• Question: If someone with cancer was in a ghastly house fire, but survived, would the fire kill/burn all cancer cells?

    Asked by whgraceandaim to Anil, Blanka, Cees, Emma, Mike on 2 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: Emma Trantham

      Emma Trantham answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      I think that sadly it is unlikely.

      Most cancers occur inside our bodies and if a person had such sever burns that the inside of their body had been burnt then they probably would not still be alive.

      There are some cancers that grow on our skin. I suppose if it was a really small cancer and someone got really badly burnt it could kill off all the cancer cells, but again, it is more likely that at that point the person would be so badly burned that they wouldn’t survive.

    • Photo: Blanka Sengerova

      Blanka Sengerova answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      Yes, Emma’s got that one spot on. the most likely part of you to get burnt is your skin, which in most cases does not contain the tumour/cancer so it’s likely to remain. Also agree with the point about skin cancers – skin cancers are best removed by surgery, burning your whole body to remove them would be a bit drastic and probably not even have the desired effect.