Last Saturday, 4 February 2017, was World Cancer Day and the WHO provided new guidelines, with a focus on diagnosing and treating the disease at an earlier stage. Etienne Krug of the WHO (seen at right) said, “Diagnosing cancer in late stages, and the inability to provide treatment, condemn many people to unnecessary suffering and early death.” He added, “By taking the steps to implement the WHO’s new guidelines, healthcare planners can improve early diagnosis, especially for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. This will result in more people surviving cancer, and it will also be less expensive to treat and cure patients.”
The three steps advocated by the WHO include: (1) improve public awareness of different cancer symptoms and encourage people to seek care when these arise; (2) invest in strengthening and equipping health services and training health workers so they can conduct accurate and timely diagnostics; and (3) ensure people living with cancer can access safe and effective treatment, including pain relief, without incurring prohibitive personal or financial hardship. Given that cancer is responsible for 1 in 6 deaths globally, with 14 million people diagnosed each year, there is a clear imperative to improve early diagnosis. Interestingly, RapID Lab has published an important resource titled Top 10 Cancer Treatment Breakthroughs of the 21st Century.
Karol Sikora, a British physician specialising in oncology who served as head of the WHO’s cancer programme from 1997-99, last week told The Independent that an effective cure for all types of cancer might be just 5 to 10 years away. The reason for his optimism was the advances in our understanding of genetics meant that doctors would soon be able to prescribe drugs that were targeted specifically at each individual patient’s cancer cells.
Sikora said that 100 women with breast cancer would have tumours that were unique, but “understanding the molecular cogs that make cancer cells (seen at left, © BBC) different to normal cells and therefore developing drugs personalised to the cancer will enable precision medicine.” He argued that the strategy should be to convert cancer into a long-term chronic disease, adding another 20 to 30 years to a patient’s lifespan.
It should be pointed out that Professor Karol Sikora, despite his impeccable academic credentials (MBBCh Cambridge, PhD Stanford), has attracted widespread attention for his controversial views, including an advertisement by the Republican Party attacking Obamacare, the promotion of alternative medicine at the University of Buckingham, and his diagnosis of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, one of the Lockerbie bombers. Whether his prediction that cancer will be cured in 5 to 10 years pans out, time will tell.
(2) invest in strengthening and equipping health services and training health workers so they can conduct” accurate and timely diagnostics”
Such as the the D B T(D 3) MAMMOGRAPHY MACHINE.
“Digital Breast Tomosynthesis D 3 (DBT) was invented and first developed by Daniel B. Kopans, M.D. at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital. Hologic, Inc., using Hologic’s DBT system, funded a multi-institutional study that proved that DBT detects more cancers at a small and curable stage than conventional mammography while reducing recalls (known as “false positives”). With current legislation, in many states in the US, that encourages supplementary screening with ultrasound in dense breasts, this begs the question: Does DBT detect all breast cancers? The answer is “No”. Although DBT is, presently, the single best way to find most breast cancers at a time when cure is possible, there are still some cancers that will be detected by ultrasound*** that are not visible even on DBT.”
Daniel B. Kopans, M.D.
Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School
Senior Radiologist, Breast Imaging Division
Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Avon Comprehensive Breast Evaluation Center
ACC Suite 240
15 Parkman Street
Boston, MA 02114
So what is the hold up financing a D 3-AB US Machine?
Ian Grant-Whyte MA MB B Chir. (cantab): A B F P(USA)
L M C C (Canada)
Sounds like impeccable academic credentials !!