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April is Cancer Control Month

The cure for cancer is something everyone hopes for, but is not easily accessible. There is the issue that cancer is not just one single thread of disease, but multiple threads that all are different from one another, thus they respond differently to medication and treatment. Because each diagnosis is different from any other, it makes it much more difficult to pinpoint what treatment could be the most beneficial for the patient. Each new advancement is a success, and a step closer to hopefully finding a premature cure for all cancers to eliminate this  disease from our world completely. We’ve put together a list of hopeful advancements that help celebrate the journey of eliminating cancer from the medical world completely! 

Immunotherapy

  • There are many different forms of immunotherapy that are being advanced. Immunotherapies will allow our immune system to not only not let the cancer cells hide and reproduce, but also attack them from their creation. A few of these advances include Checkpoint inhabilitators, which prevent the cancer cells from hiding and allow the T-cells to find and attack them. Another form of immunotherapy is adoptive cell transfers. This therapy takes your own cells from your blood and tumors, and scientifically modify them to attack the cancer cells existing in your body. These are just a few of the advancements, and while they are not necessarily universal to all cancer types, they allow the door to be opened for more lives to be saved.

Tissue Agnostic Therapies:

  • FDA approved in May of 2017, tisue agnostic therapies are a much different form of treatment than we are used to hearing about. These treatments allow the medicine to be treated for the genetic makeup of the persons tumor, rather than the location of it on the body which has previously been the only way to distribute medicine. This is a precisions change on where the treatment should be targeted, and focuses solely on biology rather than the type of tumor. This again can be affected tremendously based on the type of cancer, and if it is capable as a treatment option.

Targeted Advancements for Specific Cancers:

  • There are many advancements in precision targeted therapy for different types of cancer, one of which is breast cancer. There are new advancements in polymerase inhibitors, that are an alternative to standard chemotherapy. These polymerase inhibitors are a new advancement for breast cancer research, though they are already approved for treatment of ovarian cancers. These results vary based on the inherited cancer gene that is generic in the family history of the patient. As said before, every change in the mutation and cancer type will have a difference affect on the treatment style and results, but steps toward positive results are steps in the right direction. It is hopes though that looking into genetics of cancer treatment will help us understand why a tumor is growing and where it is coming from before it is too late.

Cancer Prevention:

  • Advancements in cancer prevention goes back to how we live our lives, what we avoid and what is healthy for us. It’s become basic knowledge now that smoking will cause lung cancer, too much sun can cause skin cancer, and so on. Promoting a healthy lifestyle and diet is a major way one can prevent some cancers, though there is never a guarantee for these diseases. Practicing safe life choices also can help to prevent some cancers, such as practicing safe sex, and not sharing medical supplies, especially needles. Avoiding some trends of today could help prevent habits that can cause higher risks for cancers. E-cigarettes are a huge part of society today, but statistics have shown that adolescents who use these are nearly 4 times as likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes as they get older. Making healthier choices in our lives is a large part of living a healthy life that will lower our chances of getting cancer as we age. Genetically there is only so much that can be known today but it should motivate everyone to live healthier lives and make positive choices.

Cancer is a horrible part of our society today, but with our growing technology and studies, there is nothing but hope for the future! Finding a cure for cancer could be around the corner or another generation away but we know that our advancements are making the value of life higher for these patients, and their spirits are higher as well in hopes that treatment will extend their lifespan, and eventually be able to say they were cured. Though this reality may be years away, the advancements in technology, treatment, and prevention allow patients to become survivors, and theories become curable treatments.