By the end of the last century, mankind was confronted with the problem that the number of cancer patients increased geometrically every year, and medicine, unfortunately, did not move so fast. We began to hope for a breakthrough that in the 21st century a universal cure for cancer will be found. All this was expected, but no one could invent a panacea. Or maybe a solution was found?
How far did the medicine go
In fact, today medicine has become much stronger in the matter of counteracting cancer. Just a step forward was not expressed in the form of a “pill”. It would be too easy in such a complex issue. The revolution is connected with such concepts as immunotherapy, brachytherapy, biological therapy and other unknown names. All this has long been used in the best clinics of different countries having strong medicine and is demonstrating high performance indicators.
Immunity against tumor
Immunotherapy in cancer is able to “teach” the patient’s immunity to recognize tumor cells and destroy them. The fact is that all foreign substances in the body immediately provoke an immune response, which destroys them. However, cancer cells are able to “mask”. Moreover, malignant tumor consists of cells of different phenotype. All this complicates the process of recognizing the immunity of cancer. Thanks to the use of immunodrugs , diseased cells are labeled and become noticeable for the immune system. Some drugs are capable of even more: work on the lead and teach the body to fight the disease in order to prevent its development. Today, immuno and biological drugs
have become truly effective, because at the moment they are able to block the protein PD-1, which previously did not allow T-lymphocytes to recognize cancer.
Over the past couple of years, a huge step has been taken in the treatment of almost all the serious types of cancer. Now the world knows the drug Keytruda for the effective treatment of melanoma, Xofigo – for the treatment of prostate cancer in the last stages with bone metastases. Herceptin, Avastin, Imbruvika – all these are preparations that have become for many a “panacea”.
Radiation against cancer
For many, ionizing radiation is associated with what causes cancer, but does not heal it. However, physicians have long learned to use radiation in the fight against cancer. The main task in this matter is not to touch the rest, healthy part of the body.
Brachytherapy was a real breakthrough in radiology. This method involves the introduction of radiation directly into the tumor or very close to it. It is possible to use a much higher dose of radiation than with external irradiation, that is, there is a stronger impact. The source of radiation is placed in a special transfer device and then extracted by a specialist. All this is under full control thanks to modern CT and MRI.
External effects on the tumor
External radiotherapy has also taken a huge step forward, especially the creation of ultramodern radiology facilities. So, today in the leading clinics in Turkey, the Truebeam STx is installed, which combines the best known methods of radiotherapy, such as RapidArc, Gated RT, IGRT, IMRT SBRT and SRS. Thanks to this, it is possible to transfer the radiation on the tumor very fast and without harming healthy tissues. Also worth mentioning Linac linear accelerator, which combined the capabilities of the last four of the methods listed above. In turn, in the therapy of brain tumors, the Gamma-knife apparatus demonstrates its effectiveness.
Surgical intervention technologies
In the field of cancer surgery, there have been no less changes. However, till now the approaches of countries with different levels of medicine are radically different. In countries with less progressive medicine, the cancerous organ is most often removed. Priority of such countries as Israel, Germany, Turkey in this matter is an organ-saving operation. This discrepancy is quite understandable, because in order to preserve the organ, it is necessary to diagnose the cancer at an early stage and to determine as clearly as possible the area affected by the disease. In many countries there is simply no necessary diagnostic equipment for this. At the same time, Turkey has already learned to diagnose cancer even at the so-called “zero” stage using the method of circulating tumor cells CTC.
Another achievement that deserves attention is robotic operations. The Da Vinci Robot was first used by NASA in 2000, and it appeared much later in the clinics – 2008-2010. Robotic operations are minimally invasive, do not leave large scars and are less traumatic for the patient. Moreover, only with the help of the Da Vinci Robot one can achieve such level of accuracy in manipulation. However, the implementation of robotic operations requires special skills. A specialist can be considered experienced in this matter only after 400-500 spent manipulations. Today, surgeons with such experience are in the clinics of Turkey,
Germany, Israel. The da Vinci robot can be used for minimally invasive surgery of almost all types of cancer, while performing both total organ removal and organ-preserving operations.
For a modern specialist, there is no patient to whom he can not help, even if it is palliative care. And in the advanced stages of modern medicine can offer a treatment that can improve the quality of life.
In conclusion, medicine has achieved a lot in cancer therapy, but it is better to undergo a checkup on time and never learn about all these achievements.