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Whether we've heard about it in the news or from friends or family, cancer is infamous. In this event we hear about how your breath can be used to find out more about cancer, and why haven't scientists cured cancer yet? Prizes will be available, so come along to learn and win!
What is cancer, and why haven’t we cured it yet?
Dr Alan Richardson (Reader in Pharmacology)
Cancer is a disease that is sadly familiar to many of us. But why haven’t we cured it yet? This talk will answer this by looking at the origins of cancer and one of its key features – adaptation, the process by which cancer cells genetically change. Consequently, cancer cells are not the same in different patients or even in different regions of a tumour from one patient. Unfortunately, this allows tumours to become resistant to many of the drugs which we use to eliminate them making the development of effective drugs an ongoing challenge.
What does your breath say about your health?
How our breath smells tells us more than if we forgot to brush our teeth. Hippocrates was one of the first physicians to find a link between breath odours and disease. Previously, doctors relied on their sense of smell, with aromas such as ‘musty fish’ being nosed out for a diagnosis. Now we have new ways to sniff breath and a better understanding of disease. Special machines can detect tiny molecules in our breath without the need for nosing around. Our research looks into using this technology to see if a person has cancer – attempting to sniff it out quickly and safely in one breath.