Is Cancer Too Profitable to be Cured?

If you have been diagnosed with cancer for any length of time, then no doubt friends or family members have forwarded information to you about miracle cures from alternative sources that the medical community doesn't want us to know about. Inevitably, the information includes a statement that the cure has been kept from the public because "cancer is too profitable to ever be cured. This question was responded to on a public forum by Dr. Jack West, who is medical director of the thoracic (lung) oncology program at Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle. Here is his response:

"As someone who cares for sick cancer patients every day and sometimes at night as well, a demanding job that takes a significant emotional toll, I'll start by saying that although I know you are only one of many people who is cynical enough to think along these lines, the question is callous and betrays ignorance.

First, cancer is not one disease but many. In fact, many cancers are cured, and we have made great advances over the past several years and decades.   I have many patients alive now who would have died had it not been for the efforts by my colleagues and myself.

Second, people who suggest that there is a cure for cancer available or readily attainable but not pursued because it's more profitable to continue the status quo have absolutely no concept how difficult an opponent cancer truly is. Cancer is cancer because it grows faster and better than the other tissues of the body, and its job is to mutate over time. That means that cancer cells throughout the body are not the same because they have different mutations, making some resistant to a treatment that is effective against many other cancer cells.  Even if a treatment is effective against 99% of cancer cells, the remaining 1% of cells that are resistant can not only survive but grow and divide and repopulate to create a newer, more and more resistant cancer. This is exactly what happens in many cancers, which can have dozens and dozens of different mutations in a single cell.

Third, I find it puzzling why people who suggest a vast conspiracy to avoid curing cancer ignore the unfathomable financial windfall for the company or institution that actually cures it. If you could cure previously incurable cancers, a company/doctors could charge an unprecedented amount for the treatment, even if they didn't need ongoing treatment. I assure you doctors would rather cure cancer than watch patients they care for decline and die despite their great efforts.

This prevalent theory that cancer may be too profitable to cure is perpetuated by ignorance, like climate change denial.  Unfortunately, there are always people who will abjectly refuse to recognize reality and continue to perpetuate ignorance.  I hope that after asking the question and getting a cogent answer that you aren't one of them."

You can see more from Dr. Jack West at one of my favorite websites,