At one time in the not-so-distant past, to be diagnosed with cancer was to be given a virtual death sentence. Thankfully, advancements in medical science have proven to offer effective ways to combat this serious condition. Although we are still a long way off from developing a “silver bullet” to finally eradicate this disease, there is no doubt that technology has come a long way in the areas of diagnosis, treatment and prevention. So, what progress proves to be the most promising? Let’s take a closer look.
Culturing Individual Cells
One of the most interesting achievements lies within the realm of what is known as cell culture research through such companies as Biolamina. In essence, this involves the creation single cells within a laboratory environment. This is so very important because it allows researchers to isolate and understand various mechanisms within these cells; previously impossible to view on a large scale. In turn, more targeted cancer treatments can be developed. These can then be adopted for system-wide solutions. While still in its relative infancy, cell culturing represents a massive medical breakthrough.
Another promising field is that of genetics. One of the issues with cancer is that many forms are thought to be activated through what is known as genetic coding. In other words, some individuals may have a higher chance of developing cancer later in life than others. Doctors are now using the field of cancer genetics to begin appreciating what makes cancer “tick”. This can lead to earlier detection and monitoring techniques. When this disease is discovered, the chances of survival and recovery are much higher.
This is an interesting field that involves the manipulation of molecular-sized “machines” to target and discover cancerous growths. This actually has several advantages over traditional forms of chemotherapy. The primary benefit is that these machines are quite tiny; it is thought that they can even be inserted into the body through the use of a normal syringe. Once present, they are programmed to ONLY target cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells untouched. This is far better than chemotherapy which tends to harm other tissues. Once these molecules destroy the cancer that is present, they will simply be excreted like other forms of waste within the body. These are some of the fundamental benefits of nanotechnology when applied to cancer treatments.
Although there is no doubt that science has come a long way, others are discovering the potent abilities of natural substances to combat and even prevent cancer. For example, antioxidants contained in many fruits and vegetables have been shown to stop cellular damage; one of the primary causes of many forms of cancer. What is most promising in terms of this research is that no artificial chemicals are involved. Thus, there are absolutely no side effects such as those that would be experienced with chemotherapy or other standard treatment options.
So, will cancer one day be eradicated from the human race? Most scientists agree that it is still too early to tell. The fact remains that if advancements continue the way they have in recent years, it may very well only be a matter of time before this deadly disease is a thing of the past.