Cancer can be a scary a thing. It can be scary for patients, caregivers and those navigating the world trying to minimize their risk and that of their loved ones from this set of diseases. There is so much information out there and it’s always changing with the latest research and newest discoveries. Just keeping up with what are the current best approaches, what is real and accurate information, can be overwhelming.

Here in the new Life Apps Tumour Talk blog, I hope, with the aid of others, to demystify the mess of information that exists. I hope to separate the facts from myths and to decipher the latest research, treatments and challenges in the ongoing cancer journey.

My name is Wes Wilson. I am a Canadian cancer researcher and have been in the field since 2010. According to the National Cancer Institute, each year 14.1 million people are diagnosed with cancer. While the mortality rate of this set of diseases is decreasing as we develop new and better treatments, the incidence (or the amount of people who get it) is increasing as our population ages.

Understanding how these cancers work, what makes them different and how they form allows us to create new targeted therapies and even decrease the incidence rate by removing known causes. I have had the opportunity to study cancer at the genetic level. My research has focused on the changes in gene expression as cancer progresses. I have also looked at cancer at the cellular and molecular level, trying to discover which pathways are responsible for the formation of tumours.

My current work is focused on developing new treatment approaches to solid tumours using modern advancements in immunotherapy. You can hear a little bit more about my cancer work in my TEDxTalk. Studying this set of diseases has always been challenging. It is deeply rewarding work to help move our understanding of cancer towards better treatments and closer towards cures.

Along my journey I have worked across 3 continents over the past decade and have seen how various medical systems approach these problems and where shortfalls might exist along the patient pathway. As I share my experiences, I hope to pass on this information so that you can better navigate the pitfalls and have a better experience.

As we move forward with our health, there are going to be some things we can do to modify our cancer risk, and there are going to be some cancers we can’t prevent. But as published by Cancer Research UK, roughly 1 in 2 people will get cancer in their lifetime. It’s important to know the facts to keep you better equipped moving forward.

It’s a privilege to be on this journey with you. I hope to be able to remove the fog around the enigma that is cancer.