A frequent question I get from friends, patients and colleagues is do you think we will see a cure for cancer during your career?
Of course my initial uneducated, passionate let’s beat this monster response is YES. When you take some time to really reflect on where we have been and where we are going in the cancer field I take a different approach.
A fundamental problem I see is this quest for a CURE. For some the toxic treatments we use to poison the tumor cells and hopefully not our normal cells has worked well. For many it hasn’t worked or it has resulted in other health problems. A different approach is currently the focus in the cancer treatment world. A more targetted approach, a immunologic approach (train our own immune system to keep the cancer cells in check), and an adaptable approach.
THE FOCUS should shift to making Cancer a chronic disease we control, like high blood pressure and diabetes. It would take some of the negative stigma of cancer away and allow more people to truly LIVE with cancer and not be so physically and at times emotionally crippled by their disease.
So to answer the question I am asked so often. My hope is that with ongoing research and clinical trials we will turn most cancers into chronic diseases that we can manage. Change the mindset. WE CAN GET THERE!