In honour of World Cancer Day (Feb 4th 2013) this week I thought this photo would be fitting. This is a scanning electron micrograph (STEM), coloured by Steve Gscheissner, of a lung cancer cell dividing. The two daughter cells remain temporarily joined at the cytoplasmic bridge.
The Canadian Cancer Society estimated 186,400 new cases of cancer (excluding about 81,300 non-melanoma skin cancers) and 75,700 deaths occurred in Canada in 2012 and reports that in 2007 cancer surpassed cardiovascular disease (heart and cerebrovascular) as the leading cause of death in Canada.
However, research into cancer has fuelled improved treatments and produced better prognosis for those fighting cancer. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) demonstrated in 2007, first time in history, the absolute number of cancer deaths in the United States went down.
Due to the rights of this image I can not provide a larger version sadly. Steve doesn’t provide the source of the STEM but since he doesn’t know the magnification we can assume he didn’t take it himself, only coloured it. Although this image can be found all over the internet I was unable to find the original unedited STEM, an uncredited version can be seen on WebMD and a slightly different coloured version can be seen on on the Bayer website.