SAGE KE Bulletin Board

Cancer and Aging

24 June 2003

Mark R Hamalainen

Theory: Cell senescence is a defense against cancer. By stopping new cell growth, the organism slows the inevitable onset of cancer, but causes itself to age. The advantage to this strategy is that before the crippling effects of aging set in, the organism has a reduced risk of cancer over its adult life.

I first read of this theory in a review article titled "The Biology of Aging" by Bruce R. Troen. I'm interested to hear what other people have to say about the relationship between cancer and aging, as it doesn't seem to have been addressed at this board.

Personally I don't think this theory is anywhere near a complete explanation, but it may have a grain of truth. It seems unlikely to me that any one theory is correct and that aging is a balance of evolutionary design, oxidative damage, wear and tear, etc. I apologize if i'm stating the obvious, I am new to SAGE KE.

Science of Aging Knowledge Environment. ISSN 1539-6150