Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cancer: The Cure is Coming Soon?

The sickness known as cancer has been dubbed “the silent killer” by most doctors in the medical community. This malignant disease has been around since 16th century B.C. when Egyptians first describe it. Doctors have been battling this disease for as long as modern medicine has come to existence and despite of our advancements in medical technology, the cure for cancer still eludes us. While other human diseases are usually benign and can be cured easily, cancer and aids has been the stuff of frustrations for a lot of doctors. Some who had spent their entire lives trying to understand and cure cancer have died without knowing success. Have we really reached the threshold in our ability to overcome obstacles that makes us the great civilization that we are today?

What causes cancer?
There are many factors that causes cancers. It is sometimes genetic, pollution, diet, obesity and more but the end result is always the same; it’s either they grow as a malignant tumor or they spread in pockets of infection. There are more than 200 different kinds of cancer, however, scientists are unable to link any direct cause for the disease to start maturing. It’s almost like they just pop out of your body and suddenly you are diagnosed with it.

Traditional treatment methods
Traditional cancer treatments include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy – all are as potentially lethal as the disease itself. While surgery may not be as lethal as being bombarded by x-rays or gamma rays or as dangerous as being injected with hazardous chemicals; surgery has only 5% efficiency in getting rid of the cancer and mostly it only works with tumors that grows in an exclusive part of the body. It only takes 50 grays of gamma radiation to kill a person and a 10th of a teaspoon of actinomycin to extinguish the life of a human being. Death will occur between 3 – 10 days, which is why these treatments are administered in very low doses and they are most effective at the early stages of the disease, because if it reaches a certain threshold then the cancer is incurable.

Alternative methods
The problem with cancer is that it acts like a normal cell except that it keeps growing and spreading until it will have completely invaded your body and your bodily functions are compromised. The idea behind traditional treatments is to kill cancer cells “softly” but again it only works if the patient is at the early stages of the disease. Recently a high school genius by the name of Angela Zhang came up with an amazing theory in curing cancers. In her thesis that she submitted to her chemistry teacher she talked about using polymer to encase a mixture of chemicals that will kill individual cancer cells. But the polymer is useless and it needs a vehicle to go through the body without harming healthy cells and so these “vehicles” would have to be created inside a laboratory, Angela calls them “nanoparticles.” The nanoparticles are to be designed to specifically or chemically be attracted to cancer cells only. Once they attach to the cancer cells the nanoparticles will become visible via x-ray or MRI and now it needs just one more thing to make the whole process work – infrared lasers. The infrared beam will tear the polymer and release the chemicals that will kill the cancer cells, thus she’s theorized a 99% efficiency in curing cancers. So far Angela has presented the best method to cure cancer, in fact before she graduated from high school she was already awarded $100,000 for her research paper. She is expected to take a biotech course and complete her research soon. Hopefully this will be our first breakthrough in curing cancer.

Watch the full interview here:  

 

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