Is a world where everybody beats cancer possible? That's the big question that everybody wants an answer to.
In the final episode of the Stand Up To Cancer: The Podcast, we put that question to our scientists and the optimism in their answers is plain to see.
Let's get things straight. I don't think we will ever eradicate cancer. It is too interwoven with who we are. DNA damage will always happen, and natural processes mean that sometimes cells will become cancerous. Nor will we ever discover a single cure for cancer. Cancer is too big, too diverse and too similar to us for something as simplistic as that to happen.
But all across the world scientists and doctors are chipping away at their bit of cancer. We are finding ways of preventing some cancers, spotting the earliest signs of a tumour when it is easiest to treat, matching people to the most effective drugs for them and developing super smart new medicines and therapies that can hit cancer where it hurts.
More and more people will start surviving their cancer. Perhaps we will get to a day when cancer is thought of in the same way as bacterial infections are today. People used to die of toothache. Nowadays that is very rare indeed.
This is a goal that Cancer Research UK and Stand Up To Cancer believe possible. And it is a goal that our scientists share. To quote Professor Gerard Evan (another science crush of mine!) in our pancreatic cancer episode "We are humans. We can do whatever we want to if we put our minds to it. And we can put our minds to curing cancer - and we will." Pretty optimistic right?
This whole experience has been incredible. Recording podcasts with Kirstie was both fun and surreal, and meeting scientists and patients has been fascinating, inspiring and emotional in equal measure. I am so grateful to AudioBoom who generously gave us this platform to celebrate some of our amazing research, and I hope some of you will have been inspired by the people we met.
Our researchers depend on your support. After hearing from some of them you can probably see why we are putting our trust in their ideas. We are changing the way the world thinks about cancer, and we are doing this together. If you want to get involved, join the rebellion and Stand Up To Cancer.