Saturday, January 17, 2015

The End Of Cancer Deaths By 2050

Human Health

T-Cells: Our bodies natural defenses can be given a boost through immunotherapy, one of the many weapons in the arsenal to combat and defeat cancer.
Source & Credit: NatPost & Fotolia

An article, by Ben Schiller, in FastCompany says cancer deaths could virtually be eliminated by 2050; in making this prediction, Schiller is citing a report from University College’s School of Pharmacy in  London. At the heart of the prediction—both optimistic and exciting—is that medical knowledge and social awareness will lead to a better understanding of cancer and its mechanisms.

It will, within a few short decades, lead to its defeat. The beginning of the end of cancer is near. Schiller writes:
A report from University College London says "it is realistic to expect that by 2050 nearly all cancer related deaths in children and adults aged up to (say) 80 years will have become preventable through lifestyle changes and because of the availability of protective technologies and better pharmaceutical and other therapies."

Currently, 14 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year, with 8 million dying because of it. The report forecasts the burden to almost double by 2030, to 26 million diagnoses and 17 million deaths. However, a lot of those deaths are expected to occur in China, which has a relatively old population for an emerging country. Deaths among people under-80 are predicted to decline as a percentage of population, particularly in richer countries. For example, the U.K. will see a 40% reduction in deaths by 2030 compared to 1990 numbers.

"In future decades combinations of innovative medicines coupled with enhanced radiological and surgical interventions will, provided research investment levels are maintained, mean that many more individuals with advanced cancers will be cured, or enabled to live with them in a fulfilling manner," the report says.

Aside from advances in genomics and the discovery of personalized drugs, the report points to the importance of "effective psychosocial and practical support for lifestyle changes." Greater awareness of cancer and its environmental causes can make people more responsible for their health, encourage people to report tell-tale signs of cancer at an earlier stage (which is crucial for successful treatment), and spread "know-how" to less advantaged communities. Declines in tobacco use should also help reduce the incidence of cancer.
As I have written a number of times before, this shows more and more that we have entered the golden age of cancer research and cancer treatment. If we are having success in beating cancer, a disease that is heartless and callous as it is non-discriminatory and democratic, it must be remembered that all research, including important medical advances such as we are witnessing today is the fruit of both the European Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution that followed.

This point cannot be over-emphasized enough.

Any and all advances, including the technologies that follow, come about through the dedication and hard work of scientists and researchers who use rational thought processes that lead to the solving of nature's mysteries.

You can read the full report at [UniversityCollege]; and the rest of the article at [FastCompany].