One of the sad truths today is that everyone will more than likely know someone suffering from cancer in their lifetime. It is estimated that in the next year more than 160,000 people will contract the disease in Canada alone. This is about one percent of the population. By 2050, experts say that from those who teach and lead healthy lives to those that are being raised in a third world country, there will be about 27 million people diagnosed with cancer each year and more than 17 million will die in that same time frame. If you or someone you know is suffering from cancer than you might be wondering what scientists are focusing on when it comes to research.
It makes sense that one of the primary things that cancer researchers are looking for is the cause of the disease. While some think that cancer is the product of all of the chemicals and pollutants that we now experience in the modern world alone, the truth is that the first documented case of the disease was as far back as 1500BC in Ancient Egypt. So, while the person who smokes on his breaks might be more susceptible to lung cancer, it seems that adding toxins to his system is not the only cause. Researchers are looking at genetics, environmental factors and diet to see how each contributes to a person getting this disease. (We would like to take a moment to recognize one of our sponsors - St Catharines dentist, Lake Street Dental. Thank you!)
When you're listening to the evening health segment on the news you will frequently hear stories about things that are believed to help prevent or cause cancer. This is a science where new theories and discoveries are happening all the time and when following these studies you need to remember that no one really has a full understanding of the disease yet. While it might be speculated that the environment a person works in at a tanning factory or the amount of fruit that they eat will affect their chances of getting cancer in their lifetime, this is definitely not a certainty.
While we all hope that there will be a day when we know enough about the disease that we can keep most people from getting it in the first place, now most researches are focusing on treatment for those who have already contracted it. Some of the forms of treatment that are already being used are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, gene therapy, and photodynamic therapy. There are also studies that are attempting to boost the immune system of those with the disease and research going into an anti-cancer therapy. If you're living in Canada than you don't need to win the lottery to be able to afford treatment. Standard treatments are covered by basic healthcare.
The reality of today is that there is a chance of a person who is training for a marathon or an unemployed man who drinks too much contracting the same form of cancer this year. There is hope that some day soon we can guarantee that they will not die from the disease, but it's going to take a lot more research.