Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki
BB 408 S
Oh, to hell with your cancer. I’ve been living with cancer for the better part of a year. Right from the start, it’s a death sentence. It’s what they keep telling me. Well, guess what? Every life comes with a death sentence. So every few months, I come in here for my regular scan, knowing full well that one of these times– hell, maybe even today–I’m going to hear some bad news. But until then, who’s in charge? Me. That’s how I live my life.
Walter White to a patient whose cancer has just been diagnosed.[src]

Cancer is a disease that can be fatal to humans, which has been around for thousands of years. Walter White was diagnosed with cancer on his 50th birthday and given only two years to live. Lung cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer.

Jesse Pinkman's aunt Ginny also contracted lung cancer and she passed away a few years before the events of Breaking Bad. Due to his experiences with the treatments, Jesse recognizes Walter is undergoing chemo-therapy.

In Better Call Saul, Lingk admits that he has cancer. Despite this Jimmy McGill, under the persona of Viktor, decided to con him in one of his identity theft scams. ("Breaking Bad",  "Waterworks")


There are many different kinds of cancers. Some of the most common are:

  • Breast cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Leukemia (a blood cancer)
  • Testicular cancer
  • Mesothelioma (which starts in the lungs, and is usually caused by breathing in asbestos for long periods of time)
  • Lung cancer



Walter White is informed of his lung cancer diagnosis.

Cancer develops following genetic damage to DNA. This genetic damage affects the normal functions of the cell, including cell proliferation, programmed cell death (apoptosis) and DNA repair. As more damage accumulates, the risk of cancer increases. It is possible that Walter White's cause of cancer was through "radon gas". Radon is a colorless and odorless gas generated by the breakdown of radioactive radium, which in turn is the decay product of uranium. The radiation decay products ionize genetic material which possibly caused a mutation in Walt. According to Skyler's theory of Walt's cancer, 20 years ago when Walt worked at an application lab and his involvement in chemicals, and the fact that Walt would complain about not having the right kind of ventilation hood ("Cancer Man").


  • Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976), the physicist and namesake of Walter White's alter ego, died of kidney and gall bladder cancer.
  • There are 62 episodes of Breaking Bad. The 62nd element on the Periodic Table is samarium, which is used to kill cancer cells.
  • In an interview discussing his thoughts on Walt's death, Bryan Cranston said that Walt became "a cancer to everyone around him".
  • On the day Walter White was diagnosed with cancer, he was given two years to live. He missed the 2 year mark diagnosis by only one day in "Felina" when he died.