At Issels®, we know that many of our readers wonder about research being done to find a cure for cancer. Many impatiently wait for progress as cancer leaves an indelible mark on anyone who has ever had cancer or known and/or loved someone who has had cancer.
Why is a cure taking so long?
Scientists are still trying to understand all of the complex processes that turn cells into the many types of cancers that exist.
How Does Cancer Form?
As Dr. Craig Thompson, CEO of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, pointed out in a recent article about this topic, family genetic inheritance, the formation site, immune system responses and cellular changes all factor into the complex puzzle that is cancer. We know that the last two items have the most influence:
The immune system isn’t perfect. Severe allergies and asthma are conditions that often happen when the immune system becomes confused about what it should or should not fight off to protect the body. Cancer is another example.
Many cells mutate into cancer because of natural aging changes we don’t yet completely understand. Sometimes there are errors during growth that repeat when new cells form. Lastly, cells can experience DNA damage from microorganisms, radiation, toxins and poor habits like smoking and tanning.
As Thompson noted, the key is to understand the “biology of cancer” and then use that knowledge to prevent it in those who don’t have it and create new treatments that precisely deal with causation in those who do.
According to research results announced in April by Dr. Philip Rosenberg, Ph.D of the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer, Epidemiology and Genetics, Americans will see several new breast cancer trends by 2030.
Longer lifespans will result in more breast cancer cases:
Dr. Rosenberg predicts a more than 50 percent rise in breast cancer cases, including an estimated 11 percent increase in older women.
Women who live into their 70’s and early 80’s are at a higher risk of getting ER-positive in situcancer (i.e. tumors caused by estrogen that are confined to the breasts).
ER-positive in situ cases will increase overall by an estimated 10 percent.
Whether you have cancer or not, it’s important to remember the following:
These predictions were based on other predictions and assumptions — for example, that mammography will remain a major detection method.
The predictions were also based on incomplete and old data, including U.S. Census Bureau data, aggregate details about 500,000 patients diagnosed with cancer in the years up through 2010 and total cancer case numbers from 2011.
If the predictions are accurate, at least one group will deal less with certain breast cancers: a 10 percent decrease in overall cases for those ages 50 to 69.
Dr. Rosenberg also predicts an 8 percent decrease in the number of ER-negative in situ and invasive cancers that are difficult to treat.
To learn more about this study, cancer trends and/or our treatment options, contact our expert and caring Issels® staff today.