February 4 World Cancer Day

The number of patients increases; diagnosis and treatment will become completely different…

CUSTOMIZED TREATMENT WILL LEAVE A MARK ON  CANCER’S FUTURE

Prof. Dr.__Özlem__ErCancer, a disease that used to be called a ‘ruthless disease’ but is becoming curable in recent years thanks to developments in medicine and technology, will present itself with a completely different set of diagnosis and treatment methods in the coming years. Acibadem Maslak Hospital Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Özlem Er pointed out that there are revolutionary developments regarding the disease, which has become more common in our country in recent years, using more effective biological treatments with less side effects, implementing immunotherapy and target focused therapies. In the statement released by Prof. Dr. Özlem Er for the 4th of February: World Cancer Day she had important warnings and recommendations to provide.

Becoming more common whether due to unhealthy eating or environmental factors, cancer is expected to come knocking on the door of 27 million more people in 2030. Despite this fact, rapid developments in early detection and treatment have brought more hope in recent years. Acibadem Maslak Hospital Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Özlem Er said a new period of targeted treatment in cancer has been entered and added: “With the development of technology, the characteristics of tumor cells are now better understood. We plan treatment that is customized to the individual and the tumor and apply targeted therapies to keep cancer cells under control for a long time and extend the patient’s life span. More effective and comfortable biological therapies with fewer side effects that determine targets carried by cancerous cells but not found in normal cells, are the most important developments in cancer treatment”.

No hair is lost and the immune system is not suppressed

34095486 (1)Prof. Dr. Özlem Er pointed out that there are now more chemotherapy medications compared to 10 years ago and suitable support treatments are being developed to reduce side effects, for example the side effect of hair loss was not present in most of the target treatments and the dropping of blood values and immune system supression had also been overcome. Drawing attention to the fact that goal directed therapy is being applied successfully in many different types of cancer, especially breast, intestine and kidney cancers, Prof. Dr. Özlem Er said “The objective in immunotherapy, a method that has become more prominent in oncological treatments in recent years, is to reactivate the patient’s own defense system to help them fight the disease. For example in melanoma, or skin cancer, this method extended the life span in metastatic disease and achieved long term survival. This is why it has now become the standard treatment approach”.

Both diagnosis and treatment are transforming

Prof. Dr. Özlem Er, who pointed out that both diagnosis and treatment of cancer will be very different in the coming years,34095486 (2) added that at present cancer is diagnosed through radiological imaging and biopsies but in the future radiology will enable the detection of tumors at a very early stage that is not possible currently. She explained that some medications developed in recent years used a braking mechanism that is effective in controlling the disease and pointed out that the success rate of these medications in the treatment of melanoma went up to 70 percent and show promise for other types of cancer as well. Immunotherapy also achieves similar success in the effective treatment of non small cell lung cancer. Prof. Dr. Özlem Er said “The recent developments in cancer treatment have now placed cancer among treatable diseases”.

To avoid becoming one of the 150 thousand people!

Prof. Dr. Özlem Er pointed out that 14 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year; in our country about 150 thousand new cases are diagnosed every year, and listed the following ways to protect yourself from cancer;

  • Stay away from alcohol and cigarettes
  • Consume vegetables and fruits
  • Do not cook food directly over a flame
  • Get regular exercise
  • Maintain your ideal weight
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Maintain a balanced diet with natural foods
  • Do not consume carbonated beverages

Early Goal directed treatment

34095486 (3)Customized cancer treatment means determining a treatment option according to the genetic features of the patient and the tumor. Thus cancer cells can be kept under control for a long time and since the side effects are less the individual can have a more comfortable and longer life. More effective and comfortable biological therapies with fewer side effects that determine targets carried by cancerous cells but not found in normal cells are the most important developments in cancer treatment. While early goal directed treatment is being implemented successfully in many cancers, especially breast, intestine and renal cell (kidney) cancers, the side effects like hair loss, deteriorating blood values and suppressed immune system are not present in most early goal directed medications.

Immunological Therapy

The objective in immunotherapy, a treatment method that has become more prominent in oncology in recent years, is to reactivate the patient’s own defense system to give them the power to fight the disease. The immunological approach can provide a long term clinical benefit. For example in melanoma, or skin cancer, this method extended the life span of patients in metastatic disease and achieved long-term survival. This is why it has now become the standard treatment approach.