Thursday, 28 May 2015

The unfolding story of cancer

The unfolding story of cancer. The Lancet, May 2015, Vol. 385(9980), p.1824

Campbell, P.T.

Few diseases provoke the visceral fear of cancer. This reaction is justified: more than 14 million people worldwide this year will be diagnosed with cancer. We have learned a great deal about the prevention, causes, treatment, biology, socioeconomics, and political implications of cancer since the time of the ancients when, in writing about treatment for breast cancer, the Egyptian Imhotep wrote “there is none”. Currently, nearly nine of ten women diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK and the USA will live 5 years or more beyond diagnosis. And there have been advances for other cancers, such as leukaemia. Indeed, cancer mortality in the past 20 years has decreased by about 20–30% in the UK and the USA. Despite these clinical and public health advances, at least 8 million people worldwide are expected to die from cancer this year.