Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2019


In the 200,000 years that humans have existed in our current homo sapien sapien form, we built our civilizations based in part on our desire to understand the world around us. The difficult part about this is the fact that our world has grown so vast and so quickly (think Moore’s Law, the observation that the speed and capability of computers is projected to double each year with an increasing number of transistors that can fit into a microchip), especially within the past century, that many people have been left behind due to their capability to understand. This gap in understanding is extremely problematic when it comes to issues of importance, such as politics and business. For example, a significant portion of the population does not understand the electoral college and its role in ensuring that the few do not decide for the many in our Presidential elections. On a more personal note, healthcare is unnecessarily complex, from advancements in treatment, the structure of insurance, how care itself is delivered, and how “health” is perceived. While one guide cannot cover all of the intricacies of the medical field, this thesis discusses a complex disease that affects millions of patients and their families each year. Cancer biology, treatment, and research will be explained using science, history, and mathematics in layman’s terms.