When George Johnson, author of The Cancer Chronicles suggested in the New York Times that cancer is inevitable (see our previous post), he echoed a common belief: that as we age our bodies accumulate an increasing number of potentially cancerous mutations that will eventually catch up to us if we live long enough. In other words, if you don’t die of something else, cancer will get you in the end.
That’s a depressingly defeatist attitude that the cancer specialists at Issels cancer treatment centers reject. In more than 60 years of experience treating cancer with integrative immunotherapy, our staff and our patients have found many reasons to be hopeful about the eventual development of a cancer cure. Advanced immunotherapy and targeted cancer therapies have produced some remarkable results in our ongoing battle against cancer.
Cancer mortality rates in the U.S. have been declining slowly but steadily since the War Against Cancer was launched. According to the American Cancer Society’s most recent annual report, the average American’s risk of dying from cancer has decreased 20% over the past two decades. But the fact remains that cancer risk increases with age.
A new study by researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center has found that, contrary to current thinking, cancer risk is not increased by years of accumulated mutations, but by tissue changes that occur as we age. As lead researcher James DeGregori, Ph.D., explained to Medical News Today:
“If you look at Mick Jagger in 1960 compared to Mick Jagger today, it’s obvious that his tissue landscape has changed. And it’s this change, not the accumulation of cancer-causing mutations, that drive cancer rates higher as we grow older.”
More on this startling discovery and what it means next time.