Cancer has always been the biggest battle between life and death. The cure for the cancer is selective: the more delayed the prognosis, the greater is the chance of its failure. Besides, there are a few types of cancers whose specific treatment is not available. The most conventional form of cancer treatment is chemotherapy. It is preferred by the oncologists in every type of cancer. But generalisation always lacks the perfection of the specific; similarly, chemotherapy has often proved a failure as a cancer treatment, for being only a ‘general treatment’, and having consequent side-effects.
A research conducted in 2004 on the success rates of cancer treatment proved that chemotherapy covers only two per cent of the five-year survival success rate of cancer treatment. The most common reason stated by scientists is that chemotherapy drugs do not differentiate between a cancerous cell and a healthy cell. They lack the specificity of targeting the cancerous cell and consequently attack and damage many healthy body cells. This leads to a number of short term and long term side-effects, with the chances of recurrence of cancer.
Laura Castañón in her article, This might be the reason why some tumours grow back aggressively after cancer treatments, researched at Northeastern University, writes,
“If chemotherapy or radiation kills tumour cells in an environment where there are more young cells than older cells, the healthy cells can out-pace and smother the cancerous cells”.
When the therapy is carried out in the older and mature cells, the ‘cell-killing’ therapy induces tumour regrowth by killing many mature cells in the process. This shows the failure or selective success of chemotherapy and points out at the need of discovering more targeted cure of cancer.
Scientists have discovered ‘target chemotherapy’, which unlike the conventional ‘standard chemotherapy’, will not affect other body cells and disrupt only the cancerous cells. If the target therapies prove a success, chemotherapy or other ‘well-known’ treatments will not be an additional delusion and hopelessness for the cancer patients. Treatment of cancer assumes the pressure of an inverted hourglass: the quicker the sand seeps through, venomous cancer becomes, without intensive treatment. Chemotherapy, the most widely practised treatment, needs to be researched and perfected.