, which can ultimately result in death.
There are various failures that can take place in the otherwise normal biological processes of cell lifecycle that can result in cancer. For example, a cell may receive an incorrect biological message from other cells telling it to multiply, a cell may not divide properly or a cell may fail to die as it was biologically programmed to do. The underlying causes of these failures is damage to cell DNA, which can in turn be caused by a wide range of factors including old age, random mutations, viral damage, the presence of particular chemicals, exposure to particular radiation energy etc.
Every minute, millions of cells in your body die and are replaced by new cells. This process goes wrong in a very, very small percentage of the time each and every day. However, in the vast majority of instances, the body’s own immune system or the cells’s own programming recognizes the failure and destroys the affected cell before cancer can take hold. In this respect, we all get cancer every day, but it is nothing to worry about because our bodies are capable of dealing with it.
Occasionally the body’s immune system fails to properly detect or manage these failures. For example, it may be that the form of cancer is such that the body does not recognize something has gone wrong; it may be that the damage is so widespread that the body’s immune system is overwhelmed or it may be that the body’s immune system is not working properly. When this happens, cancerous cells may take hold, resulting in a form of cancer disease.
So just to clarify, not everybody gets a cancerous disease, but everybody gets cancerous (or what are often referred to as pre-cancerous) damaged cells. Many people die from many other causes (including nothing more than old age) without experiencing a fully developed cancerous disease.
Minimizing exposure to things that have been associated with cancer, such as smoking, carcinogenic chemicals, excessive ultraviolet radiation, etc, can reduce your risk of developing a cancerous disease. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through healthy eating, exercise, healthy levels of exposure to sunshine, good sleep patterns and stress reduction will give your body’s immune system the best chance of fighting off any cells that do go wrong and would otherwise threaten cancer.
[James Marshall, Accountant, analyst, hotelier, sci fi geek, philosopher. Featured on Medical Daily; upvoted by Ricardo Strang, MD, MSc., Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. Full member of Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery. … and Alexey Danilov, Graduated Krasnoyarsk State Medical Academy in 2005. 10 years in ortho surgery. This article is reprinted from Quora.]
In some ways, faith is a simple concept; in others, it’s a rather complicated, obscure word, especially for Bible translators.
The most famous quotation regarding “faith” comes from Hebrews 11:1 (New International Version): “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Then, it is translated in the New American Standard Version: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” The second version is closer to the King James Version.
In the KJV, “faith” is not “being sure” or “assurance,” but it is the “substance of things hoped for” and “the evidence of things not seen.” The word “substance” (in English) most generally refers to things that are real and solid.
Today, most believers do not get this deeply invested in a word like “faith.” One says, “What is your faith” meaning, what particular religious persuasion do you follow? If you say “Presbyterian,” for example, the one who asks the question can make the immediate assumption that you believe, to some degree, in predestination. If you say “Assembly of God,” for example, they might immediately assume that you are more charismatic and may, for example, practice glossolalia. If you respond “Baptist,” then it is generally assumed you do not believe in infant baptism and are heavily invested in missionary efforts (of the Baptist variety).
H. L. MENCKEN, AMERICAN JOURNALIST
The American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken, one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the early 20th century once said, “Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.”
So, if someone says they have “faith,” what do they mean specifically? It’s hard to say, but, we can be sure they have no more idea what the word implies or means than anyone else. Frankly, to say, “I have faith,” is a vague, obscure and unintelligible assertion.
Likely, if you engage a person in a discussion about faith and what it means, the discussion will probably conclude with one of the aforementioned expressions from the New Testament, or, an ad hominem argument (attacking the person as opposed to arguing the concept).
It is truly astounding the number of times the ambiguous term “faith” enters into our conversation.
I’d say, most of us have faith that the sun will rise in the east in the morning, despite the fact that the classical meaning of the term seems to denote something that is neither particularly certain nor with any solid evidence.
I contend that talking about faith in our day and time is an exercise in futility. When it comes to our religious affiliations, creeds, and personal persuasions, we would be better off talking about what we believe to be true in our own individual minds and avoid making general assertions about such an indecisive word as “faith.”
We are, I believe, living in post-denominational times with a rapidly declining interest in religion, per se. What we need is a new, solid definition of “faith” that will meet the needs of our modern ways of thinking.
[L. Milton Hankins is the editor and publisher of Columnist with a View. He is a weekly op-ed columnist for the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch. His latest book is “A Sensible Theology for Thinking People.” It is available through Amazon.com and local bookstores by order.]