Cancer, the bane of the 21st century. It is not one disease, but a generic term for hundreds of neoplastic diseases. Breast cancer in both mammary glands in one woman can be two distinct variations.
Cancers are distinctive to the individual and should be treated as such. To label one broad spectrum revolutionary drug cocktail or therapy as the definitive "treatment to cancer" is misleading. The plethora of its manifestations and the genetic diversity of the human race alone necessitates a one track solution is simply not feasible.
When we refer to cancer, we are talking about a very complex and inhomogeneous collective of diseases. Each case for each and every person requires individual care, treatment and therapy.
Advancements will, and are, being made. However, the progress toward unlocking the methuselah gene protocol or effective localised in situ stem cell injection therapy is laboured. Headway is drawn out by regulatory red tape and for a lack of viable identified volunteers.
Cancer cells are living cells. Lifestyle choices focused on benefitting healthy cells will also improve the cancerous growths. Healthy, active lifestyles with balanced diets, exercise, non participation in smoking and over indulgence in recreational drugs and alcohol do assist the body. However, the impact depends upon the healthy cells in question utilising these vitamins, minerals and anti-degenerative compounds to tackle and stem the tide of disease faster than mutations spring up and take root.
The other end of the spectrum for targeting tumour growth is via chemo therapeutics. The downside is the side effects. On the one hand, they need to be toxic enough to locally damage the rapidly mutating tissues while equally spare more stable body tissues. The ravaging effects of chemo manifest in hair loss and intestinal damage. Both of these types of body cell experience a high rate of turnover. Intestinal walls by peristalsis friction and hair loss necessitating replacement.
The ultimate message is to not be misled into thinking the next revolutionary 'wonder drug' will be the cure for all ails. Rather, work on the basis not everything is at it may appear at face value. Internet posts and shares are often nonsensical or misleading. Videos and sponsored pages spreading false hope, often to further promote a pharmaceutical brand's newly patented and approved treatment therapy. The incentives are nearly aligned for these companies at the whims of profit motivations, struggling in the maelstrom of current economic scepticism and competition, to promote by any means necessary.
When you or those around you reach dire circumstances, often any path may seem reasonable, or worthy of consideration.
Those who believe a change in diet may prove the answer to cancer once already embedded should not delude themselves this will outright make all your troubles fizzle away. Soursop leaves have been identified for their miraculous medicinal properties. Alleged to be one thousand times more potent in tackling cancer cells than chemotherapy. Yet, the proponents have no medical evidence as such to validate their findings.
Instead of seeking professional advice and guidance, opting for home remedies and homeopathy may be unnecessarily fatal. Ignorance or stubbornness just puts off the reckoning and potentially endangers the patient's life.
Medical progress today has led to particularly effective new antibody therapies for many incarnations of cancer. New treatments with few detrimental to long term side effects are revealed in frequent cycles.
One should question whether their testing has been rigorous enough to detect longer term undesirable effects should these therapies be successful in extending life beyond the predicted window.
Ultimately, choose wisely and as the wise Spock once said, "live long and prosper."
Richard Bolton is a senior writer at The Manchester Magazine. He is a first-year Politics, Philosophy and Economics student at the University of Manchester