Does the Earth Have Cancer?

My 71-year-old mom has stage IV non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and she is currently undergoing an aggressive chemotherapy regimen. Cancer has been a painful, difficult journey, both for her and for all of us who love her. In my environmental work, I’ve come across the idea that human beings, as a species, have become something like a global-scale cancer. I never agreed with this line of thought—and still don’t—but with cancer such a real and present concern in my family’s life right now, I find myself pondering it once again.