Coral Reefs and Cancer: Coral Reefs Saved My Life

Mention coral reefs and there’s a good chance that most people will think of clownfish and bright pink sea fans. But there’s a contingent out there that sees something else: hope. The hope that new compounds can be uncovered in the world’s reefs that can treat people with cancer, diabetes, AIDS, heart disease and other illnesses.

But hope isn’t all they’re counting on. Cancer fighting drugs have already been derived from coral reefs. The drug Ara-C, for example, is the backbone of chemotherapy for leukemia and lymphoma. That was derived from a sea sponge in the Caribbean.

In the video below, Arden O’Conner discusses how medicine derived from coral reefs helped save her life.

Find out why doctors, researchers and other cancer survivors view coral reefs as essential sources of medicine for everything from cancer, to strokes and Alzheimer’s disease:

Coral Reefs Can Save Lives: A Survivor’s Story

Save the Reefs to Save Lives: Dr. Bruce Chabner, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of Clinical Research at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Cancer Center

The Nature of Cancer: Oregon oncologist Dr. Daniel Gruenberg

This post was originally published by the Nature Conservancy.

Related Stories:

Cancer Survivor “Save the Species that Saved My Life”

Mom Loses Custody of Kids for Having Breast Cancer

Coral Reefs Found Dead Near BP Spill Site


Photo from Mr eNil via flickr
Written by bloggers from the Nature Conservancy.


Adam G.
Adam G6 years ago

rodney: do some real research on peta. they are definitely a terrorist organisation.

Jami Winn
Jami Winn6 years ago

very informing video thanks

Holly c6 years ago

Coral reefs are beautiful living creatures, don't forget that. To watch the coral reef is an amazing dispay of life, just beautiful!

Rodney P.
Rodney P6 years ago

Oh dear! While this is a wonderful message of hope for many, my heart sinks, because If all the companies , agencies, etc that derive their cures from reefs have the same attitude that has been shown to the rainforests, we are in trouble, cos there the reefs WILL go.....what's left....into the hands of the profiteerers!!
Some dodgy opinions being expressed here! Peta.... terrorists!! What are you doing on a site like this Adam G. They fight for what they believe in, like MOST people who support Care2. Animal rights would be nowhere if not for their courage.

Marcy Cravat
Marcy Cravat6 years ago

We are going to be making a documentary on just that. It is going to be about artificial coral reefs that provide habitat for marine life and coral regrowth while at th same time diverting divers away from natural reefs that are in such desperate need of privacy to regenerate. If you go to our website www.artidocs. Com and click on news you will see a photo of a statue of a man with coral growing of his head and if u click on that you will see what it is about. I hope you like it.

Judith Corrigan
Judith Corrigan6 years ago

I would love to scuba dive near a reef and watch all the wildlife obviously if it wouldn't affect any wildlife/coral.

May Howie
may Howie6 years ago


Nina Anghel
Nina Anghel6 years ago


John Doe
james rico6 years ago

i have heard that some people that are prone to cancer have a need for liver in some form. though i am a vegan i would not fault anyone that is getting results that are good by eating some animal foods. as long as it keeps them alive thats all that matters to them as it should. i myself feel the need to eat a little liver powder once in a while. its not perfect when you can not get a wide varity of organic produce at all times. so you must do what works at that time. and even more so when you can not afford a good holistic anti ageing doctor to help giude you. the great dr max gerson used to give his patients liver he he saved many of them. i also read in macrobiotic book that liver powder protects those that are prone to cancer

Adam G.
Adam G6 years ago

geez I hope the terrorists at peta don't find out about Ara-C and where it comes from.