Ok, in the last post I asked a series of questions about cancer and promised that I would answer them. These were not very difficult questions and not really related to science per say. So, here are the answers.
1. Is Cancer is a single disease. True or False….FALSE it is a collection of close to 200 different diseases!
2. When a cure rate is achieved, does that mean 100% cure for the remainder of the life of the individual? Yes or No. Answer: NO WAY. The rate is usually measured in five to ten year time frame. Only a few cancer cures are 100% forever.
3. Is Surgery is the only real way to cure cancer….all other forms of therapy are not effective. True or False The answer is FALSE as radiation and/or chemotherapy and even alternative treatments can lead to cures (potential see above).
4. Do Solid tumors never enter the blood and blood tumors never become solid. True or False. The answer is again FALSE. Solid tumors can and sometimes do enter the blood and blood tumors are known to become a solid tumor (e.g. many Lymphomas).
5. Do Diet and exercise play a role in controlling one’s chances of getting cancer? True or False The answer is YES they do. There is more and more data showing that both contribute strongly to cancer development if your diet is bad and you don’t get enough physical activity.
6. When scientist/doctors/healthcare professionals talk about cancer risk, the number they give you (e.g. chances of getting this or that particular cancer) is fairly fixed. True or False This is FALSE. Nothing about cancer risks are fixed. These numbers are estimates made from looking at history and cases before you. As more and more cases add up the numbers may change and even if they don’t change a risk is not fixed in stone. It is more like a guideline!
7. You should not rely on what your doctor says to you 100% without questioning. Yes or No The answer is YES! Your doctor is human and can make mistakes or just not know all the answers. You should ALWAYS question things you don’t understand and remember, your doctor is not the only one who you should listen to…start with yourself!
8. Clinical trials are designed to test agents using human patients and cost a huge amount of money. True or False The answer is TRUE as they are expensive and by definition must do done with humans as the subject matter.
10. Cancer is curable. Yes or No or Maybe , This is more of a trick question as no one really knows whether all cancers will one day be cured 10o% or not. It is likely that more cancer will be cured to some extent but not all cancer to the entire extent! So the answer would be MAYBE.
Thanks and I hope this was fun! Empower yourself, learn more, and build confidence in the subject of cancer!
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