By: Dr. Christopher Ho on January 5, 2014, 9:55 am
In our clinic, Dr Lashkari, Dr Shaye and I are often asked if we think that cancer cases are increasing. I usually say that the statistics point otherwise, which is to say that routine cancer screening for breast cancer and colon cancer are making improvements in patient survival. I understand that in our offices in Tarzana and West Hills it may seem otherwise, and I recently came across an article in the New York Times, by a write George Johnson, with his take on why cancer seems to be the more difficult problem to tackle as efforts against heart disease and infection, including HIV are more "singular" problems wherein the word "Cancer" actually describes a variety of diseases.
I wanted to submit the article for our patients to review, although I am not sure that I entirely agree with the conclusion of the article, which I found a little nihilistic, but describes well the challenges of a "cure" for cancer. Although not usually associated with scientists, I have always had a sense of pride in the pragmatic creativity and imagination of researchers in approaching even the most complex problems. Advances occur in cancer therapy through technology, different approaches, which is only touched upon in the closing paragraphs. Finally, the fight against cancer is not necessarily the pursuit of immortality but the preservation of the quality of the life and relationships that we have built.