Chances of being cured of cancer have improved dramatically in 15 years, according to figures from the Cancer Registry. Patients have a 68% chance of survival compared to 63% 15 years ago. This remains average: Cure rates depend on the type of cancer. For example, almost 100% cure for prostate cancer. But how can this positive development be explained?
The increase in survival after a cancer diagnosis is due to several factors: advances in research and early detection. Some treatments have advanced significantly, such as treating breast cancer.
“Enormous progress has been made with breast cancer. A few years ago, our survival rates were relatively low, and now we’re at almost 90% of all breast cancer cases; We better understood the cellular mechanisms that lead to the chaotic proliferation of the cell, which means cancer, and thus were able to target the elements to prevent cell proliferation.Veronique Le Ray, MD, medical director and spokesperson for the Cancer Control Foundation, explains.
Better targeting is also done during radiotherapy: “Previously, we irradiated a much larger area of a tumor to kill cancer cells, and now we have more targeted types of radiotherapy such as “proton” or “photon” treatments. These treatments are currently being developed.“.
Immunotherapy, the cure of tomorrow
The survival rate is currently 68% after being diagnosed with cancer: this percentage can still advance thanks to research into immunotherapy in particular.
“Immunotherapy is a treatment that awakens immunity and is directed against cancer cells. Hopefully, in the future, more types of immunotherapy will be discovered that will make it possible to cure it, or in any case make it possible to survive longer, and more cancers.“.
The Cancer Foundation is calling for donations and investments in research. In Belgium, cancer may affect one in three men before their 75th birthday and one in four women.
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