Monday, March 31, 2014

Erik Christensen's First Post

Hi all,
My name is Erik Christensen and I am a sophomore biology major.  I have no personal experiences with cancer but I have always been fascinated by its incurability, with its many different strains effecting the body in their own way.  I would like to know more about the treatments available and what these treatments do to help limit the growth and/or effects of cancer.  The following figure shows cancer as being the leading cause of death in children 5-24 years of age, and one of the leading causes for children age 1-4.  

This link navigates to the website where the previous image was found and delves into the different types of cancer found in children.  I find it tragic that children are killed by cancer, which makes it more important to work toward prevention and treatment of the disease.

Jennifer's First Post

Hi Everyone!  My name is Jennifer Teruya, and I am a junior Biology major.  I am interested in Cancer Biology because I have many relatives that have been diagnosed with different types of cancer, so I would like to learn more about how cancer works and how it can be diagnosed/ treated/ prevented.  I first became particularly interested in cancer after doing a summer internship in cancer research.  The lab I worked in primarily dealt with research on mesothelioma, which is the cancer of the linings of internal organs, and you can learn more about mesothelioma here.

Braelyn's First Post

Hi, my name is Braelyn and I'm a sophomore Biology major with a Biomedical emphasis and a Chem minor. Im interested in Cancer because Melanoma is very common in my family, and I look forward to learning more about it. This graph shows the numbers of male and female deaths due to skin cancer at different ages.

Michael's First Post

    Hello, my name is Michael Allen and I am a sophomore Biology major here at SCU. I am interested in cancer biology because both my father and grandfather have been affected by cancer. My father had melanoma, and was luckily diagnosed and treated quickly. I am specifically interested in skin cancer because I may also someday be affected by this cancer due to the fact that I have a genetic predisposition for it. I look forward to understanding skin cancer at a higher level, as well as learning how to protect against and treat it.
     Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States affecting around 2 million people annually. One in five americans will have some form of skin cancer. More general facts about skin cancer are available here. Below are pictures of the different types of skin cancer; melanoma, basal cell skin cancer, and squamous cell skin cancer.

Brittni's First Post

Hi everyone!

My name is Brittni Kam and I'm a Junior Biology major minoring in Public Health Science. This past summer I had the opportunity to intern in the Child Life Department in Honolulu, Hawaii and was given a full insight into the lives of pediatric oncology patients there. Many of them suffered from Leukemia (AML and ALL) and I also met a young 9-year old boy suffering from brain cancer. Working with these kids and their families on a daily basis exposed me not only the medical and biological side of cancer, but also showed me the unfortunate effect that cancer had on these kids; their moods, their schooling, their passions, and of course on their parents and family members. I truly connected with these children, which led me to a passion and dedication for learning more about this complex disease. I hope to go onto pediatric oncology someday so I am very excited about this course!

Sarah's First Post


My name is Sarah Katsandres and I am a junior biology major and anthropology minor. I was interested in this course not only because I want to pursue a career in the health care field, but also because of personal interests. I believe that everyone in this class could probably say that they know someone who has been affected by cancer, or is currently battling cancer, which is somewhat of an alarming conjecture. I can name no less than 5 family members who have been diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetimes and I know many more family friends who have as well. I am interested in studying the biology of cancer simply because something so common should not seem to be so perplexing to scientists and oncologists and to the average person, yet it is. Cancer has always been such a large and overpowering mystery. It represents so many different ailments yet just the name itself is universally known. It touches all corners of the human population, along with other organisms. I am attracted to learning about cancer because no matter how extensively you study even the smallest aspect of it, you will never know everything. It fascinates me that we, as scientists and as ordinary people, have just barely begun to handle the issue of cancer and its effects on the population. The anthropology-enthusiast in me would find great satisfaction in sorting fact from fiction and learning more about the responses to cancer globally, including different cultures' treatments of, views on, and reactions to the true "emperor of all maladies," to use Siddhartha Mukherjee's perfect title.

Tien's First Post

Hello everybody! My name is Tien Lu and I am a sophomore biology major. I am interested in cancer biology because I have lost loved ones to to breast cancer and I want to learn more of the diseases that affect so many lives today.

