When it comes to life-threatening illnesses, none have gained the level of notoriety and put great fear into people quite like cancer has. The fear is definitely legitimate, as so many people have had loved ones pass away long before their time due to this disease. We are all fortunate that the medical community has made great strides in finding ways to treat cancer and improve the recovery rates for people with it. But the more pressing question for some people will be is there a cure for cancer?
Now you would think given the potentially devastating nature of this disease and the way it can upend lives, if there was a cure for cancer it would have been quickly embraced by the medical community. In response to is there a cure for cancer, there are always going to be people who will state that there is one but it has been back burnered by the pharmaceutical and medical industries. This conspiracy theory of sorts will suggest that the reason they do this is because there’s a lot of money to be made in producing cancer-treating drugs and the like.
What we’ll do here is try to provide a more rationalized answer to is there a cure for cancer, and hopefully expand on why it’s more rational to believe that there’s no such conspiracy going on where a potential cure for the disease is being withheld from the public.
It’s quite understandable that someone with themselves, a family member, or a valued friend facing a cancer diagnosis will be asking is there a cure for cancer. The unfortunate reality of the situation is that no, there is no proven effective cure for cancer. At this time at least. Now of course that’s the not-so-good news, but the good news is that there are a number of effective treatments that can be used to slow the growth of cancer cells and promote the cancer going into remission.
Before we discuss this further, it’s important to state that some types of cancers are more receptive to these types of treatments than others. As is the case with all cancers, your best defence against cancer is to live a healthy life AND be proactive in both observing yourself for signs of cancer or having cancer screenings. Yes, it’s an uncomfortable subject to talk about but we all know about the value of preventative medicine. For many people rather than asking is there a cure for cancer they should be asking what can I do to reduce my risk of cancer.
Keep in mind as well that early detection of cancer is always best to ensure the overall success of treatment. Try to be aware of changes in or on your body that might suggest something’s not right.
Enabling a person’s immune system to battle cancer cells is one of the best ways to combat the growth and spread of cancer cells. Is there a cure for cancer? No, at this time there is not but there are means by which physicians can put you on an immunotherapy course of treatment that will either stall the progress of the cancer, or - in best case scenarios - actually cause it to regress.
Researchers have also been working to develop a vaccine that helps the immune system directly fight cancer cells. These cells often have molecules on their surfaces that won’t be found on regular cells. Administering a vaccine containing these molecules can help the immune system better recognize and destroy cancer cells.
In fact, one already exists. Sipuleucel-T is a cancer vaccine used to treat advanced prostate cancer. It’s only one example, but it’s a start and there are many researchers working on finding something similar for other cancers.
T-cell therapy is another form treatment for cancer. T-cells are immunity cells that are sent out to destroy invaders identified by your immune system. For cancer patients, these cells are extracted from the body and then lab technicians identify which of them are the strongest and then they grow more of these cells before injecting a new army of them into your body. Once they’ve been introduced they’re able to attack the cancerous cells in much greater numbers.
While the answer to is there a cure for cancer may not be the one most will be looking for, the number of different treatment options and all of the energy being put into discovering new ones should make your outlook more positive. Monoclonal antibody therapy is another one, where lab technicians make large quantities of antibodies that recognize antigens found on the surfaces of cancer cells. When introduced to the body they latch on to the more easily-recognizable cells and disable them.
Asking if there is a cure for cancer may be wishful thinking, but there should be some consolation in knowing that survival rates for cancer are higher than they’ve ever been before. As you might expect, there are many different pharmaceutical drugs that have been developed to aid in treating cancer patients. Purinethol (Mercaptopurine) and Xeloda (Capecitabine) are two of them, but any person’s course of drug treatment for cancer will be dependent on the type of cancer and the specifics of it as identified by both your physician and specialists that person will see in hospital.
Is there a cure for cancer? Not at this time, but there is reason to be hopeful that one day there will be. There’s an incredible amount of research being made into it at all times.