Dr. C’s Journal: Recent Gains In Cancer Care

Recent medical advances in the treatment of cancer you have been amazing. Many of these advances have taken advantage of our own immune system‘s and fighting the cancer. If you or a loved one have had the recent diagnosis of cancer, there are several general things that you should know.

MVU MHA 2021 Q4 Infographic_ Advances, Breakthroughs, and Innovations in Cancer Treatment

The amazing technological advances in medicine have a come with a price tag, more than just the astronomical cost.

Preventative medicine it is given little attention in the medical profession these days, it wasn’t that great in the past either. The reason? Doctors don’t get paid to prevent disease; they get paid for treating it, and doctors are merely human beings like the rest of us and have a fondness for making money. Besides, the individual patient never knows whether he would’ve gotten the disease, had he not tried to prevent it. It takes a large number of people in a planned study to discern that.

Sleep, diet and exercise have all been casualties.

If you have established cancer, your tendency will be to give up on any exercise that you have been doing. This is an error. Depression is very common in patients with cancer, and inactivity makes it worse. Exercise is the one of the best things you can do for depression, and it may well  benefit cancer itself. To be sure to ask your doctor directly about this.

Diet is also extremely important. Many Cancers produce substances that kill the appetite. Weight loss in cancer is one of the hallmarks of the disease. It becomes very important to maintain a good diet.

Sleep is also very important. Just a day or two with poor sleep can harm the Immune cells, and with immune system damage, cancer can only worsen.

Drug studies improve medical care. They also deliver care free of charge, except for your time in taking part in the study. The usual Cancer study compares the new drug with established treatment. There is minimal worry that you are going to be getting a sham treatment.

Certain medical centers are known to specialize in certain areas of cancer treatment. For instance, in Southern California, the University of San Diego is known to be a Center that treats pancreatic cancer. The city of Hope in Los Angeles is known to be a center specializing in CAR-T cell treatment, A promising if expensive treatment for pancreatic cancer. 

It is very definitely worth your while to check into the availability of specialized care centers and drug studies in your area.

One of my friends developed melanoma and was told by his doctor to get his affairs in order. This absurd statement was made by a cancer doctor in one of the best hospitals in our area. In checking with an oncologist of my acquaintance, I found that a mere 30 miles away was a center specialized in the treatment of Malignant Melanoma. He went to the center for treatment, and was given a drug called a checkpoint inhibitor. He was virtually asymptomatic in a year. Unfortunately, patients can rarely expect such dramatic results.

In the history of the world, it has never been easier to learn about your disease, in this case cancer, and participate in its treatment. Especially in medicine, the best is none too good; it pays to do your homework, or at least find a medical advocate who will pursue your cause.

—Dr. C.