Approximately 39.6% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes. That is a scary, yet true fact. The medical research and background of cancer has advanced, but it still has a lot of advancing to do for full diagnosis and treatment. If you are dealing with cancer or know someone who has, it is important to understand your options, as well as the current research and education around it.
In previous times, cancer had little chance of survival. When you heard the word cancer, you were forced to begin accepting your fate. Today however, there are successful treatments and some of these treatments can completely rid you of the cancer. In fact, the number of people living beyond a cancer diagnosis reached nearly 14.5 million in 2014 and is expected to rise to almost 19 million by 2024. Although these people may be at a higher risk of developing cancer later in life, they have beaten it once, and will have better monitoring in affect.
Potential for annual full body scans
Medical imaging tools are more advanced than ever. These machines can show 3D cell cultures and the entire biology of cancer stem cells. Having the ability to identify the biology of cancer stem cells is a step in the right direction. With these advanced diagnostic and imaging tools, some medical professionals are toying with the idea of annual full body scans. These full body scans would be used as annual physicals. The idea is that if the cancer can be identified earlier, there will be higher recovery rates.
The current problem with offering annual diagnostic imaging scans is the cost. Current use of diagnostic imaging machines are expensive and may not be realistic for general population use, at least until the costs can be reduced. Instead, medical professionals may first attempt to utilize this method in those with tumor modeling. They may instead opt for annual 3D cell cultures of medial patients who have had an occurrence of cancer previously or those who have a long family history of cancers.
Evaluating cell culture
While medical professionals continue to look for practical ways of improving diagnostics, researchers continue to look for the exact cause of cancer. Although many believe that it has something to do with the biology of cancer stem cells, no one has successfully been able to place the exact cell or DNA cause. Organoid is cell or tissue culture method, which is aimed to mimic organ structure and function. Organoid is at least three dimensional culture techniques by definition. It could be 4D also, but is not 2D. This organoid research may end up being a crucial part of advancing medical research in terms of cancer identification.
Possibility of stem cell treatments
Current treatments of cancer are generally surgical or pharmaceutical. Both treatments are risky and neither guarantee recovery or full treatment. However, the hopes of the biology of cancer stem cells are that with correct placement of the cause of cancer, that those specific stem cells can be treated. The treatment might include better genetic planning, pharmaceuticals that specifically target those damaged cells, or the full replacement of the stem cells. Stem cell replacement therapy is still a newer concept. However, it can shown promising success for other prominent medical conditions. As stem cell treatments continue, the idea is that they can be used in the treatment of cancer, as well.
Many people will, unfortunately, deal with a medical diagnosis of cancer. Whether they deal with it personally or through a loved one, it is often difficult and confusing. The diagnosis process usually takes too long and reduces chances of full treatment. Treatment methods are harsh and are not always successful. There is too much ambiguity when it comes to cancer research and treatment. However, it is important to know that medical research, involving both diagnostics and treatment possibilities is advancing daily. Researchers are considering a number of different options, with the biology of cancer stem cells treatment and specific identification of the cause of cancer being the most promising currently.