Cancer’s devastation directly or indirectly touches almost everybody on Earth, and a great deal of research focuses on finding the cause and cure. A new study’s results showed that the number of cell divisions in body tissues is a more significant cancer contributor than any other factor. A separate study revealed that the bodies of older people produce declining amounts of a cancer-minimizing molecule called NAD+. Although cancer currently lies beyond the reach of any person to cure, Scripture offers a long-term solution available to anyone.
Cancer occurs when pockets of cells proliferate out of control, a growth that DNA copying errors sometimes trigger. Living cells copy their DNA just before they divide. Human DNA strands have millions of specific chemicals, like letters in an encyclopedia, that record information for core life processes. Precision protein machines copy DNA “letters” at jet-engine speeds, yet perform so efficiently that only about one wrong letter arises among a billion.1 But even these few mutations can garble DNA’s information enough to lead to cancer, especially in tissues that undergo many cell divisions within a human lifetime.
A study published in the March 24 issue of the journal Science showed mutations within a person’s lifetime cause a stunning 66% of cancers.2 The report’s analysis of various kinds of cancer in people from many countries revealed that inherited mutations lead to only 5% of cancers. Outside factors like ultraviolet radiation and cigarette smoke that damage DNA cause the remaining cases. Thus, even if a person avoided all cancer-causing exposures, they cannot avoid the threat of cancer altogether. In theory, the disease will eventually strike anyone who lives long enough since living requires constant cell divisions.
The study showing that the cancer-suppressing molecule NAD+ diminishes with age appeared in the same Science issue.3 Harvard Medical School News summarized the findings. As NAD+ lessens, “DNA breaks go unrepaired and, as these breaks accumulate over time, precipitate cell damage, cell mutations, cell death and loss of organ function.”4 It seems the only way to cure cancer would be to somehow reach into and constantly correct every cell’s mutations.
This gloomy reality, however, is not necessarily the end of the line for those who believe the biblical promises. Long ago, Job said, “And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God.”5 The New Testament promises the new body that Job hoped for: “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”6 Cancer will not affect our new bodies, since each will be “a building from God.”
The curse God placed on all of creation because of Adam’s disobedience led to disease and death.7 The two Science studies confirm this by linking the now-cursed processes of growth and aging to cancer. However, the same Bible that describes the curse tells us it will one day end! Paul explained, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse.”8 But because “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us,”9 now “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”10
Whoever demonstrates “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ”11 will enjoy eternal life with Jesus—death, the curse, and cancer forever gone.12
~ References ~
* C., B. Vogelstein, and G. Parmigiani. 2013. Half or more of the somatic mutations in cancers of self-renewing tissues originate prior to tumor initiation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 110 (6): 1999-2004.
* Tomasetti, C., L. Li, and B. Vogelstein. 2017. Stem cell divisions, somatic mutations, cancer etiology, and cancer prevention. Science. 355 (6331): 1330-1334.
* Li, J. et al. 2017. A conserved NAD+ binding pocket that regulates protein-protein interactions during aging. Science. 355 (6331): 1312-1317.
* Pesheva, E. Unraveling the Mysteries of Aging. Harvard Medical School News. Posted on hms.harvard.edu March 23, 2017, accessed March 29, 2017.
* Job 19:26.
* 2 Corinthians 5:1.
* Genesis 3.
* Galatians 3:10.
* Galatians 3:13.
* John 3:16.
* Acts 20:21.
* Revelation 21:4.
Written by Brian Thomas, M.S. and published by the Institute for Creation Research. Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his M.S. in biotechnology from Stephen F. Austin State University.
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