In their Keeping Kids Healthy column, UTMB Drs. Sally Robinson and Keith Bly explain what “cancer” really is. “The word ‘cancer’ certainly strikes a scary and emotional note in our hearts, and when attached to the word ‘childhood,’ it can be especially frightening. However, as with many things we fear, we can be empowered by understanding. … Every part of the body (the brain, liver, heart, bones, fingernails, muscles and so on) is made up of hundreds of millions of microscopic cells that are specialized for that particular organ. These cells follow a very complex and highly organized instruction set from their DNA to multiply, grow and eventually die and become replaced throughout our entire lifetimes. Occasionally, however, the instruction set becomes damaged as it is copied into newly formed cells. Usually our bodies can recognize cells with damaged DNA and repair or destroy them. But sometimes when the instruction to ‘stop multiplying’ is damaged, cells can multiply and grow out of control faster than our bodies can repair the damage. This is how cancer begins.”