With the level of medical technology available, there should be numerous cures for cancer available. Lately there have been some profound discoveries in cancer depression, particularly the prevention of cervical cancer. At present, the human papilloma virus (HPV) is one of the major causes of cervical cancer. HPV is a common sexually transmitted disease, and is currently thriving in 20 million Americans. The big discovery is that vaccinations for HPV can prevent cervical cancer, and “cure” cancer by preventing it. However cancer is a villain with many different faces. While HPV vaccinations can help reduce numbers, cancer varieties that are less preventable exist. When it comes to cancer, extinction should be the ultimate goal.
World Cancer Day is February 4th, and worldwide stats for cancer are shocking at an affected rate of over 22 million. According to the World Cancer Report, prevalent cancer types were assessed based on most diagnosed and most fatal. The list of cancer most diagnosed includes: lung, breast and colon. The list of most fatal (likely to result in death) includes: lung, liver, and stomach. The only shared value between the two lists is lung cancer, which could mean that lung cancer is usually diagnosed at a stage where successful treatment is unlikely.
Moreover, symptoms of lung cancer are similar to symptoms of everyday stress or the flu. It is difficult to assess the need for cancer screening, when early-stage symptoms are indicative of many other health conditions. For example, diabetes and pancreatic cancer share a very similar lifestyle. A patient may experience stomach pains, nausea and vision problems, and be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. While treating the diabetes, the patient is ignorant of the escalating cancer that develops in his pancreas. Knowledge of early-stage symptoms is not sufficient to prevent cancer. More research is necessary to develop a universal and definitive cancer screening procedure.
Cancer is the number one cause of death worldwide. At present the most viable option for a cancer cure is cancer prevention. As lovely as preventative action is, its disappointing to comprehend that a definitive cancer solution lies in public education. Educational tools used to raise cancer prevention awareness won’t likely succeed on an international scale. Humans are creatures of habit, and habits vary by culture. Life choices are not always going to take account of what may or may not cause cancer. Moreover, lifestyle changes don’t necessarily prevent cancer. A person could be forego all indulgences, and still develop cancer from a genetic predisposition or just plain bad luck. An over the counter anti-cancer medication does not exist, but funding for medical research does. While statistics can tell us how the numbers are high or the risk is lowered, there is little to be said about a real solution. What needs to be established is the creation of lower-cost cancer treatments and cancer-screening centers. Making public centers available will contribute to the educational aspect, while also help with early diagnosis. Cancer should not be as debilitating, prevalent or expensive as it is today. Hopefully the next World Cancer Day can not only offer tips of cancer prevention and awareness, but also include insight on some definitive cures.
By Victoria Chuidian