Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Charles's First Post

Hi everyone, my name is Charles Walker and I am a senior biology major. I am taking this class because I have always been interested in cancer in general and because I feel that my future career (though I don’t know what that will be) will require me to know something about different types of cancer.

Over the years, cancer survival rates have drastically increased. For instance, the 5 year relative survival rate for all cancers diagnosed from 2002-2008 has increased to 68%, 19% higher than it was between 1975 and 1977 (cancer.org). This table from the American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts & Figures 2013 shows how much the 5-year survival rates for cancer have generally increased while highlighting the lower survival rates of some cancers.

Because the 5-survival rates for so many cancers have significantly increased since 1975, I am interested in learning how new medicines combined with greater understandings of the mechanisms of different cancers were able to facilitate these increases. I am also interested in what the future holds for cancer prognosis and treatment with the incorporation of new technologies, such as whole-genome sequencing.