Headways in cancer treatments

Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases in the world because it is fatal and only few survive it: as a matter of fact, the few who ever survived it are usually treated as a miracle, indeed, there have been various miraculous healing (by God) of people from cancer.

Howbeit, it gladdens the heart to know that medical professionals are working round the clock to find lasting solutions to the menace of cancer: plausibly, they are making headways.

Recently, news about discovery of more potent treatments of cancer greeted the public from various media of which were claims that Young Kim, who is leading research on a new type of therapeutic vaccine for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma – is seeking to produce a one-two punch that would turn off the cancer’s ability to evade the immune system and also enhance the immune system’s ability to fight cancer[1]; and that Nigerian doctor, who is a Medical Consultant and Radiation Oncologist in Benin City, the Edo State capital, Oludare Folajimi Adeyemi has made a major breakthrough in the treatment of the dreaded prostrate cancer: report says that some medical experts affirmed that the illness was now a common thing in the hands of Adeyemi since his discovery of the tested ‘Brachytherapy (implant) treatment for prostrate cancer – having performed a round of treatment on some patients at the LA Oncology ClinicBenin City in Nigeria.[2]

How dreadful is cancer?

J. Hagee narrating his experience of cancer with his mother said that when his mother was 60 years she was diagnosed with colon cancer… she was to undergo radiation treatment for eight weeks followed by colostomy surgery, which was to maintain a moderate semblance of life for one year, and after that was certain death.[3]

According to Hagee, he with his father and siblings prayed by his mother’s bedside using the word of God, yet, the doctor told them that his mother’s skin would be ravaged by the harsh treatment; notwithstanding, the mother would enter radiation room reading Psalm 91 everyday for eight weeks. Meanwhile, the doctor predicted four hours of surgery; it lasted less than two hours because the tumour was reduced from the size of an orange to the size of a small plum (that was a miraculous act of God in the midst of calamity).[4]

The above, notwithstanding, S. Dhawan opined that the word ‘cancer’ instils more fear than death, asserting that the disease has become a big threat globally, irrespective of age, social status, physical fitness, gender, etc, because it takes a toll on not just one’s health, but also emotions, time and money.[5] Furthermore, Dhawan affirmed that the reason for its high incidence rates may be both internal (genetic, mutations, hormonal, poor immune conditions, etc.) and external or environmental factors (food habits, industrialisation, overpopulation, among others).[6]

In a related write-up, M. Dowell said that cancer is one of the most common health conditions in the United States and one of the deadliest of which there are over 200 types, each with different symptoms, and treatment options.[7]

Medically proven treatments of cancer

The National Cancer Institute listed and explained the following treatment:

1.  Surgery: when used to treat cancer, surgery is a procedure in which a surgeon removes cancer from the body.

2.  Radiation Therapy: radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours.

3.  Chemotherapy: chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells.

4.  Immunotherapy to Treat Cancer: immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps the immune system fight cancer.

5.  Targeted Therapy: targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that targets the changes in cancer cells that help them grow, divide, and spread.

6.  Hormone Therapy: hormone therapy is a treatment that slows or stops the growth of breast and prostate cancers that use hormones to grow.

7.  Stem Cell Transplant: stem cell transplants are procedures that restore blood-forming stem cells in cancer patients who have had theirs destroyed by very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

8.  Precision Medicine: precision medicine helps doctors select treatments that are most likely to help patients based on a genetic understanding of their disease.[8]


Overview of some medical headways in cancer treatments

In summary, below are new discoveries for cancer treatments which, hopefully, would start to make life easier for every cancer patient across the world:

1.  Israeli researchers have identified a new mechanism for inducing the programmed death of cells, a discovery that could be used to develop novel methods for treating cancer.

2.  Israel’s revolutionary CAR-T cancer treatment, which has proven successful in treating the blood cancer leukaemia, might now also be effective in killing solid tumour cells coated in specific antibodies, according to research published this month in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

3.  Researchers based at The University of Manchester have discovered a new strategy for how to protect hair follicles from chemotherapy, which could lead to new treatments that prevent chemotherapy-induced hair loss — arguably one of the most psychologically distressing side effects of modern cancer therapy.

4. Breast cancer treatments are always evolving and improving. In 2019, fresh perspectives to approach cancer therapy led to exciting breakthroughs for treatments in research. Here’s a list of the newest breast cancer therapies and what’s on the horizon: Alpelisib, Talazoparib, Trastuzumab with hyaluronidase, Atezolizumab, and Biosimilars. While emerging and breakthrough therapies are: Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, CAR-T cell therapies, Cancer vaccines, and Combination therapies.

All the discoveries, notwithstanding, there is also divine healing which only God gives through the means that He might choose. All required of anyone who desires to be healed by God is faith because without faith no one can please the Lord (Hebrew 11:6-8), and without faith no one can receive anything from God (James 1:1-7).

[1] Johns Hopkins Medicine, “New Hope for a Cancer Cure”, May 2014: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/publications/headway/headway_spring_2014/new_hope_for_a_cancer_cure.

[2] Adibe Emenyonu, “Nigerian Doctor Makes Medical Breakthrough in Prostrate Cancer Treatment”, allAfrica, August 2019: https://allafrica.com/stories/201908150069.html.

[3] John Hagee, Life’s Challenges Your Opportunities (USA: Charisma House, 2009), 111-112.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Sunil Dhawan, Cancer: “How dreadful is the disease?” Tomorrow Makers, retrieved on November 21, 2019, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/prepare-financially-to-meet-the-cost-of-treating-cancer/tomorrowmakersslideshow/53486969.cms.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Meg Dowell, “Truly Dreadful Things Cancer Does to Your Body”, Showbiz CHeatSheat, January 2018: https://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/truly-dreadful-things-cancer-does-to-your-body.html/.

[8] National Cancer Institute, “Types of Cancer Treatment”, retrieved on November 21, 2019, https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types.

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