This Week's Links: The Root of Cancer and the Ethics of Ebola

By Emily Lewis

In our weekly links blog we like to share things, new and old, that have taken our interest here at the RWI. We don't always agree with the source or theory, but we find them to be important contributions to the discussion of disease eradication and/or theodicy.

From the Independent Cancer Research Foundation, here's an interesting and easy-to-read explanation of what might be the root cause of cancer. This is the microbe theory of cancer and the article explains in some detail how the tiny terrorists, also called "microbes," turn a cell cancerous, and what we can do to kill the microbes that cause the cancer in the first place.

Oncologist David Agus, who believes inflammation to be the root cause of cancer, also attests that the key to beating it is to address the problem before it starts. “I want doctors to treat toward health and not toward disease.” Read his five tips for prevention.

Yet another theory for the root of cancer: infection. The BBC reviews Lancet Oncology's report that two million cases of cancer a year could be prevented with proper use of vaccines and antibiotics.

But cancer is not the disease most people are talking about today, in the global fight against disease Ebola is the star of the hour. As we shared on Facebook and Twitter earlier this week, Bjorn Lomborg at the Guardian questions what we should be prioritizing, "It may sound cold-hearted to set health priorities based on cost-effectiveness, but it’s actually the best way to do the most good in the world with limited resources."

The truth is, there are a lot of complicated ethics involved in tackling disease. In this thought-provoking article from Forbes Matthew Herper discusses the ethics of ebola vaccine trials

At the beginning of his article, Herper contends, "Ebola virus and other emerging infectious diseases for which we don’t have effective treatments are the reality in public health. And they’re expected to keep on coming."

What do you think? If this is true, how should the people of God respond?