There are few illnesses as terrifying in the public consciousness as cancer. With up to a third of us getting cancer at some stage in our lives, it is almost impossible to remain untouched by the disease. As an ominous reminder of our mortality, cancer scares us to the point that discussions about it are often avoided and the language we use is couched in euphemisms.
While it would be impossible to address all the legends on the subject, David Robert Grimes – physicist and researcher at Oxford University – dispells some of the more persistent misunderstandings:
Oncotype DX is only suitable for certain types of breast cancer
A new breast cancer test – Oncotype DX – that could spare thousands of women the ordeal of chemotherapy has been approved – by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) – for use in the NHS in England and Wales.
The test works out the odds of a some tumours spreading round the body and should help doctors decide more accurately which patients will need chemotherapy.
Can drugs shield sensitive gastrointestinal tract from toxic effects?
Scientists may have found a way of protecting cancer patients from the lethal effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy using drugs that shield the sensitive gastrointestinal tract from the toxic effects of the treatment.
Combination of new technology and more-targeted cancer drugs
A development stage biotechnology company is leading the way to a new approach to cancer treatment, adding years of survival and doing so without toxic side effects at lower cost than pricier new cancer drugs.
After decades of using one-size-fits-all therapies to combat cancer, doctors are using new tools to help decide when their patients can skip chemotherapy or other harsh treatments. An approach to oncology that has been in place for decades is beginning to yield to an arsenal of long-term clinical studies, genetic tests and novel drugs that target cancer cells and their infrastructure.
Chemotherapy can backfire and make Cancer worse by triggering Tumor Growth
” Chemotherapy can damage healthy cells? Say it isn’t so? You don’t need a degree to figure this one out. Poison kills indiscriminately– always has and always will. While damaging healthy cells, chemotherapy also triggers them to secrete a protein that sustains tumour growth and resistance to further treatment. Researchers in the United States made the “completely unexpected” finding they claimed while seeking to explain why cancer cells are so resilient inside the human body when they are easy to kill in the lab.”