Cancer as an Internal Enemy ®

Fictional stories helping you overcome cancer diagnosis and treatment

Describing cancer as an internal enemy is supported by science. The disease natural history starts with subtle changes in the DNA. This is a recurrent and continuous process, leading to an accumulation of structural damages throughout one’s life.  Fortunately, the DNA molecule has repair mechanisms that mitigate those damages, thereby maintaining health. However, these mechanisms may be limited by aging, which increases the susceptibility to cancer. A healthy lifestyle is the most important protective factor. Prevention relies primarily on education and risk factor modification. Smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, physicochemical stressors and certain viral diseases, directly or indirectly damage DNA and should be avoided. Regular and evidence-based screening tests/procedures may lead to early diagnosis, which in turn may increase one’s chances of cure by available interventions. Many of these recommendations will be discussed and illustrated throughout the clinical vignettes, which will cover the most frequent types of cancer. 

Each one of the vignettes will address both the physical and emotional challenges faced by those battling cancer. The methodology will be inclusive, and patient-centered. The physician will be the storyteller, alternating technical information and empathy, aiming to build a strong and personalized relationship with each patient. 

The narrative of each short story will reflect the emotional flow, following a stepwise, problem-solving approach. Supported by a personalized psychological framework, clinical simulations will inspirethe patient to build essential attitudes while acquiring the most important skills to better cope with cancer.

We are looking forward to your participation on this new biopsychosocial project - get ready!

® Copywrite 2019 Anticancerweb

 James Fleck, MD, PhD: Full Professor of Clinical Oncology at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, RS, Brazil 2019

Joao A. de Andrade, MD: Professor of Medicine and Chief Medical Officer, Vanderbilt Lung Institute, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN – USA 2019 (Associate Editor)