In the Deadpool movie when Wade his mutant cells get activated, his skin changes so he looks like Freddy Krueger (As Weasel referred too). But he obtains healing abilities and his cancer gets cured because of it. He's become an immortal person which can heal any wound super fast.

What I don't understand is, why doesn't his skin heal so he would look like before? I remember that Francis (or Ajax) said that it's a 'side-effect' of mutating, but why wouldn't it heal when he has a healing ability?

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    It didn't cure his cancer. It gave him both super healing and super cancer.
    – OrangeDog
    Feb 23, 2016 at 18:47
  • I completely agree with the question - a "real" (even in comics ;-) healing factor would actually heal problems like cancer. My "nonsense-spidey-sense" is tingling
    – Xen2050
    Feb 23, 2016 at 19:13
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    @Xen2050 Cancer is mutated cells. The original cells now have the healing factor, hence the new cancer has the healing factor. biology.stackexchange.com/questions/14120/…
    – cde
    Feb 23, 2016 at 19:21
  • I'm guessing it's cause he has regenerative abilities and not healing ones..explains the growing hand and the hole in his arm due to a bullet.
    – user31596
    Feb 25, 2016 at 9:30
  • See also Why doesn't a healing factor cure cancer?
    – OrangeDog
    Feb 27, 2016 at 12:26

4 Answers 4


Its the same as his comics counterpart:

After the healing factor was given to him, it made his normal cells as well as his cancerous cells unable to die, giving him a heavily scarred appearance beneath his suit. - Wikipedia

So these cancerous cells made his weird appearance and his healing factor assumed it was part of himself and keep it in the same manner.

  • 1
    What happens if he completely removed the cancerous cells from his body?
    – Alex
    Feb 23, 2016 at 20:24
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    @Alex, at some point in the comics someone was able to isolate Deadpools healing power and injected it into some test subjects. Without the cancer to keep it in check they basically exploded.
    – user11607
    Feb 23, 2016 at 20:57
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    @LegoStormtroopr so in a sense the cancer keeps deadpool alive
    – Alex
    Feb 23, 2016 at 21:27
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    @LegoStormtroopr yep, the super skrulls talked about below.
    – cde
    Feb 24, 2016 at 19:14

Deadpool is not cured of his cancer. When he gets his healing factor, so does his cancer, becoming super cancer. His healing factor fights it at an accelerated rate, but neither wins. Hence his face. And anti-telepathic brain. And insanity.

The cancer is just mutations in normal cells. Wade is genetically predisposed to it, so the healing factor can't stop it from happening. And since the cancer has his DNA, it has the new healing factor too. He can't just cut out the cancer, as new cancer cells spontaneously mutate everywhere.

His skin, like all his other internal organs, including his brain, constantly get cancer, which the healing factor fights off before they can become fatal. It changes how his skin looks often, and how his brain is wired. Since his brain isn't normal, and constantly changes, it causes him to be immune to telepaths.

His cancer wasn't cured. It was deadlocked in a never ending battle. Somewhere in Volume 2 of Deadpool comics, Daniel the hack Way wrote that removing the cancer without removing the healing factor will lead to the healing factor overcompensating and killing Deadpool, as it did the Super-Skrulls that were given his healing factor.

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  • 4
    I hate everything about that image.
    – Jake
    Feb 23, 2016 at 18:44
  • 2
    +1 on "the hack" in Daniel the hack Way (Actually, I'm not sure if Daniel Way even came up with this idea... ;-) But that's not really a "healing factor" at all, unless cancer is perfectly healthy. It implies that Wolverine could be riddled with cancer that would never go away... it's more like a "living with cancer factor" or "living with cancer & bullet-holes and cuts heal factor"
    – Xen2050
    Feb 23, 2016 at 18:45
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    I like this answer's presentation more then mine ;) , +1.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Feb 24, 2016 at 9:48
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    @OlegV.Volkov no, no at all. Well, both overproduce, but there is a variety of conditions where normal cells over produce, and they are specifically not cancer. Psoriasis/Scaly skin is one.
    – cde
    Feb 24, 2016 at 19:11
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    @jdoe no, he wasn't. In the source material or the movies. Immature or weird or morally bankrupt yes, insane no.
    – cde
    Mar 8, 2017 at 22:24

The answer was actually provided in the scene. Essentially, his cancer is growing rapidly, but his healing ability prevents it from growing out of control. It's in a state of balance, if you will, between the cancer growing and his healing fixing it.

  • 2
    Makes you wonder if he could 'remove' the cancerous cells manually and let the real cells come back instead! Feb 23, 2016 at 10:09
  • @ChrisFletcher: I asked my self the same just right in the moment the movie gave that description, and came to the point it shouldas long the cancerous organs stil have some healthy structures to reproduce the organs from. But my own reasoning why he doesn't was in 2 reasons. 1) Why should he even bother anymore to remove it? 2) Just having the power to regenerate your self doesn't turn off in short time your reactions on pain. And again, including another person risking to be sold and so on... whats worth the effort since no more neccessary?
    – Zaibis
    Feb 23, 2016 at 12:48
  • Equally though, his healing factor is his realistic cells multiplying rapidly without stability, which the cancer prevents from growing out of control. If you removed the cancer, his healing factor would kill him, making it essentially a cancer in itself. So his body is basically just two types of cancer constantly battling out, causing a perfect equilibrium. No wonder he's insane.
    – Raiden616
    Feb 23, 2016 at 13:24
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    @Raiden616 Not exactly. His healing factor is just that, a healing factor. If you removed the cancerous cells his healing factor wouldn't kill him. The unfortunate side effect is that his mutation also mutated his cancer so it went out of control. (At least that was the partial explanation from the comics)
    – Jake
    Feb 23, 2016 at 14:24
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    @jake Secret Invasion, Deadpool Vol 2. Issue 2. Daniel way the hack made the healing factor deadly without the cancer.
    – cde
    Feb 23, 2016 at 18:32

Think of it this way, the healing factor fixes what's wrong when it takes full effect. Wolverine grows to adult hood, healing factor takes full effect, wolverines can heal any wound quickly, but eventually dies off of old age. Wilsons healing factor didn't finish maturating until the cancer cells had riddled his body, so the healing factor "thinks" they belong there, and fixes every cell. It's not magic like in Kim Harrison's the Hallows novels where the magic replaces the exact body the dna blueprints. (Loss of scars, ageing, and hair removal.) so healing factor heals what is there, magic heals to what should be.

  • Wolverine doesn't die of old age. It's adamantium poisoning. Otherwise most comics have him as immortal.
    – cde
    Mar 8, 2017 at 22:39

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