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The Elusive Cure

Posted 8/3/2013

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  Every now and then, I come across an excellent summary of the state of Cancer World--an honest exploration of where we stand and where we hope we are going. It has been more than 50 years since President Nixon declared the War on Cancer, and it is painfully obvious that battles have been won, but the war is far from over. (without lapsing into political commentary, sounds familiar, no?).

  My husband trained at the NCI in the 1970s, and he talks about some cancers that  were usually fatal, but are now often curable--testicular, Hodgkins Disease. Unfortunately, breast cancer is not one of them although the statistics are surely improved. Many more women are diagnosed and treated and go on to live long and healthy lives, but far too many women are still dying. He believes that we may find ways to prevent cancer before we find ways to cure it. As we think about advances in therapies and targeted treatments, it is wonderful to appreciate the science and the progress, but it is discouragingly clear that cancer is one complicated problem. A summary would seem to be that the more we know, the more we know that we don't know.  This is a segment from On Point on NPR about this issues. I give you the start and a link:

Where’s The Cure For Cancer?

The big news from the world of cancer research this week was about how we talk about cancer — how we
define it, describe it, when a patient has some early evidence in the breast or prostate or lung.
But it raises the question, even the complaint — never mind the semantics — where’s the cure? The war on
cancer is decades old. The number of cases still soars. The answers, elusive.
A top reporter with us says we’ve lost our way. A top research chief says we’re on it.
This hour, On Point: Where’s the cure for cancer?


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