Are We Winning The War On Cancer?
Written by Adam Groff
Cancer affects the lives of millions of Americans each day, so it’s no wonder medical professionals consider the fight against it a war. Fortunately, cancer treatments are continuously improving, which makes dealing with this life-altering disease just a little easier.
So, what are some of the recent advancements in cancer treatments and how are they bettering the lives of people living with cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, men have a 1 in 2 lifetime risk of developing cancer and, for women, the risk is 1 in 3. And, already there is an expected diagnosis of more than 1.5 million new cancer cases for 2013 alone.
Although these numbers are daunting, the war on cancer survival rates is looking hopeful.
The ACS reports that 5-year survival rates for people living with cancer is 68% and researchers are hopeful the next report, due in late 2013, will show an even larger percentage.
Although the ultimate goal in the war on cancer is a cure, significant advancements in the treatment of the disease are taking place. These advancements aren’t only making the treatment process easier, they’re also adding to cancer survivors’ quality of life.
- Tailored Treatments: Not all cancers are the same and in fact come with very individual genetics. Because of this, scientists and researchers are looking at how existing drugs can be used in new ways to improve cancer treatment specific to each patient by altering dosages and drug combinations.
- Using the Body’s Own Immune System: Called immunotherapy, treatments are already in use that harnesses the immune system of patients to help kill cancer-causing cells. This eliminates much of the toxicity that’s common with current treatments like chemotherapy.
- Remission Awareness: Doctors are doing everything they can to make sure the cancer community is more aware of the risk of remission by providing ongoing preventative cancer screening, which is fast becoming a mandate in the medical world.
- Access to Information: Like never before, clinical physicians and hospitals are teaming together to make cancer information more accessible to patients. With specialists and doctors networking, patients won’t be left in the dark about information surrounding their cancer.
- Early Detection: Alongside blood tests, urine and gene testing are becoming more prevalent with certain cancer detection. For example, prostate cancer that was once only examined through prostate-specific antigens (PSA) are now being tested by antigens in the urine and changes in the patient’s genes as well, which is detection on three fronts.
- Forms of Treatment: Different forms of cancer treatment are resulting in promising outcomes as well. Lung cancer treatment for example is highly toxic to healthy body tissue because of its location and proximity to other organs. As a result, scientists have developed a lung cancer inhalation system that carries chemotherapeutic drugs directly to the source.
The war against cancer is a long way from victory, but continuing the advancements in cancer treatment is half the battle.
About the Author
Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including personal health,problems with ripoff report, and family.