Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In a recent Binding of Isaac playthrough I encountered an item which I had not seen before. It was called "Cancer", and it seemed to increase my DPS considerably. However, since then I have only gotten cancer rarely.

Is there any technique or method I can use to increase my chances of getting cancer?

share|improve this question
Just want to say, that title is hilariously misleading. "WHAT!? oh..." – Ben May 28 '14 at 3:50
@tanis - not everyone gets to see the context – 5pike May 28 '14 at 7:01
This site lives and thrives on odd question titles. Have at it! – Williham Totland May 28 '14 at 7:20
At least im not the only one who clicked this thread because of the title. :3 – Y U NO WORK May 28 '14 at 11:16
@Ben its a long standing meme of this site. – Scott Chamberlain May 28 '14 at 13:05
up vote 22 down vote accepted

Honestly, it's all down to luck. The factors that define what you get and where are completely random. First off, when you start, the computer "rolls a dice", and depending on what you get between 1 and 7 defines your luck (item find, possibility of getting curses etc.). 1 being "Curse of the dark" every time, 7 being amazing items in every gold room, arcades on every floor, etc.

Also there are items that certain characters start with like the 6-sided die, that allow you to re-roll gold room and shop items.

However, the best place to get Cancer with the highest drop chance is Mystic Slots. Other than that, cross your fingers and pray to Pinocchio.

share|improve this answer
Sounds like scumming for an awesome first floor will increase your odds of getting other awesome floors. – Brilliand Oct 10 '14 at 21:56
@Brilliand yep, that's generally how it's done – Ben Jan 5 at 23:50

Cancer is a trinket slot item like The Tick, or Cain's Eye, or The Polaroid.

The effect it has is to reduce the delay between shots - this is independent of the "Tears" statistic that governs fire speed, so as you get faster tear shots this static reduction in delay is a greater % of the remaining time and your DPS increases geometrically.

Trinket slot items are gotten from room drops, chests and the Fortune Telling machine.

The best way is then to play as Cain - the Luck Foot increases your chance of getting items from room drops and chests, but most importantly it removes the "Fortune" part of the fortune telling machine (the messages across the top that say things like "Steven Lives!"). This means that every time you put a coin into the machine you'll be getting a) a tarot card b) a soul heart or c) a trinket. Given that the chances of winning the fortune slots is fairly low for other characters this is a huge huge bonus.

Fortune Telling machines spawn most often as parts of Arcades. Arcades only spawn on even numbered floors/XL floors, and only if you have 5 or more coins.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.