Scientists Making Huge Strides In Cancer Research

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Contributor

October is just on the horizon, and pink products to raise awareness for breast cancer are already beginning to line shelves. This year, there are significant successes in cancer treatment and research to be celebrated during this awareness month. Thanks to the efforts of multiple teams of researchers, additional progress has been made on developing new treatments for certain types of cancer, as well as learning more about how the disease progresses.

The Current Reach Of Cancer

As it stands, cancer is still a major issue, claiming countless lives around the world every year. The disease is largely responsible for long-term illness and loss of life, and yet many of its causes are unknown. Rehabilitation services constitute almost one-third of all health care expenditures in the United States, and many of them are due to chronic illness like cancer. With fundraising efforts both across the nation and worldwide to support cancer research, it's clear that this issue still has the world's attention and requires more work to be done. Luckily, some of these efforts have recently paid off in a series of major breakthroughs with cancer treatment research.

Research Yields Results On Cancer Molecular Structure

Twenty-first century civilization is inconceivable without the indispensable measurement tools on which everyday life depends. Research tools, in particular, have developed significantly in the past few years, making it possible to discover new information about cancer and therefore treatment options as well. In a recent discovery, scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research have uncovered a molecule critical in the role of cancer cell division that allows cancer cells to continue existing and multiplying well after their natural lifespan.

While this discovery alone does not spell the end of cancer, it is a significant milestone in better understanding the disease. This knowledge can contribute to ongoing treatment developments, allowing medical professionals to treat cancer in far less time and using more effective methods than have existed in the past. By discovering which aspects of cancer cells are most responsible for the danger they present, medical professionals and researchers are able to focus treatment efforts on those components specifically. This will, in time, result in cancer treatments that cause less damage to the surrounding tissue and overall health of patients.

Taking Strides In Saving Lives

Some of these groundbreaking treatments are already beginning development, and this information will only make them more effective at treating disease. Prostate cancer, particularly, has seen rapid development of treatment in the form of proton therapy. About one man in nine will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, and previously this condition had a far greater mortality rate. Since the development of proton therapy, more patients have been living healthier lives following diagnosis. Researchers report that 99%, 94% and 74% of men treated with proton therapy with low-, intermediate-, and high-risk prostate cancer, respectively, have no signs of cancer recurrence after five years of follow-up. The discovery of the particular cancer cell molecule, in this case, will allow proton therapy to be even more effective, increasing the odds of survival for cancer patients.

Cancer research and treatment clearly still have a long way to go. However, discoveries like these are vital in providing patients with the best treatment possible. If research efforts like these continue, it is possible that the severe and lethal nature of cancer will be a thing of the past. As breast cancer awareness month approaches, pay attention to fundraising and donation opportunities near you so that you can contribute to furthering research like these recent discoveries and treatments.

 

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