Antonio's First Post

           Hi everyone, I am Antonio Salas, a sophomore biology major student. I am interested in cancer biology because cancer has plagued the human race for thousands of years and because cancer is a unique group of diseases that I do not know much about, despite its abundant presence in contemporary society. By the end of this class, I hope to become enlightened on the biological processes that surround the life cycle of cancer because cancer is truly an enigma to me.
           According to the American Cancer Society, Men suffer from prostate cancer the most out of all of the cancer diseases. On the other hand, women suffer from breast cancer the most out of all types of cancers. I can infer from this that men are most prone to prostate cancer while women are most susceptible to breast cancer. The figure below depicts the site of cancer (breast cancer is shown in pink while prostate cancer is shown in purple) that is most prominent in males (shown in the top map) and females (show in the bottom map) globally.

Michelle's First Post

Hi everyone! My name is Michelle Fat and I am interested in taking Cancer Biology with you all because I do not have much knowledge on the subject and I would like to develop a solid foundation from which I may build off of in the future.

Here is a photo regarding cancer that I found on Wikipedia:

Shreshtha's First Post

Hi all, my name is Shreshtha Wadhwa and I am a sophomore biology major. Cancer Biology is my first upper division cell/molecular biology class and the reason I have chosen this class in particular is because I want to study in depth the underlying mechanisms, learn about the treatment/prevention options, and the extent to which this group of diseases that have plagued and claimed the lives of so many people in our world can be "cured", if at all. Although there will continue to be more incidents and cases of cancer in all segments of the population - adults, children, and adolescents - in the coming decades because cancer doesn't discriminate, I hope that this class can help me to demystify the information surrounding this very important subject matter. Attached is a chart depicting the estimated number of new cancer cases and deaths by sex in 2014 in the US (American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures 2014). What can be noted from the data is that men are more likely to develop and die of cancer than women overall and in comparison across most sites of the body, which makes me wonder why such a gap exists.

Lauren's First Post


   I am Lauren Ducote. I am pursuing a double major in Public Health and Biology. This course peaked my interest because cancer has effected many of us personally. I hope to gain insight into a disease that causes fear and trepidation upon it's diagnosis. A scientific introduction to the biology of cancer will provide a more analytical perspective when viewing this disease.
    The National Cancer Institute has reported that since the mid-1970's a significant increase in 5-year survival rate for all cancers has occurred due to advances in diagnostics. Although, incidence has increased possibly due to the improvements in diagnostics and screening. The advances described in this article provide a sense of optimism that the diagnosis of cancer in the future will not be met with trepidation. The bimodal graph below curtesy of the National Cancer Institutes Bulletin demonstrates the trend:
Go Broncos with optimism!

Christina's First Post

Hello, I am Christina Wood and I am a senior biology major! I am super excited to take Bio 179 because after graduation I am going to be working in a lab researching cancer genomics. I know many family members and friends who have battled various forms of cancer, and I look forward to better understanding the disease so that I can make a difference in what a positive cancer diagnosis means to an individual's quality of life.

Last quarter I was introduced to the following program; this is a link to the informational pamphlet given to participants of a very interesting Breast Cancer Data Set being collected in Norway. All women between the ages of 50 and 69 are given free mammograms every two years. The overall goal in this is to detect breast cancer early and gather information pertaining to the onset of breast cancer. This is a huge data set that continues to this day!
From Norwegian Breast Cancer Pamphlet

My First Post

This is my first post. I am really excited to take this Cancer Bio class. I think it is such an interesting topic that affects many.
I find the science behind it to be so fascinating and I am thinking that I would like to continue to study to work as a cancer researcher in the future. There is still so much to learn about cancers and uncovering some of its mysteries would be amazing.
The women's crew team is working with a woman who's brother died of thyroid cancer recently and ThyCa to raise awareness. I'm excited to take what we are learning and apply it to what I learn about this organization and the cancer itself.

Megan's First Post

Hey guys my name is Megan Carlson and I am a senior biology major at SCU. I am really excited for this class because breast cancer and pancreatic cancer have impacted the lives of many of my loved ones and I am eager to learn about the disease that they coped with.

I attached a pie chart showing the proportion of deaths due to cancer in the US in 2009, showing just how large of an impact it had then and has only gotten worse now.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

This post is a test.

This is a test to show how easy it easy to blog. Her is a link to the wiki. Go there now.