Lee and I have often discussed cancer since it has taken the life of so many relatives and friends over the years. She asks me over and over again, “Why can’t Science find a cure for cancer?” My only response is the standard answer given by Biology teachers: Cancer is insidious since it is a change in our own cells and therefore will not be attacked by our immune system. Thus cancer cells can grow unchecked until they affect enough vital organs to kill us. The other part of the standard answer is that there cannot be ONE cure for cancer, since every cancer is different.
One thing that I have learned since my diagnosis is that significant strides have been made in the treatment of all cancers, even though some types of cancer seem to be more difficult to treat than others. Obviously, how early a cancer is detected has much to do with the prognosis. Stage 1 lung cancer treatment normally involves surgery and/or radiation, while in Stage 4, like mine, neither of those treatments are options at all.
My reason for discussing the issue of cancer treatment in general is to add my voice to the many who are clamoring for more research into this horrific disease. Because so many families are affected by cancer at one time or another, it should be a major priority when monies are allocated for medical research.