Friday, December 30, 2005

Too Many Dead From Cancer Disease

For those of you that are regular readers here, you know that I write often about cancer and the lives this terrible disease destroys everyday. I know some of the best minds in the world are working on a cure or vaccine to stop this terrible killer, but while we are all waiting for that miracle cure to arrive, thousands of people are dying horribly painful deaths from cancer.

The latest case to happen near me, was a coworker that found out she had cancer about one month ago, her family buried her on Christmas Eve. Before being diagnosed, she seemed fine to most people, but once the cancer was discovered, she was in the grave within 30 days. There wasn't anything her doctors could do to save her.

Medical research professionals have done wonder things in treatment of certain kinds of cancer, like skin, breast and leukemia, but the major cancer killers like lung, pancreatic and liver seem to be killing more and more folks all the time and there are not very many proven effective treatments against these type of cancers. Hardly a week goes by without me hearing of someone else that has been diagnosed with this terrible disease and I'm beginning to wonder if cancer cases are on the increase or if I'm just hearing more about them now that I'm getting older?

There is a good chance that when I die it will be from some form of cancer. At least I would assume this is the case since my grandfather, uncle and father all died from different forms of this disease. The funny thing is that all three of these relatives had cancer in totally different parts of the body and there was no single common denominator. However, the fact that they all did get cancer and all three eventually died from the disease, it only makes sense that I look at these facts with an open mind.

Since cancer has stricken my family so many times over the years, I've made it a mission to study this disease and possible treatment options as they become available. The most promising thing I've heard about are new studies that are taking cancer cells from an persons body and teaching those cells how to fight that persons particular type of cancer, then re injecting those cells back into the body. Basically, this procedure is teaching the body how to fight the cancer from the inside out. Just like our antibodies kill bacteria and viruses everyday.

The biggest problem is that we are years away from anything like this being available to patients with cancer and many more people will die before such a treatment could even be viable. There has also been talk of a cancer vaccine and this research shows promise too. However, it's still in the development stage, as well and it will be years before it could possibly be available to sick patients.

The fact that many people die within a few months of their cancer diagnosis makes these new potential treatments seem like "pie in the sky" to them. So in the mean time, the medical community will continue to treat sick cancer patients with chemotherapy and x-ray treatments which, to be effect, have to take the person being treated right up to deaths door without crossing over. There has to be a better solution to fighting this disease and surely someone smart will stumble upon it before too much longer.

The medical research community has made much progress in recent years treating various types of diseases and the fact that most people will live well into their 70's, these days, offers proof as to just how far they have come in treating diseases that use to rob people of their lives at early ages. I just hope that meaningful cancer treatments for those most seriously ill that are facing death within days, not months will be developed, soon.

I'm so tried of attending funerals for family, friends and coworkers that seem to have their whole life ahead of them, if it were not for this terrible disease called cancer. To me, cancer is the worst type of disease imaginable. It's painful and before it robs you of your life, it steals any sense of esteem you might have in personal appearance or self worth. It's time to stop this disease and if it takes the government spending billions of dollars to get this done, then so be it. In the mean time, please help the American Cancer Society anyway you can.

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