Cancer, chemo, radiation and … dandelions


(Cette BD est aussi disponible en français)

My initial idea was to write a cartoon entitled “5 toxic beliefs about chemotherapy”. The goal was to take 5 myths about chemo and deconstruct them. In doing this, I wanted to challenge the false notions about chemotherapy that are perpetuated over the internet. 

However, along the way something became obvious: it’s absolutely pointless to attack false beliefs on chemo… when the majority of people do not know what cancer really is. 

Then, by pure chance, two oncologists appeared out of nowhere and proposed to help me make a comic on cancer! It’s great how things work out. 

After reading this comic, you will have a better understanding of cancer, surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. And you will never see dandelions the same way. 

Author’s notes:

I want to thank my two great collaborators for authoring this comic! They proposed to me the dandelion analogy, and told me they didn’t know where it came from (in short, we don’t really know where it comes from)… An ENORMOUS THANK YOU to you two for your massive help in the creation, preparation and improvements on this comic!

– Marc-Émile Plourde, MD, FRCPC (Radiation Oncology)

Marc-Émile is a radiation oncologist, meaning his specialty is radiotherapy. He is also the author of the blog (in French) and he develops medical apps for mobile devices.

– Vincent Éthier, MD, FRCPC (Hematology Oncology)

Vincent is a hematologist and oncologist, meaning his specialty is chemotherapy.

– And the two generous doctors who translated this cartoon to English : Pierre-Yves McLaughlin, MD with the help of Martin Korzeniowski, MD.


*Note: This comic explains what cancer is, and how it is treated. I do not address prevention, not because it’s not important (to the contrary), but simply because it’s a very vast subject that I indirectly bring up all the time when I promote healthy living habits on this website.



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4 Responses to Cancer, chemo, radiation and … dandelions

  1. Thank you so much!!

  2. much appreciation …it is easier to understand….so thank you so much!!!

  3. I’ve been doing cancer research for the past 10 years, and this is the single best plain-language explanation I’ve ever read. Thank you! I am showing this to my colleagues.

  4. amandabolderston

    Great comic! However, one tiny correction…….modern Linacs (radiotherapy machines) have the shaping ability to conform to different tumour shapes and sizes. They COULD do a batman sign :)

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