November 14, 2009

Preventing Cancer

Gina Kolata talks about the less than expected rates of success of some medicines that might help 'deter' some forms of cancer here ...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/13/health/research/13prevent.html?_r=1&em

Cancer is a strange beast ... there is still an enormous amount of misinformation and fear in the public's mind about the disease and what it is. Some people have an irrational amount of fear of the disease and think that it's a sort of a death sentence. That's far from the truth. 80 percent of patients suffering from childhood leukemia are cured.

Enormous strides have been made in the treatment of other forms of cancer such as Chronic Myelogeous Leukemia (CML) and prostate cancer and breast cancer.

It remains a difficult challenge nevertheless for medical science. Our increasing insights into the structure of the human genome will help tame a few more types of cancer over the years.

But ultimately cancer will win. It's simply a basic premise of the design of the human body that it's built to last for a limited lifespan. When we seek to extend its life artificially, we naturally run against some pretty stiff barriers.

An interesting and continuing battle that will go on ...

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