I am in my last semester of my undergrad, majoring in biochemistry. Recently, a mutual acquaintance at a party asked about my final research project. After I’d told him that I was working in the liver laboratory and looking at liver disease, he replied with “Oh well at least you didn’t do cancer research.” A bit surprised, I asked what he meant by that. His response: “Everyone knows cancer is caused by old age, and everyone gets old, so there’s no point wasting money on cancer.” He then explained how cancer cells works, what treatments there are, and how none of those treatment are cost effective or useful. When I pointed out that cancer is not only caused by old age, he waved that away with ” No, I read it on the net, cancer is caused by old age. Can you stop old age? No. We can’t cure cancer, there’s no point trying.”
At this point I walked away because the real kicker? He knows my mother was diagnosed 5 years with lymphoma, and recently had large tumors picked up on her yearly scan after 3 years of remission.
We’re no longer acquaintances.