Cancer is being beaten
RE: Setting the record straight on Cancer Research (July 28)
Thank you to Steve Buist for setting the record straight. My immediate reaction to Stephen Skyvington’s commentary entitled “War on cancer, like the one on drugs, has failed us” on July 11 was anger and frustration. His message was biased and misinformed. I fear his words were harmful to those most vulnerable — cancer patients and their families. Since 1982, when I started my clinical and research career in Hamilton, I have been fortunate to witness many advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer that have had significant impact on my patients. These have all happened as a result of research. Some cancer types which were previously fatal are now being cured.
On the other hand, for many other cancers there has been much progress made in controlling the cancer for as long as possible to maximize a patient’s quality of life. Research is key to advancing the yard sticks in the fight against cancer. Progress is incremental and, unfortunately, for many, painstakingly slow. The reality is that it takes time.
For those readers interested in a factual account of the development of cancer therapies since the 1960s, I highly recommend the Pulitzer Prize winning book “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer,” by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Mark Levine C.M. MD, Hamilton