Will there ever be a cure for cancer? The first cases of breast cancer are thought to have been recorded about 1600 BC in Egypt. The Papyrus describes eight cases of tumors that were treated by cauterization. However, the writing says, “There is no treatment.”
In 1882, William Stewart Halstead began performing mastectomies, and this surgical procedure remained the only option available until the 1970s. Since then, some of the best scientists with the best technology and adequate funding have failed to find a cure. Their best efforts have ended in various treatments and drugs that help the patient survive for a short time.
Although other forms of cancer were known, breast cancer appeared more frequently. Other forms were seldom diagnosed. However, the World Health Organization says that cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. There were 7.6 million deaths in 2008.
The Cause of Cancer
Cancer is the transformation of a normal cell into a tumor cell through a multistage process. The changes are a result of interaction between genetic factors and external agents.
There are many cancer research centers around the world. The City of Hope, MD Anderson, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University are a few that are dedicated to eliminating cancer.
These research centers employ every conceivable weapon in their fight to eliminate cancer. Biological, bimolecular, cancer epigenetic, stem cell, environmental. Genetics and other sciences are used to discover new drugs and treatments. They employ the best scientists and researchers that they can find.
Funding the Research
Despite the contributions of people like Hallie Berry, Katie Couric, Attorney Morgan Chu, the Jonas Brothers and others, the funding is expected to fall short during the economic recession.
Unfortunately, they have not found a cure, but they have a few new drugs approved by the FDA. These drugs will alleviate some suffering, but that’s not a cure.
Why is There Not a Cure?
With the best scientists, intense research and billions of dollars available, why is there not a cure? Why do researchers expect the number of cancer patients to double in the next twenty years? Why are they not optimistic about finding a cure rather than helping cancer patients cope and survive?
The problem may be that they need to eradicate a family of one-hundred diseases. That will require time and money, both of which are in short supply.