The word “cancer” itself is enough to evoke terror, with global incidence of the often-fatal disease on the rise: From 14.1 million in 2012, the number of cases had risen 20.6 per cent to 17 million in 2018.
But the disease is no longer the death sentence it once used to be. According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate of breast cancer patients in 1975-77 was 75 per cent, but this had risen to 91 per cent between 2006 and 2012, a trend also seen in many other types of cancer.
At the heart of this progress is greater public awareness, and advancement in early detection and therapeutic approaches.
Traditionally, most cancers are treated with radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery, or some combination of the three.
While these treatments have proven to be useful and continue to be improved, they have fallen short of treating some of the most aggressive cancer types [lung, brain, pancreatic, and triple negative breast cancer, which can be more aggressive to treat].
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