In addition to its entertainment value, science fiction is well known for making technological predictions that have come true. Here's a nicely illustrated article that highlights some of the more notable ones that have happened:https://www.bustle.com/p/11-real-life-inventions-inspired-by-science-fiction-novels-9090688
Sci-fi stories, movies, etc. have often served as inspiration for the development of real-life inventions that have benefited mankind.
So have there been any sci-fi stories, novels, movies etc. that have dealt with the theme of curing cancer
, and in effect made predictions on how that might happen?
After doing a web literature search, I located some sci-fi stories that dealt with the theme of cancer generally, but almost none dealing specifically
with the process of finding a cure for it. Michael Crichton's "The Andromeda Strain" (1969) is perhaps the classic here for the fictional effort to try and find the cure for a terrible disease, but from what I have seen from searching, similar works for cancer specifically are all but non-existent.
Perhaps there should be more of them.
For example, here's a synopsis of a possible sci-fi story that came to mind, using scientific elements in a fictional way, to find a fictional cure for cancer:It was that first manned trip to Mars in June, 2033 (Elon Musk had predicted that it would be in 2024), that was, of course, the turning point. Astronauts, walking on the surface of the red planet, searching for signs of life, overturned a rock and found that slimy red fungus, eventually named planktoneum Marsii, which as it turned out, proved to be so very, very valuable to humanity. Upon returning it to earth, and studying it in the lab, it was quickly realized that, being a totally alien lifeform, it possessed modes of cell invasion and destruction that easily overcame any resistance in all earth-based bacteria and viruses. Earth microbes were totally unprepared to offer any resistance to such an unknown alien invader, immediately becoming entirely overwhelmed by it, quickly leading to their total destruction. But, most fortunately, it was also quickly established that it was possible to control the deadly red Martian fungus, as it was weighed down and made vulnerable by the earth's heavy gravitational field, which was of course much heavier than that of its home planet Mars, and this weakened it and made it manageable. It was then possible to contain it and store it in secure containers, much like the smallpox microbes at the CDC in Atlanta. But then it was just as quickly realized after research, and to our great good fortune, that planktoneum Marsii could be controlled, modified and trained to attack only certain earth microorganisms. So, beginning in 2036 that was done for cancer cells, and with fantastic success! All earth cancer cells were totally unable to resist this alien attacker specifically designed to seek out and attack them, and were quickly and completely destroyed by it, while the body's normal cells were completely unharmed! This red Martian fungus, now the hero of microbes, became known as the "penicillin of cancer," and by using it all known cases of cancer were easily cured by 2042! The results in society that followed were dramatic, and wonderfully positive! The offices of the American Cancer Society and other such groups were permanently closed shortly afterwards, as there was no longer an objective for them to achieve, or they switched their operations to other diseases. The same happened for government agencies and institutes established for cancer, as well as cancer hospitals and major cancer clinics around the world. The drug companies suspended production of all anticancer medications and concentrated on other diseases, while medical specialties in cancer were soon discontinued and no longer even taught in medical schools, as doctors retrained to take on other diseases. Even things like Internet cancer discussion forums ceased to exist, as there was no longer any need for them. Cancer came to be spoken of in the way that earlier generations had come to speak of smallpox, polio, and even plague: diseases which once caused fear and panic, but, now eradicated, were mentioned with a casualness befitting something now only worthy of a footnote in a medical text. Cancer came to join that defeated group. Mankind breathed easier, and a degree of suffering had been removed from the world!
Maybe there should be more stories like that. Such a story could be the inspiration that propels a scientist somewhere to find "the cure."
Perhaps (probably?) there are in real life no such microbes on Mars waiting for an astronaut to find them, and return them to earth where they perform miraculous curative feats against cancer, as described in the above possible story.
But the idea
that there might be could for some scientist paying attention be the
catalyst for his real-life discovery of a cancer cure of great magnitude. Perhaps such a story would remind him of some fungus here on earth that he once read about
, and now he starts to research it, with wonderful results.
It would be very nice if a sci-fi tale about
curing cancer did turn out to be prophetic, and was the inspiration that brought about
an actual, real-life cancer cure.
Chronic prostatitis (age 60 on)
BPH w/ urinary obstruction, 6/2011
Ongoing high PSA, 7/2011-12/2011
Biopsy, 12/2011: positive 3/12 (90%, 70%, 5%)
Gleason 6(3+3), T1c
No mets, PCa likely still organ contained
IMRT w/ HT (Lupron), 4/2012-6/2012
PSAs (since post-IMRT): 0.1 to 0.3 range