• Question: How do you not catch the cancer cells when you work with them???? xx :-P

    Asked by russarianpantsxx to Mariam, Gioia, Iain, Jo, Leo on 18 Jun 2010 in Categories: . This question was also asked by icedancer.
    • Photo: Mariam Orme

      Mariam Orme answered on 16 Jun 2010:

      That’s a very good question.

      The first thing to say is that cancer isn’t contagious – it’s not like some viruses or bacteria that can float around in the air and infect you if you breathe them in.

      The only real risk with cancer cells would be if I accidentally injected them into myself. So we are very careful when we work with them, wearing gloves and making sure we don’t accidentally stab ourselves with contaminated sharps! But even if some cancer cells did get into my body, my immune system should recognise that they are not my own cells, and get rid of them.

    • Photo: Joanna Watson

      Joanna Watson answered on 18 Jun 2010:


      Cancer cells aren’t contagious so you can’t catch them. Cancer happens when your own normal cells are broken and don’t work properly any more.

      I don’t work with cancer cells, but even if I did, I wouldn’t be worried about it at all.