The Last Cancer Generation?

Yesterday, when I walked into a class of (mostly) 20 year olds all staring back at me, I had a thought: this may be the last cancer generation. 80% of all cancers are diagnosed in people after the age of fifty, and by the time my students reach the age of fifty (thirty years from now) cancer may well be largely a fear of the past. Given the devastations of cancer to humanity, it seemed to me something to be hopeful about. My students, as they age, may have a very different relationship to this disease than people over thirty have had.

Anyway, I thought it was nice to think so.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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2 Responses to The Last Cancer Generation?

  1. Jared Burton says:

    If we all work hard to reduce pollution in our food, air, and water supply you might be right! We might have to do a little cleaning up too. I really hope so. In the mean time, the oncologists can keep trying to find a “cure,” and when they do I’m sure it will be something akin to saying, “stop absorbing cancer causing elements” rather than “take this pill.”

  2. santitafarella says:


    An interesting twist: doctors of the future might be able to turn off cancer producing cells and reverse tumor growth, but this might then send a green light to industry that you can pollute more, and it’s not a problem! Hmm.


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