Cancer has always been with us. It killed our hominid ancestors, the mammals they evolved from and the dinosaurs that trampled the ground before that. Tumours grow in pets, livestock and wild animals. Even tiny jelly-like Hydra - creatures that are little more than a tube full of water - can get cancer. Paradoxically, many of us think of cancer as a contemporary killer, a disease of our own making caused by our modern lifestyles. But that's not true. Although it might be rare in many species, cancer is the enemy lurking within almost every living creature. Why? Because cancer is a bug in the system of life. We get cancer because we can't not get it.
In her latest book, Rebel Cell: Cancer, Evolution and the Science of Life, Kat Arney, geneticist, award-winning science writer, broadcaster and public speaker, explains that cancer starts when cells revolt, throwing off their molecular shackles, and growing and dividing out of control in a shambolic mockery of normal life. This is why we can't avoid cancer: because the very genes that drive it are essential for life itself. The revolution has raged, on and off, for millions of years. Now the game is changing. Scientists have infiltrated cancer's cellular rebellion and are finally learning its secrets.
Listen to Kat's Daily Life Lesson as she takes you back to the dawn of life on planet earth right up to the present day to get to the heart of what cancer really is and how by better understanding it we might one day overcome it.