One of the scientists who discovered the structure of DNA said that 80 percent of all cancer cases could be cured within a decade.
However, Dr. James Watson said that it will only be possible if scientists revolutionize the way they approach the disease.
Speaking at a major science conference in Dublin, the 84-year-old Nobel laureate said that he believes cancer researchers are thinking too narrowly and are too afraid of taking risks.
"I think if we know why we are not able to cure it and if we can write down on paper ways by which we might overcome these things, then we have a chance," he told scientists at the 2012 Euroscience Open Forum in Dublin, according to the Daily Mail.
"People doing cancer research don’t try to know everything, they don’t seem to be willing to take chances," the American scientist was quoted as saying. "We think they must be really clever people – no they’re not – but they are no worse than other people."
Watson, who has written a scientific paper on cancer, added that scientists should not worry about catching cancer early because of its ill effects.
"I think you just want to be able to cure it at the end and not worry about the beginning and it’s cheaper," he said.
Watson, who has in the past caused uproar with his opinions on intelligence and homosexuality, also said that women can be a distraction to academics.
Commenting on his main work on DNA structure in the early 1950s, he said that he had just been "lucky there were no women" there at the time. If there were, he said that he might have been thinking about them instead of DNA.
"I think having all these women around makes it more fun for the men but they’re probably less effective," he said.
He also criticized vegans and ‘whacko’ environmentalists, but he noted that being an environmentalist "is not as bad as being a vegan," the Daily Mail reported.