In the End, Your Genes have Final Say on Cancer
We don't want to discriminate as it is socially quite unacceptable, but when it comes to cancer and biology, our genes are not bound by politically correct behavior. On the contrary, genetics allow for the manifestation of diseases in quite dissimilar patterns, boding unwell for some cultures. While we have all but eradicated the idea of the Caucasian “lucky gene” argument on a social basis, it seems that science refuses to adhere to our modern norms and has decided that Caucasians with chronic lymphocytic leukemia will live longer than African Americans.
One must wonder at how lucky an individual must be to live longer with a disease, but for those Caucasians who deem life lucky no matter the circumstances placed in, this newest piece of research by the American Cancer Society as per their online journal, CANCER, will be reason enough to whoop with glee. It seems that cancer patients of minority races in America seem to have a worse prognosis when compared with their Caucasian counterparts, for unknown reasons.
Though the socio-economic status and access to high quality healthcare can play a rather important role in this, researchers have determined that genes, in fact, have much to do with the strength of manifestation of diseases. Rather scary, when you think about the impact such a discovery could have on one’s own life, let alone that of those who have shared our lives and filled it with both strife and laughter.
When placing a blood cancer rare to the African Americans, known as chronic lymphocytic leukemia, in the spotlight, it was found that even though these patients were given the same care as the Caucasians, with the same strong response to the initial treatments, the former saw the cancer progress much faster, vastly shortening lifespans. These disparities between races are believed to stem from the genetic differences as opposed to any other confounding factors, though the possibility of other reasons that could lead to such results are not entirely discarded. After all, new discoveries are made on a daily basis and we can only hope to bridge this gap genetics has perhaps inadvertently left.
It is quite a disheartening discovery indeed when science is forced to work against the fight against racial discrimination, particularly when life-threatening diseases are placed under the microscope. Here’s to the longevity of the “lucky gene”; may the bearer suffer longer than the “unlucky” American minority. Or so genetics would have us toast in honor of a rather shocking discovery by diligent researchers on the subject. Exactly how happy are you with your genes now?
Reference: Wiley release on Eurekalert.