Every year, approximately 18 million people in the world and 163 thousand people diagnosed with cancer in Turkey is placed. The medical world continues to seek the answer to the following question on February 4th Cancer Day: "Will recovery rates increase, death rates decrease?" There are promising advances in cancer treatment.
According to the World Health Organization, there will be 2030 million new cancer diagnoses worldwide in 22. So when will success be achieved in the fight against cancer, how will we overcome the disease of the age? Maltepe University Faculty of Medicine Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Orhan Türken explained the developments in the fight against cancer, the future of diagnosis and treatment. Noting that the rates of correct diagnosis have increased with technological developments and innovations, Prof. Dr. “Cancer will become a treatable disease even in the most advanced stage,” said Türken.
Stating that there are serious increases in early detection rates with the screening programs recommended especially in common cancers, Prof. Türken said, “With screening programs, many cancers that do not show symptoms yet can be detected at very early stages. With the increase in awareness, the self-control of family members with cancer relatives, and those with mild complaints, applying to a health institution immediately increased the rates of early diagnosis. "The quality of medical devices and materials used in parallel with technological developments allows us to detect cancer patients at very early stages."
Early detection rates have increased. What about treatment? Noting that the chances of success are higher with new drugs and methods in cancer treatment, Prof. Dr. Türken says that with the increase of early diagnoses, mortality rates have started to decrease. Stating that surgical methods, radiation therapy (radiotherapy) and drug treatments (chemotherapy and other systemic treatments) are generally applied in the treatment, Türken gave the following information about the methods:
“Although surgical operations in the early stages and medicated treatments in the late stages are at the forefront, now all these treatments can be applied sequentially or together at each stage. Preventive (adjuvant) radiotherapy or chemotherapy can be given to a patient who has been operated on for breast cancer to prevent recurrence that may occur later. Or, if a patient with advanced cancer becomes suitable after medication or radiation treatments, it can be operated on. "
Prof. Dr. He also emphasized that Türken cancer treatment is gradually becoming a personalized treatment that changes from patient to patient. Stating that personalized treatment is at the forefront in medicated treatments, it is also valid for other methods such as surgery and radiotherapy, and explained the personal treatment with examples as follows:
“Not all breast tissue of every breast cancer patient is removed anymore. In some patients, only the tumor part is removed with the method we call organ preserving surgery. Also, in patients to be treated with radiotherapy, the width of the irradiated area and the doses may vary from patient to patient. But the biggest developments that personalize cancer treatment are happening in medicated treatments. Now, besides classical chemotherapy, we have new treatment options, such as smart, targeted drugs and immunotherapy, which aims to make the immune system more active against the tumor. Better understanding of the tumor cell structure and the discovery of new molecules that directly target the tumor broke ground in cancer treatment. With new drugs, the treatment spectrum will expand and cancer will become a completely curable disease, even if it is at an advanced stage. "