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Thread: We're no longer beating cancer

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    Politics.ie Member Houyhnhnm's Avatar
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    Default We're no longer beating cancer

    The war on cancer, like its sister metaphor-wars on drugs and poverty, is no longer being won.

    Targeted drugs, which it was hoped would be hugely successful by being tailored to each patient's genetic make-up - so-called molecular medicine - have only had limited success. On average these new treatments have typically only extended life for a number of months as the cancers rapidly develop resistance to these new treatments:

    Doctors reported apparently miraculous results from the use of the BRAF-inhibitor vemurafenib in advanced malignant melanoma, a usually fatal form of skin cancer. Within two weeks, the tumours had melted away.

    "But six months later, [the cancer] is back with a vengeance," he said.

    Other drugs working in a similar way – including erlotinib (Tarceva) for a form of lung cancer, bevacizumab (Avastin) for breast, colorectal and other cancers, and sunitinib (Sutent) for renal cell carcinoma and gastrointestinal sarcoma – have also not done so well, said Hanahan. Resistance to the drugs builds up, sometimes very quickly.
    More worryingly, the cost of such treatments is so prohibitive as to likely prevent widespread access to the drugs on patients relying on taxpayer-funded drug payment schemes. Vemurafenib treatment costs well in excess of €100,000 annually. Even if there weren't a depression, no amount of pressure from the likes of the Liveline mob would ensure the health service could provide access to such high-tech drugs for every patient.

    And there doesn't seem to be any big new hope for a cure outside molecular medicine:

    "Decades ago, genuine breakthrough drugs were discovered which continue to have a huge impact on the disease," however "the excitement generated by targeted drugs, which interfere with specific molecules involved in tumour growth and suppression, has been short-lived."

    "'If the question was whether the world was winning the war on cancer,' said Douglas Hanahan of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, who outlined the latest state of drug research, 'in general, for most forms of human cancer, the answer is clearly no.'"
    The experts stress that the best hope we have of tackling the disease is prevention, not cures: Cancer fight stalls amid push for profits, doctors say | Society | The Guardian

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    sad to read that.

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    Politics.ie Member gloria's Avatar
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    I might have cancer now, I might have had cancer previously. I do not know because I never go to the doctor.
    I feel perfectly fine.
    My friend has been freaked out the last week because she went for a mammogram and she was called up immediately for a further check up.. turned out to be nothing.
    I started having the summonses to go for mammograms and smear tests when I turned 45.
    I ignored them all and they became quite persistent and aggressive until about a year ago and then the letters stopped coming.
    I think this is a total waste of resources from the HSE demanding that a perfectly healthy woman, who has never complained before go for un-necessary tests for no reason.

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    Politics.ie Member Ireniall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gloria View Post
    I might have cancer now, I might have had cancer previously. I do not know because I never go to the doctor.
    I feel perfectly fine.
    My friend has been freaked out the last week because she went for a mammogram and she was called up immediately for a further check up.. turned out to be nothing.
    I started having the summonses to go for mammograms and smear tests when I turned 45.
    I ignored them all and they became quite persistent and aggressive until about a year ago and then the letters stopped coming.
    I think this is a total waste of resources from the HSE demanding that a perfectly healthy woman, who has never complained before go for un-necessary tests for no reason.
    You're probably right but you might be wrong and you might be missing the chance to catch it early-I think you should go in and get checked.

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    Politics.ie Member Dan_Murphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gloria View Post
    I might have cancer now, I might have had cancer previously. I do not know because I never go to the doctor.
    I feel perfectly fine.
    My friend has been freaked out the last week because she went for a mammogram and she was called up immediately for a further check up.. turned out to be nothing.
    I started having the summonses to go for mammograms and smear tests when I turned 45.
    I ignored them all and they became quite persistent and aggressive until about a year ago and then the letters stopped coming.
    I think this is a total waste of resources from the HSE demanding that a perfectly healthy woman, who has never complained before go for un-necessary tests for no reason.
    I'm not a doctor, but I am pretty sure people don't beat cancer on their own. The reason the encourage screenings is probably because an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure, or however that saying goes.

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    Politics.ie Member gloria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Murphy View Post
    I'm not a doctor, but I am pretty sure people don't beat cancer on their own. The reason the encourage screenings is probably because an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure, or however that saying goes.
    I'm not going to any doctor unless I'm sick!
    Like very sick!!

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    Politics.ie Member Dan_Murphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gloria View Post
    I'm not going to any doctor unless I'm sick!
    Like very sick!!
    Visited the doctor 2 months ago, last time I did was ten years previously! Believe me I know what you mean, but the HSE has their heart in the right place.

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    Politics.ie Member libertarian-right's Avatar
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    On prevention - I would recommend people use extra virgin olive oil for cooking and also an olive oil spread instead of using normal butter. Research being conducted currently on a certain protein in olive oil that kills off certain cancers (This protein is also found in breast milk).

    Good reports on the usual suspects - Broccoli is at the top, sulforaphane being one of the componds touted as having anti-cancer properties. Obviously cabbage/brussels sprouts/garlic/turmeric/green tea/flaxseed/salmon/berries/tomatoes are on the list also so hopefully there is something there people can include into their diet.

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    Politics.ie Member gloria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Murphy View Post
    Visited the doctor 2 months ago, last time I did was ten years previously! Believe me I know what you mean, but the HSE has their heart in the right place.
    yeah, but why are they wasting their time on the people who are well and healthy like me?
    Why are the HSE badgering me to go for tests when I am perfectly fine?
    Surely there are plenty of sick people out there who need treatment...
    I understand the whole preventative thing but it is surely out of proportion!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ireniall View Post
    You're probably right but you might be wrong and you might be missing the chance to catch it early-I think you should go in and get checked.
    "My uncle had this big huge thing growing on his neck, and fine. Then he goes to the doctor, Cancer. bing bang boom,hair out Hamburger Time".

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